Long, grey, cold winters can leave you stuck in a rut craving comfort food. What might make you feel good in winter and fall can leave you feeling heavy and lethargic in the warmer months, though.
Get a jump on summer with these five ways to spring clean your diet.
1. Clear Your Cupboards
If, like me, you turn into a bit of a squirrel in Fall and stock your pantry full to bursting, set aside a few hours and clear out your cupboards. Here’s how:
- Lay the complete contents of your cupboard on the kitchen island, counter, or floor to get a full view of your inventory.
- Check the expiry dates. Create a pile of food that needs to be used up sooner rather than later.
- Create another pile of “cold-weather comfort food”, such as heavy soups, sauces, and cookies.
- To free up space in your cupboards for lighter, summer-friendly fare like quinoa and bulgur, consider donating your “cold-weather comfort food” pile to your local food bank.
2. Embrace Sunday Meal Prep
If cooking a healthy dinner after a long work day is hard for you, try using Sundays for a bit of meal prep. This is as simple as planning a weekly menu and spending an hour or so chopping and bagging fresh vegetables for salads, soups, and stir-fries. This will help you throw together a healthy dinner every weeknight within a matter of minutes.
Meal prep can be done for breakfast too! To avoid picking up a coffee and Danish on the way to work, put together Mason jar smoothies or breakfast bowls for the week. Prepare your dry ingredients, such as PGX Satisfast Vegan Protein, spirulina powder, or another green food powder, in one large jar, then wash, peel, and bag up fresh fruit for each day. Then, every morning you can quickly put together a fresh, protein-and fibre-packed smoothie or healthy breakfast bowl!
3. Learn How to Make Salad Rolls
Salad rolls are easy, versatile, and fun! They’re also a great way to pack in your veggies and protein while keeping your calorie count in check.
- Thinly slice a heap of fresh veggies such as peppers, carrots, cucumber, and jicama and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Whip up a peanut sauce with peanut butter, sesame oil, lemon juice, and a dash of soy sauce and store in a small Mason jar in the refrigerator.
- Soak rice noodles and drain
- Stir-fry choice of protein, such as strips of tofu
- Combine all ingredients onto rice paper, and roll!
4. Grow Your Own Herbs
Growing your own vegetables and fruits is very rewarding, but if it’s not how you want to spend your weekend or evenings, how about investing instead in some simple kitchen herbs? Nurturing herbs such as basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley, encourages us to eat them fresh. This not only adds nutrients to simple salads, soups, pasta, and other dishes, it adds flavour, allowing us to cut down on calorie-laden seasonings and sauces, helping to clean your diet.
5. Get Inspired!
If things have become a little humdrum in your kitchen, consider joining or forming a cookbook group. Choose a different recipe book each month and ask everyone to cook something from it for a group potluck. It’s a great way to sample new dishes, spend time with friends, and pick up a few new culinary skills along the way! If you’re forming your own group, consider choosing a theme that aligns with your health goals, such as whole food plant-based cuisine.
Switching things up for Spring can feel a bit daunting, so cookbook groups or visiting the farmers market are great ways to help clean your diet. Look out for fun, fresh, vibrant fruits and vegetables, such as fiddleheads, sorrel, heirloom tomatoes, fresh cherries and berries, and stock your refrigerator so you can snack with abandon this spring and summer!