Spring Cleaning Your Diet
Living in the Midwest with its range of seasons, I have the annual task of switching my closet from the current sweaters and turtlenecks (surprisingly, black and gray) to the lighter, brighter T-shirts and skirts.
It's also a great time to spring clean your diet by rethinking old eating habits, making healthy food swaps and rethinking food choices.
Start by cutting back on alcohol, added sugars, salt and refined grains (think cakes and cookies). Then you can add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and probiotics.
With our closet, we often want to add a new spring outfit. With our spring diet, think about trying a new fruit or vegetable. Try the new kiwi berry (no fuzz, super sweet, like a big grape) or some roasted chickpeas (Bombay spice or lightly salted). Both are fun and healthy. For healthy fats, try avocados, nuts, eggs, salmon, tuna, olive oil or dark chocolate.
Start your spring clean with a healthy breakfast. A good breakfast fuels your day, and studies show that eating breakfast can help prevent weight gain. A 2017 study in Spain found people who skipped breakfast had more fatty buildup in their arteries, an early sign of heart disease.
If weight loss is one of your spring goals, pull back on portions. Use a smaller plate, share a dinner or save half for tomorrow's lunch. Mindful eating -- taking more time to chew and explore tastes and textures -- can help with weight loss.
Add another bottle of water to your spring routine as well. Water is vital to all organ systems. Swap it in for a soda, jazz it up with lemon or lime or add some fresh mint.
Spring is also a great time to clean out the fridge and pantry. Clean it out with an eye for health. Ditch the chips and try those roasted chickpeas (6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving).
And since it's spring, heat up the grill and cook at home instead of going out. It will save you calories, sodium and money -- and you'll be ready to enjoy the spring weather.
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