During the winter months, it is easy to choose heavy and rich foods over healthier options. Less fresh vegetables are available and it is cold outside, so hot and comforting foods sound delicious. As the weather starts to warm up, many of us start to realize that it is time to get our diets back on track in order to feel our best!
When unhealthy foods are in sight, you are much more likely to choose those over good-for-you snacks.
Here are some tips on spring cleaning your diet:
1. STOCK UP ON SPRING PRODUCE
Fresh produce becomes more readily available once the weather starts getting nicer. Foods that are seasonally available in the spring include asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, leeks, peas and apricots. Stock up on these foods in the spring as they are often only available for a short period of time. Check your local farmers market to find the freshest options.
2. CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY
Get rid of unhealthy foods such as chips, cookies and candy. Instead, fill your pantry with nutritious snacks such as nuts, unsweetened dried fruit, string cheese, hummus and whole grain crackers. When unhealthy foods are in sight, you are much more likely to choose those over good-for-you snacks.
3. STAY HYDRATED
In the winter, it can be difficult to want to drink a lot of water due to the cold weather. It is very important to stay hydrated and water is the best beverage choice. Aim for 8 to 10 glasses per day. Staying hydrated will help you to feel your best. If you aren’t the biggest fan of water, have unsweetened tea or sparkling flavored water.
4. LIMIT EATING OUT
Restaurant food is often higher in fat, calories, sodium and sugar than food we make at home. The portion sizes are often 2-4 times of what we should be eating and therefore, it is easy to overeat. Prepare fresh healthy meals at home such as homemade soups, salads, stir-fries and more. Aim to eat out 2 times per week or less.
5. MEAL PLAN
The weekend is a great time to plan meals in advance for the week ahead. It is easy to get too busy during the week to make healthy, homemade meals. Set aside 1-2 hours each weekend to prepare food for the week in advance. Excellent choices include: roasted vegetables, slow cooker chicken, whole grain muffins, cooked beans and tuna salad. By making some of your meals ahead of time, you will save a lot of precious time during the week.