Lose Weight By Spring | Healthy Recipes and Tips to Lose Weight
Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Simple Ways to be Thin by Spring

Rather than focusing on the traditional New Year’s resolutions that are often a distant memory by March, this year, try making a few super simple changes that will provide long lasting benefits. 

Small changes

100 calories per day = 10 lbs. per year. So, if you burn an extra 100 calories or eat 100 calories less each day, by the end of 2011 you'll drop 10 pounds.

Go Bananas! 

Have you heard about the Morning Banana Diet?  It was quite popular in Japan a few years ago. Well, the folks at Dole Nutrition Institute have created a “Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge” to encourage eating two bananas, plus a glass of water, every morning to jump start your metabolism and give you an even greater weight loss impact. Bananas have fiber and resistant starch which help to create bulk and keep you full longer. Check out this two-week menu for more ideas and great recipes.

Rotate Your Plate:  Redesign your plate in 2011 for better nutrition. One half of your lunch and dinner plates should be plant-based. One of the easiest ways to do this is to increase your servings of salad! Not only are salads tasty, but they help you get your recommended five to nine daily servings of fruits and veggies. I love using the Dole Salads because of the taste and texture scale right on the bag. If I want something more bold yet tender I go with their Spring Mix. Need a shot of creativity? Check out these recipes!

Drink it COLD:

To lose almost seven lbs. a year and improve the health of your skin, simply drink eight glasses of COLD water a day! Here’s how it works: When you drink ice water, it’s cold on the way in right? Is it still cold on the way back out? No! It takes energy (calories) to heat that water from ice cold to body temperature—warming eight glasses takes enough energy to burn off almost 70 calories per day.


Carribean Black Bean & Fruit Salad

A “Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge” Recipe from DOLE Bananas

Preparation10 min.



  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons prepared salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 1 large DOLE® Banana Banana, sliced
  • 1 DOLE Oranges , peeled, sliced


  1. Combine beans, salsa, cilantro, onion, orange peel, lime juice and cumin in large bowl. Spoon onto lettuce lined platter. Sprinkle cheese on top of salad, if desired. 
  2. Arrange banana and orange slices alongside salad. Squeeze additional lime juice over bananas.

Per Serving: 124 calories, 2 g fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 324 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein

Winter Wellness in a Bowl: Roasted Pears on Field Greens with Cranberries and Pomegranates

Pears become succulent when roasted and pair perfectly with mild and tender lettuces. They are also a good source of vitamin K. Add in the antioxidant power of pomegranates and the omega 3 of walnuts, and this salad provides the ultimate holiday nutritional payoff.

Serves: 6


  • 3 medium pears, Anjou or Bosc
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 pk. (8 oz.) DOLE® Field Greens Salad
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or 4 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Peel and cut pears in half and core. Slice each in half again lengthwise, into four slices.
  2. Place on parchment paper or a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 20 minutes or until pears are golden and soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Toast walnuts in small sauté pan over medium-low heat until just golden. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. To serve: Place salad blend in bowl. Toss with dressing. Add crumbled feta cheese, toasted walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. Toss well.
  6. Top salad with roasted pear slices.
  • 1

Tags: Healthy Eating , Hydration , Recipes

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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