The snow has finally melted and spring is here. Now is the time we put away our winter clothes, do some spring cleaning around the house, and plant flowers in our yard hoping for no more freezing temperatures.
While you may have been hiding under bulky winter clothes for the past few months, it's time to get out those spring and summer clothes and make sure your diet is in as good of shape as you plan to be this spring.
During the long winter months, the commitment to eating healthy we made at the first of the year tends to dwindle. Now is the time to not only spring clean around your house, but also spring clean your diet. Here are a few tips to get your eating plan as sparkling as your home:
Purge "“ Throw away all that leftover candy from the winter holidays, Valentine's Day, and Easter. You've had plenty of time to enjoy it. Not only will this help clean out your cabinets, but will also make room in your diet for more nutrient-dense foods. But don't take it to work; no one there needs it either!
Replace "“ Now that the candy has been tossed out, replace the candy dish with a large fruit bowl. Load it up with brightly colored spring fruits such as apricots, cherries, grapefruit, kiwis, kumquats, lemons, oranges, and strawberries. Not only will these colors brighten up your kitchen, but these fruits are also loaded in powerful antioxidants to help shake away the winter rust.
Organize "“ Spring cleaning is more than just about throwing away things we no longer need; it's also about getting organized. Plan each of your week's dinners on the weekend so you have a shopping list focused on healthy meals. As the days get longer (and busier), plan on cooking just a couple days per week and freezing meals for those busy weekday evenings. Quit hitting the snooze and get up an extra 15 minutes in the morning to prepare your healthy snacks for the day.
Brighten "“ Now that the long, gray days of winter are fading, it's time to add some color to your days. Add seasonal spring vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, beets, dark-green leafy veggies, peas, radishes, baby carrots, new potatoes, and turnips to your weekly shopping list. Look for recipes centered around these veggies so you boost the nutrient content of your diet without boosting calories.
Make an effort to not only keep your house springtime fresh this time of year, but freshen up your diet by incorporating more nutritious fruits and vegetables. Aim for 10 or more servings of these per day and your diet will be as clean as your home.
Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., CISSN, is a weight loss and fitness expert and doctor of nutrition. He owns eatrightfitness ®, an evidence-based counseling practice focused on weight loss, disease prevention, and sports nutrition.