Spring into Wellness: Growing Healthy Habits

Spring is the perfect opportunity to refresh our food choices and embrace healthier habits. As a Dietitian and busy mom, small, tangible day-to-day steps are essential to meeting my nutrition goals and feeling good about the food I eat and feed my family. Like the seasons, changing revamping eating habits with fresh approaches, colourful meals and new flavours is a great way to keep on track with healthier eating all year long.

With the support from Alberta Chicken Producers #partner, I’ve had the pleasure of creating several blogs and recipes with the goal of connecting others to more food joy and food solutions. This month’s blog feature is one of them! 

With Spring in full swing, life is somehow busier. T-ball games, soccer practices and more outdoor adventures are taking up the family calendar. Prioritizing nutrition to help keep that spring in our step, now feels more important than ever. 

Remi’s excited for outdoor soccer season to finally kick-off. The countdown is on!

First Things First

“Let’s root for each other and watch each other grow.”

I would suggest choosing 1 to 3 habits that you can stick to and make it your mission to create a system of strategy and support to make each one a success!

As a personal example, my 2024 spring into wellness habits center around 3 main themes: energizing mornings, optimizing snack time and improving sleep. Here’s a few more details on why each theme is important to me and what I’m doing to make small, measurable improvements in each area. Hopefully this helps inspire your Spring into Wellness journey, too! 

Habit #1: Eat a Protein-Packed, Colourful Breakfast 

My why. Breakfast is often touted as the most important meal of the day and for good reason. Breakfast offers a prime opportunity to fuel our bodies with essential nutrients like lean proteins, filling fibers, and healthy fats. All the building blocks for a healthier heart, gut, and mind. When I have a balanced breakfast, with ample colour and protein, I feel more equipped to take on the day and more “dialed in” on eating well right from the get-go. How about you?

Did you know? Starting your day with high-protein foods can significantly influence self-regulation and appetite control, aiding in healthier choices throughout the day.

This month I’m loving Frittata for breakfast! Frittata is quick, economical, versatile, and an excellent way to incorporate local produce at breakfast time. Plus, frittata is incredibly meal-prep friendly and a great source of high-quality, satisfying protein. 

My “Fresh Start Frittata,” is a dish brimming with spring-vibes. Packed with eggs, asparagus, spring onions, and a sprinkle of feta cheese, this recipe is without a doubt one of the best ways to break-the-fast. Asparagus, in particular, is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, and provides prebiotic fiber for gut health. 

Fresh Start Frittata

Next Steps: Try a “Sunday Kitchen Sink Frittata” to minimize food waste and keep your breakfast exciting and economical. Here are a few of our favourite Frittata combos when leveraging leftovers!

  • Leftover steamed broccoli with cooked black beans, shredded cheddar and salsa on the side.
  • Leftover roasted veggies with feta and dill.
  • Leftover grilled onions and mushrooms with a side salad of arugula and lemon.

Habit #2: Meal Prep a Sensational Snack Every Week

My why. Snack time is an excellent opportunity to fuel your body between meals with nutrients that support a busy, active lifestyle. Incorporating protein into your snacks is essential for health, curbing hunger and sustaining energy levels. As a busy mom, I make it a point to choose one snack a week that I make ahead on Sunday’s just for me. This habit took me a little while to get into a groove with, but it has really paid off in that my afternoon energy level is way up and my pre-supper “hangry” is way down! 

Food for Thought: What are your go-to snacks? How can you improve them? What can you add? What would you snack on most if you were to include both enjoyment and energy?

This month I’m loving lettuce wraps made with a foundation of veggies and lean, easy to prepare Alberta Chicken. Scroll for this month’s feature recipe!  

Spring Chicken Snack Wraps 

Meal-prep friendly, tangy and delicious. These snack wraps are simple to prepare and will have you crushing your week with energy to burn!

BTS at Global Edmonton: Meal-Prepped “Spring Chicken Snack Wraps”


Sesame Dressing:

  • 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce 
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 TBSP freshly minced ginger
  • 2 TBSP tahini 
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • 1/2 head butter lettuce
  • 2, 60z grilled chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red cabbage, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced


  1. In a small mason jar, prepare dressing. Add all dressing ingredients and shake well. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  2. Pack ingredients into large meal-prep container, dividing with parchment paper. 
  3. Assemble lettuce wraps by layering ingredients and adding dressing as needed.
  4. Store in refrigerator and consume within 3-5 days.

Dietitian Tip:

  • Balance this wrap for a more complete meal by adding cooked rice, quinoa, or canned chickpeas.

Next Steps: Be snack savvy by always including protein and prepare snacks in bulk to get ahead. These “Sesame Chicken Snack Wraps” are a testament to the benefits of planning ahead to snack like you mean it. With a satisfying crunch, a boost of protein and a delicious, can’t-get-enough sauce to keep you energized and focused. 

Habit #3: Nourish Restful, Restorative Nights

My why. A good night’s sleep and a balanced diet go hand in hand. Nutrition impacts our sleep quality, affecting our body’s natural rhythms and the production of sleep-regulating hormones. Poor sleep or shortened-sleep are linked to a variety of health challenges, including weight gain. Quality sleep helps the body recover, regulate and recharge in the ways we need most. It is amazing to know that nutrition can support a better night’s sleep. 

Did you know? Incorporating foods high in magnesium, like pumpkin seeds, and choosing foods that naturally contain melatonin or help the body manufacture melatonin are important to setting your body up for a successful night’s sleep. 

I shared this recipe idea on a recent Global Edmonton appearance. Our special “Pillow-Time Parfait” features Greek yogurt, a blend of super seeds, and tart cherries. This combination supports melatonin production, thanks to the natural content in cherries and the calcium and magnesium found in yogurt and seeds. Check it out here!

You Got This!

I hope sharing my priority nutrition habits for springtime help you to reflect and feel inspired to pick 3 healthy habits of your own. Remember, whatever your focus, keep food joyful, local and centered around the benefits that will help you feel your best. 

Feel free to reach out if you have questions and consider sharing your Spring into Wellness plan with a friend. An accountability buddy is one of my favourite ways to stay on task with a new, healthier habit. So, feel free to check in with me in the coming weeks, too. Everyone benefits from a helping hand and encouraging voice in support of joyful nutrition. Dietitians, too! Thanks, everyone!



Emily Mardell is a Registered Dietitian, busy mama of three and proud Alberta foodie. Emily is passionate about quality ingredients and creating delicious, nourishing recipes that bring families together. Follow her on social media @GetJoyfull or GetJoyfull.com for nutrition advice and tips to grow food joy and fill up on family time.

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Alberta Chicken Producers. Special thanks to ACP for their ongoing support to Food Banks Alberta and community food security during the holidays and beyond. From this Dietitian Mama, and local food banks province-wide, thank you farmers!


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