Want more energy, a clearer mind and a body that is ready to tackle the day? Then a spring-cleaning of your diet might be just what you need!
We all know how good it feels this time of year to clean out the winter’s clutter from our homes. A few simple activities can help you refresh your diet and welcome spring with not only a cleaner house, but a healthier body and mind.
Take a look in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Have the comfort foods and snacks taken over more than their fair share of space during the winter months? Unfortunately, these items include a lot of calories, salt, sugar and fat – and little nutritional value. Processed foods produce mucus and congestion in your body which can interfere with normal breathing and digestion. Spring is the time to replace those processed, nutrient- poor foods with fresh, whole, vital foods. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Eat your vegetables (just like your mother always said!). Eating less fatty foods and more leafy greens, asparagus, cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage), avocado, kidney beans, lentils, mushrooms, peas, radishes and sprouts with help your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.
- Try new sources of whole grains. Wheat and wheat products are now eaten – and sometimes over-eaten – around the globe, but it is not the only way for you to get your whole grains. Try out other sources of whole grains such as barley, corn bread and tortillas, rye toast and crisps for example.
- Go easy on the dairy. Yes, your mother might have told you that drinking lots of milk will give you strong bones, but there are other ways to get the protein your body needs. Give soy, rice, or almond milks a try on your cereal tomorrow, and look up a new recipe for white poultry (chicken or turkey), fish, or eggs (in moderation).
- The more fruits the better. Enjoy spring fruits like berries, cherries and dried varieties as you eat less of the oranges and grapefruits that were available in the winter. Fruits (and vegetables!) provide us with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber and should be a big (and tasty) part of your spring diet.
- Get outside and smell the roses. The warmer weather brings longer days and more chances to get outside for a walk or bike ride, or just to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. Exercise and time outdoors are good for your heart, mind, and your sleep as well.
Spring is a great opportunity to refresh your diet and clean out those winter habits. Some of these simple changes to your meals, snacks and activities can go a long way to a healthier, happier spring!