7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet

With the promise of warmer days around the corner, I often like to dedicate one full weekend to “de-winterizing” our house. This usually involves a deep clean of the house so it feels fresh and ready for those long-awaited summer days. Don’t get me wrong, we try to stay on top of cleaning throughout the year, but sometimes it’s necessary to dedicate some time to really getting into those nooks and crannies.

When it comes to food and nutrition, my philosophy is to manage my food choices and diet so it is healthy, sustainable and stress-free throughout the year. However, there is something to be said for taking a moment and reflecting on the last few months to see if there are things that have started slipping or unhealthy patterns that have surfaced while in winter hibernation mode.

Here are 7 easy and effective tips to freshen up your eating pattern.

  1. Clean Your Cupboards. Set aside a few hours to clean out and organize your cupboards and refrigerator. It sounds simple, but science tells us that clutter increases snacking and is related to less than healthful food choices.
  2. Do a quick veggie check in your fridge. Do you see a stalk of limp celery in the corner and a bag of dried out carrots? You’re probably missing out on some veggies during the week. Aim for at leastfour servings daily to help satisfy hunger and reduce cravings. One serving is equal to 1 cup of leafy greens or ½ cup of raw or roasted vegetables.
  3. Portion Size Check.When you prepare your plate make sure that you first fill half of it with vegetables and then add your protein and starch in equal portions to the other half. Remember to use a plate about the size of a Frisbee to help manage portions as well!
  4. Avoid the drive-thru. Try to plan ahead and pack snacks in your car so that if you find yourself getting hungry on the drive home you are prepared. A small bag of almonds or roasted black beans make great car snacks.
  5. Hydrate Well.When it is cold outside we naturally don’t always feel as thirsty and our hydration can start to slip. The average person needs about 2.5 litres or 10 cups of water daily to be functioning at their best. Buy yourself a new water bottle or get in the habit of starting each morning with a large glass of water to get your day going.
  6. Get Cooking. This can be an intimidating one, but it truly is the key to re-vamping your diet. Sign up for cooking classes with a friend or spend some extra time with your grandma on the weekends learning the basics. Homemade foods tend to naturally be lower in calories and sodium and are a great way to get you going on a healthier eating pattern.
  7. Pick 3 Spring Health Goals. Make them specific and outcome-based. It usually helps to write them down in a place you can see them and share them with a friend who can keep you accountable. To start, think about what motivates you to be healthy in the long term and what you can start doing today to get you there.

 

By Barbara Winzeler – Registered Nutritionist