Here’s how we know summer is really right around the corner: You can find fresh corn and watermelon in the grocery store.
Bi-color corn from Florida is newly available in the produce section, along with mini-watermelons, also from Florida, says Safeway spokesman Greg Ten Eyck. Corn counts as a whole grain, and watermelon is low in calories and full of fiber. Both are excellent additions to your diet, especially for those trying to trim down for bathing-suit season without sacrificing nutrition.
But that’s not the only news from the produce aisle. Prices on many vegetables have dropped dramatically, says Ten Eyck, a result of farms’ recent recovery from winter’s deep-freeze conditions. “Row-crop” vegetables in particular are going for as little as half their usual price, he says: Green beans, for instance, will go from about $3 to $1.50 a pound, with similar reductions for several kinds of lettuce (iceberg, romaine and leaf), celery, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and squash. That’s good, as we all should be filling half our plate with vegetables at as many meals as we can.
Here are some recipes to help make use of that bounty.
- Curried Chicken and Cauliflower Stir-Fry
- Green Bean Salad With Feta and Lemon
- Grilled Vegetable Salad
- Tangy Chicken Salad With Celery 3 Ways
Hit the spa
More than 800 spas nationwide, including dozens in the D.C. area, will take part in Spa Week, April 11 to 17. The deal for the week is $50 for a spa treatment valued from $80 to $450.
Kelly Verdi, marketing and public relations manager for Spa Week Media Group, says the event aims to make stress-busting experiences available to people who typically don’t find room for spas in their budgets. “Massages and facials should not be a luxury,” Verdi says. “It’s not just about being pampered. The whole message behind Spa Week is about wellness.”
That makes sense: Studies show that massage therapy, for instance, can reduce physical symptoms of stress such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and also lower people’s perceptions of their own stress and anxiety.
To take part, go to www.SpaWeek.com and enter your state or Zip code. The catch is that you need to provide an e-mail address to access lists of participating spas and the services they’ll offer. If you prefer, you can contact spas directly to find out if they’re taking part. A few local deals I found:
- A 60-minute “Le Grand Classique” facial at Fairmont Health Club and Spa (2401 M St. NW, 202-457-5070).
- A 50-minute custom massage at LifeSpa (1151 Seven Locks Rd., Rockville, 240-314-7022).