Spring Cleaning - Nutrition Edition

NUTRITION TIP THURSDAY

It’s that time of year again - the weather is warming up and spring cleaning is on the mind! Check out these tips to spring clean your eating.  

Focus on Fresh.  It’s the perfect time of year to spend a day at a local farmer’s market and load up on fresh fruits and veggies. Dedicate one day of the week to shop for your fresh food items for the week. This will prevent purchasing on the go snacks and meals.

Clean out the Cupboards.  Clean your kitchen of anything packaged, processed, or with ingredients you can’t pronounce: sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, diet products, sugary and salty snacks, and low-fat. Get it all out. Be sure to look closely at labels on condiments; they are notorious for having hidden sugars like high fructose corn syrup or even artificial sweeteners and trans fats. Replace cereals, noodles and granola bars with nuts, seeds, almond butter and fresh fruit. Anything in your kitchen has the potential to end up in your body, so if it’s not going to make you feel or look awesome, then it doesn’t belong in your cabinets!

Pigment your plate. Add color to your meals by embracing spring’s finest gifts. Load up on antioxidants by eating a rainbow of veggies and fruits. Try a new fruit or veggie every week!

Go green and garden. Nothing can beat home grown food. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or have never planted a seed, spring has sprung and now’s the time to get gardening. The benefits of growing your own food range from knowing where your food is coming from (this means no harmful pesticides!) to unlimited amounts of fresh fruits and veggies right at your doorstep all season long. You may be thinking, “I don’t have room for a garden,” but the truth is even if you live in an apartment, you can become an expert gardener. Start by growing the plants that will give you the biggest benefit for the least amount of work, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, and peppers and herbs like basil or cilantro.

Salads are in season… BUT don’t forget your protein and fat! Salads are a great way to get in your greens, but the biggest mistake I see people making when they eat salad is skimping on protein and healthy fat. No wonder you’re hungry an hour after lunch! Make sure you’re getting your palms width and circumference of protein and a couple tablespoons of healthy fat at MINIMUM—even when you’re eating a salad. And although healthy fat tends to come in bite sizes on salads (cheese, sunflower seeds, etc) you need to be sure you’re getting in a good serving). Make up a new homemade salad dressing each month with olive oil, some herbs from your garden, and lemon juice. Get creative with flavors!