Spring is here, and I could not be happier. The weather is warmer, the days are longer, and we are spending more time outside.

Here are 3 tips to help you lighten up your recipes for the warmer months ahead.

Here are 3 tips to help you lighten up your recipes for the warmer months ahead.

Despite my excitement about the weather, I am having trouble shifting my meal planning from cold weather to warm weather recipes.

During fall and winter, I tend to rely on soups and my slow cooker to have lots of meal options ready either earlier in the week or already in the freezer.

Now that warmer weather has arrived, I want to lighten up my eating. Lighter meals often require more immediate cooking, which has been more of a challenge to plan for.

Here are three things I am doing to get my weekly menu on the right path:

1. Going through my cookbooks and Pinterest pins: I love cookbooks and whenever I get a new one, I look through it and immediately mark recipes to try. Pinterest … well, you all know you have lots of recipe ideas saved on multiple boards (check out and follow USANA’s Healthy Recipes board, too).

With the change of season, I am going through my recipes and pins, and am challenging myself to try at least one new recipe a week.

2. Shifting my shopping: I decided I am going to buy different things. Yes, there are the weekly staples I will continue to buy. I am trying to shift the rest of my weekly shopping, though. If I have been buying it regularly during the winter, I am phasing it out. This will challenge us to look at my choices differently and open my family up to new ideas.

3. Planning, planning, planning: Since it is more difficult to pre-cook meals when those meals involve fresh, lighter dishes, I need to carve out more time during the week to cook. While this will be a challenge, eating healthy is a priority in my house.

I will make sure I have a solid meal plan in place each week, and schedule prep time during the week. If we have a plan, I know I will have more success.

Did You See a Theme?

In each of my action items, I used the word challenge. Making healthy choices and following through with those choices is not easy, for a lot of reasons, and the difficulties are often excuses not to follow through.

While I could certainly continue cooking those colder weather meals, I just do not want to. I am hoping my need for lighter meals will help keep me motivated.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are you doing to lighten you meals and embrace the change of seasons? I look forward to reading your ideas in the comments.

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