Spring is here, and with the arrival of the new season come thoughts of spring cleaning our closets and getting rid of those heavy sweaters and jackets.
With the longer, lighter days, it’s a perfect time to re-think some of the foods that kept you cozy this winter and may have packed on a few unwanted pounds. Spring clean those unhealthy habits by saying goodbye to heavy winter foods and welcome the seasonal produce that’s available this time of year.
Here are some simple ways to transition into this new season.
If you found yourself eating too much processed food, sugar, and refined carbohydrates this winter, use this simple plate tool to refocus on portion sizes. Instead of counting calories and trying to eliminate foods from your diet, which feels depriving, think about crowding out the bad stuff by adding in more of the good stuff.
This plate tool makes it really simple. Divide your plate in half and fill 50% with colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about eating the rainbow every day to provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fiber. Add lean protein like chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, pork, etc. on 1/4 of the plate, that’s about the size of the palm of your hand, whole grains, like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, on the final 1/4 of the plate, or 1/2 cup. If you avoid grains, add more vegetables to fill the plate.
Add in some healthy fat, like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, or seeds. The right fats keep you full and satisfied and prevents you from grabbing that cookie an hour after a meal.
Add water. Drinking water helps increase energy, flushes out toxins, promotes weight loss, improves skin, regularity, and boosts your immune system. If water isn’t your thing, add fresh fruit like lemon, lime, orange, kiwi, and cucumbers for added flavor or opt for seltzer water. Drink 2 glasses first thing in the morning and 15 minutes prior to meals.
Explore other factors that contribute to your overall health and well-being. While re-examining your portions, take a look at what else might be weighing you down. Is an unhealthy relationship holding you back or dragging you down? Do you need more exercise or a new routine to
re-energize? Or maybe a dance, art, or cooking class to connect with your creative side. Take a look at what else might need change and get inspired to clean up all aspects of your life for optimal health and happiness!
Clean Up The Kitchen
Is your refrigerator and pantry set up for success or sabotaging your best efforts to get healthy? Go through both and start to toss the processed foods or anything with more than 5 ingredients on the label. If you can’t pronounce what’s on the label, your body won’t understand what it’s being fed either. Instead, replace with seasonal produce, whole grains, organic meats, raw nuts, and fermented vegetables, which have probiotics to help regain gut balance.
Prepare by having plenty of pre-cut vegetables available to grab and go, a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, and mason jars filled with raw nuts to leave on the counter. Having healthy options in sight will leave you less tempted to grab the chips and cookies.
Switch Your Produce
Tired of apples, bananas and root vegetables? Take a look at the new produce available at your local farmers market or grocery store. Some things to look for are asparagus, artichokes, apricots, strawberries, and radish. Remember the more variety and color, the more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients!
Strawberries, are delicious and low in calories . They are rich in vitamin C, taste great plain, added to mixed green salad, and are a perfect dessert!
Asparagus is a nutrition powerhouse. They are full of fiber, folate, vitamin K, and iron. Easy to prepare, simply roast with some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and fresh lemon.
Artichokes are packed with a number of vital antioxidants and phytonutrients. It is packed with fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and magnesium!
Apricots are rich in many antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin A. They are packed with fiber and have very few calories. Enjoy with cereal, as a snack, or add to your salads.
Radishes contain many vitamins and minerals. Some of the most important include potassium, vitamin C, folate, fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin B6, and riboflavin.
Now that you’re armed with some simple tools to jump-start spring with healthier habits, get creative with your fruits and vegetables, and check in on rebalancing your life with anything that no longer serves you!
To your health & happiness,