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Feeling the winter blues? Spring forward with a wellness challenge

  • Category: Wellness
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Feeling the winter blues? Spring forward with a wellness challenge

The winter months—and even late fall—can be a true bummer for our health and wellness. Spring has sprung, so now’s a good time to hit the reset button on your health and fitness. Ready for a wellness challenge?

Spring started on March 19 this year, but we’ve been experiencing the benefits for a little longer than that! We are so thankful for the warmer days, more hours of sunlight and plentiful opportunities to spend time outdoors.

Join our University Medical Center New Orleans team for a spring wellness challenge!

Hit the reset button with a wellness challenge

With the milder temperatures, it's time to go outside and bloom. Use these wellness challenge ideas to strive for better health this season:

  • Drink a few more ounces of water. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body. If you don’t love the taste of plain water, jazz it up with sliced fruit or mint. Drink more sparkling water if tap water isn’t your jam.
  • Try new fruits and vegetables. Fresh, seasonal produce is one of the best parts of spring! Head out to find what’s in season and try different types of fruits and veggies to get maximum nutrition.
  • Plant your own garden. While we’re thinking about fresh fruits and veggies, remember you can grow your own, nourishing your physical health with pleasant work while creating your own source for nutrient-rich foods. Strawberries, tomatoes and herbs tend to be friendly for beginners. From a few greens in windowsill pots to a full backyard garden, this challenge will reward you from spring into the summer months.
  • Take a walk. Start small with a 20-minute stroll and try to stretch your legs at least three times each week. New Orleans has so many beautiful places to walk. Did you know that City Park has 24 miles of walking, hiking and biking trails? Head outside to take advantage and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Make your spring-cleaning fun. Deep cleaning your house doesn’t have to be boring. Turn on some music and dance your way through dusting, mopping and organizing the house. You’ll get in physical activity and a good clean at the same time.
  • Make a date with a friend. Loneliness and social isolation can be as dangerous for your health in some cases as smoking. If you’ve been hibernating this winter, challenge yourself to expand your horizons and schedule time with your friends and loved ones.
  • Find time for quiet time. Our days can be loud and noisy, so carve out time and space for sitting in silence. Whether you meditate, pray or sit with your thoughts, your health will benefit from the quiet.

Start with this spring recipe

April and May are peak season for asparagus. Fire up the grill for a light meal with seasonal sizzle.


2 cups fresh asparagus, large spears (cut into 1" pieces)

1/2 yellow or red bell pepper (cut into 1/2" pieces)

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 14-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts (drained)

12 ounces fresh or frozen large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (cooked according to package directions)

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional)

3 tablespoons fresh or bottled lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. In a small bowl, add vinaigrette ingredients and whisk; set aside.

2. Prep vegetables per ingredient list.

3. Heat grill and grilling tray.

4. In a large bowl, toss shrimp and vegetables in about 1/3 of the vinaigrette (about 3 tablespoons).

5. Distribute shrimp-vegetable mixture over hot grilling tray.

6. Turning shrimp and vegetables, cook until the shrimp is opaque (about 5 to 6 minutes).

7. Remove from grill and serve over cooked quinoa. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe

Total Calories: 460

Total fat: 16g

Saturated fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 115mg

Sodium: 420mg

Carbohydrates: 51g

Dietary fiber: 7g

Total sugars: 6g

Added sugars included: 0g

Protein: 29g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 200mg

Iron: 6mg

Potassium: 860mg

Stay healthy and well throughout the year by regularly seeing a primary care provider for checkups! Find one Find one at University Medical Center New Orleans.