The days of heavy, winter-weather comfort foods are over! Warmer temperatures are finally here, and that means we?re no longer craving that hot pot of chili, but instead are reaching for fresh melons and a cool crisp salad. Spring is a great opportunity to clean up our diets, and get rid of those bad eating habits we adopted over the long winter. Here are some tips to help give your diet a good spring cleaning:
Make an inventory of your meals.
We like to think that we can remember everything we eat each day, but you might be surprised at what you are forgetting. Keeping a log of what you eat after each meal is a good way to track any bad habits, and take notice of important food groups that may be lacking on your plate, such as fruits and vegetables.
De-clutter the kitchen.
This means more than just wiping up spills and removing mystery leftovers from the refrigerator. It?s time to get rid of those high-calorie salad dressings, dips and condiments. Also say goodbye to processed meats such as sausage and hot dogs, as well as juice, sodas and other sugary drinks.
You?ve cleaned the junk out the cupboards and refrigerator shelves, now it?s time to organize. Stock the pantry with some healthy staples including whole-grain cereals and breads, oats, fat-free popcorn, fat-free refried beans, and diced tomatoes. In the freezer, load up on frozen veggies. Many people don?t realize that frozen vegetables are often more nutritious than fresh produce found in the grocery stores. They?re cheaper too.
Freshen up your taste buds:
More and more local farmer?s markets are opening every weekend. This is a great opportunity to stock up on in-season produce. Chefs and nutrition experts agree, foods taste better and more nutritious when you get them in season. There are many websites out there that can help you find out which fruits and vegetables are ripe for picking near where you live.
A smart diet is important to a healthy lifestyle, but don?t forget about exercise! Many of us are jumping to get outside after spending months cooped up on the couch. Now is the time to dust off those sneakers and get outside for a run, or pull out some gloves and start digging in the garden. Winter hibernation is over, and it?s time to get moving!