4 Easy Ways to Eat Cleanon
You’ve likely spring cleaned your house before, but have you ever done a spring clean on your diet?
While it may sound strange at first, it’s the perfect way to get rid of the junk that may have crept into your diet during the winter hibernation months.
A quick check-in on your diet may also help you keep your New Year’s resolution going all year long.
So as the weather gets warmer, use this fresh start to refresh your meal plans and clean up your eating habits.
The four tips we’re sharing will help you look and feel your best just in time for all your social gatherings, outdoor activities, and summer fun.
How to Spring Clean Up Your Diet
Here are a few ways to clear out the dust and cobwebs in your diet to welcome the bright, healthy nutrition of the spring and summer seasons:
1. Tackle the Junk First
One of the best things you can do for your body (and your brain!) is to stick to a diet bursting with whole foods. Lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds will all help you reach your nutritional goals and keep you feeling full.
So you may need to scan your pantry and eliminate any foods that contain:
- Processed ingredients. Can’t pronounce the ingredients on that food label? That’s a good sign the “food” in question is more likely junk than good-for-you nutrition.
If you’re going to buy anything packaged, make sure there aren’t too many ingredients (try to keep it under 10). And see that they come from whole food sources closest to their natural state (i.e., with as little processing as possible).
- Excess sugar, artificial sweeteners, and harmful veggie oils. Fillers like sugar and unhealthy fat sources bulk up processed food cheaply. But they come at a serious cost to your health.
Foods with excess sugar (even natural sugar from fruit) can spike your blood glucose levels and lead to a sugar crash, or worse, weight gain. And artificial sweeteners may make you crave more sugary foods.
Then there’s harmful, refined veggie oils. These are potentially cancer-causing and have been connected with higher inflammation and cholesterol levels, increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, fat storage, and even type 2 diabetes.
So when it comes to healthy fats, coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil are your best friends.
- Preservatives and other chemicals. These ingredients will wreck your health goals, mess with your hormones, zap your energy levels, and more.
That’s why your first spring cleaning step should be to toss out all the junk foods lurking in your house — even the ones masquerading as “healthy.”
Your granola, fruit snacks, beef jerky, and low-quality protein bars may all contain these unsavory ingredients. And they deserve no place in your clean pantry.
2. Swap Sweet Drinks for These Better-for-You Alternatives
Sugary beverages add unnecessary calories to your day. They’ll also jack up your blood sugar levels, which can lead to energy crashes, weight gain, and more.
Fortunately, there are plenty of refreshing drinks in the sea that pack flavor without the sugar dump, such as:
- Unsweet tea with fresh mint and lemon
- Caffeine-free hibiscus tea
- Iced coffee with a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk
- Cucumber and mint water
Rotate these drinks throughout your week, and you’ll keep your body hydrated in the tastiest (and healthiest) way possible.
3. Add More Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
Another great way to spring clean your diet is to add more seasonal produce to your meals.
In-season produce is at its peak when it comes to flavor and nutrition. Plus, the price tag for these healthy goodies is often lower since they’re in abundance.
So you can enjoy your nutritious meals more and put some money back in your pocket. #Doublewin
Here’s a helpful list of produce that’s in-season during the spring:
Seasonal produce also gives you the opportunity to explore new flavors and choices you don’t usually gravitate to or make. So try adding one new fruit or veggie to your meal plan each week to keep your diet exciting.
4. Cook More Often at Home
Cooking more meals at home is a surefire way to improve your diet (and your health) for a few reasons.
First, you can choose high-quality ingredients, omit the junky vegetable oils and other harmful additives many takeout restaurants use, and save money.
You’ll also score the satisfaction of creating something fresh for yourself or your family from start to finish. You’ll even be up and active while you’re cooking, which can help if you’re someone who sits at a desk all day for work.
Finally, cooking engages all your senses. So rather than mindlessly eating something pre-made, you’ll be present during the entire cooking and eating experience. You’ll enjoy your food more, and so will your kids if you get them in the kitchen too.
We can’t stress the power of cooking your own meals enough — it’s a fantastic tool to help you reach your health and wellness goals sooner.
Now It’s Time To Spring Clean Up Your Diet!
You now have four excellent starting places to spring clean up your diet.
We recommend scouting your pantry to clear out all the dusty, processed health foods that may be lurking in the shadows first. Then make a list of the better-for-you alternatives you want to restock with (such as the best protein bars, fresh, in-season produce, etc.).
Whether you decide to work on one or two strategies or all four, you’ll be grateful you did. Once that summertime fun starts, you’ll be looking and feeling your best!
Psst! Check out this guide to learn more ways you can spring into better health next!
Author: Devan Ciccarelli
Instagram/Facebook Group: @behappynothangry/Be Happy Not Hangry