Earlier this week, we shared the second pillar of self-care: Investing in your fitness and self-care. According to the National Institutes of Health, eating a healthy diet is one of the most important elements of fitness, exercise, and wellness. These three delicious exercise recipes are wholesome, filling, and bursting with flavor. Better yet, they contain proven ingredients that help support your new fitness routine!

1: Lemon Yogurt Eggs

If you’re concerned about weight loss, you’ll want to start each day with eggs. Eggs are very high in protein, which helps reduce your appetite for the rest of the day to support healthy weight management. In one study, women who ate eggs for breakfast reported significant feelings of being full throughout the day, and ate fewer calories later in the day. In another study, replacing a typical carb-heavy breakfast with eggs resulted in 65 percent more weight loss, and 34 percent more of a reduction in waist measurements, compared to those who kept with their traditional meals.

This recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare, and five minutes to cook, and elevates ordinary fried eggs to culinary stardom.

Plus, the lemon-infused yogurt adds further health benefits. In a study of more than 8,000 people, those who ate a serving of yogurt every day had a lower risk of being overweight.

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 of an organic lemon
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or your favorite plant oil)
2 eggs (ideally local, free-ranged and organic for optimal nutrition)
1 tablespoon minced dill

In a mixing bowl, squeeze the juice from half a lemon, then whisk in the yogurt and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Swirl the lemon-infused yogurt onto a serving plate and set aside.

In a frying pan, warm up some oil then crack open two eggs and add to the pan. Add a splash of water, then cover the pan to seal the hot air in the pan. Let them cook for a minute or two. The closed top of the pan will speed up the cooking and give the egg whites and yolk a gentle, soft texture (not too dissimilar from soft poaching).

Remove from heat and slide the fried eggs onto the lemon yogurt. Garnish with dill and enjoy!


2. Fridge Energy Balls

Fuel up your body with these easy-to-make energy balls. They’re portable and easy to take on spring hikes or family outings, while offering high amounts of healthy fats and protein. The seeds are especially powerful, providing lots of antioxidants that will bolster your immune system during the cold and flu season. And you don’t need to only enjoy these exercise recipes before a workout — they’re also great for an energizing breakfast or a healthy snack whenever you have a sweets craving!

3 tbsp honey (ideally local and organic)
1/2 cup peanut butter or your favorite smooth seed butter
3 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp flax seeds
4 tbsp unroasted, salted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Combine the chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, and honey. Mix well, then fold in the chocolate and oats.

Scoop with a spoon or an ice cream scooper and mold into small balls (this recipe makes approximately a baker’s dozen). Chill in your fridge for a few hours, then enjoy!


3. Candied Pistachios with Winter Salad Greens

Just because it’s the winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy flavorful, nutritious greens. This salad is handcrafted with winter greens at their peak nutritional value. The crispness of these greens is balanced with the juiciness of oranges (high in immunity-boosting vitamin C and other antioxidants), homemade candied pistachios, and an easy-to-make vinaigrette that’s just bursting with flavor.

Of all these exercise recipes, this one great for those of us who have joint pain that’s holding us back from embracing the self-care benefits of exercise.

The reason this salad is great for helping to reduce joint pain is because of the pistachios themselves. “Multiple studies confirm the role of nuts in an anti-inflammatory diet,” says Dr. José M. Ordovás, in an interview with the Arthritis Foundation. “One study found that over a 15-year period, men and women who consumed the most nuts had a 51% lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease (like RA) compared with those who ate the fewest nuts. Another study found that subjects with lower levels of vitamin B6 — found in most nuts — had higher levels of inflammatory markers.”

Candied Pistachios

2 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raw shelled pistachios

Homemade Vinaigrette

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey, ideally local and organic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Winter Salad

4 cups mixed seasonal salad greens (e.g., kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, rapini, etc.)
2 mandarin oranges, peeled and chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme or oregano leaves

First, make the pistachios by tossing all the ingredients in a frying pan on low heat and simmering for a couple of minutes or until the candied syrup is thick. Pour onto a baking sheet and let them cool to room temperature.

While the pistachios cool, put all the dressing ingredients into a Mason jar or a similar container with a lid. Close, and shake vigorously until well combined. Set aside.

Finally, make the salad. Fill a salad bowl with the winter greens. Top with the oranges and herbs. Garnish with the candied pistachios. Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Enjoy!