Spring is finally here! Warm weather, sunshine and flowers in full bloom. It’s a time of renewal and rebirth, and an opportunity to shake off the stagnation
that has built up during the winter months.
Intuitively, this is done with spring cleaning our homes. But what about our bodies? During the cold, winter months, you may have found yourself being less physically active and not eating as well.
Spring gives us a very much needed reboot. An opportunity to shake things up, freshening up both lifestyle and nutrition. Take your spring cleaning to a new level and spruce up your diet, your health and your home to feel the rejuvenating energy of Spring- the season for fresh, new beginnings.
Out with the old
So long to the heavy meals, junk food and unhealthy sweets, none of which provides any real nutritional value.
- Cut out the junk food- excess calories, trans fat, artificial sweeteners and unnatural ingredients have no place in a healthy diet
- Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store which has the more nutritious foods.
- Donate unopened items that you want to get rid of (if they are nonperishable and within the expiration date).
- Limit or stop going through drive thrus and ordering out. Plan your meals ahead and keep snacks on hand for when the cravings hit. It’s good for your wallet and your health!
- In addition to the junk food items, toss the soda and sugary drinks. They are full of unnecessary amounts of sugar and empty calories.
- Too much coffee? I know, me too. Dial it back and sip tea instead.
If you don’t buy the unhealthy items or have them sitting in your pantry, then you are one step closer to making healthier food choices. Replace the junk food with whole foods that will give you energy and help you to feel amazing!
In with the new
Taking away the foods that harm your health is a huge step, so pat yourself on the back! Now, it’s time to add in the good stuff.
- Lighter meals and fresh foods are a great place to start.
- Have a plan- As the saying goes, plan to prepare or prepare to fail. Have a weekly plan for your meals, snacks and the grocery store.
- Stock up on wholesome foods, fresh (or frozen) produce and other healthy food items.
- If you buy prepackaged or prepared food items, check the ingredient list, as many prepared health food items have hidden ingredients that are not so healthy.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables- aim to eat all the colors in the rainbow to get the most variety and nutritional benefits
- Choose lean proteins, healthy fats and healthful snacks
- Swap out the unhealthy items with healthier alternatives.
- Experiment and find new favorites that fit into your healthy diet plan. Doing so will make your new eating habits sustainable and easier to stick too.
When you feed your body what it needs, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll begin to feel. One step at a time, one day at a time, good food choices lead you down the yellow brick road of health.
Food prep like a boss
When you’re short on time (like almost everyone in this fast-paced world we live in) nothing is worse than not having anything quick to throw together for a meal or snack. That’s where food prepping comes in.
- As soon as you buy your produce, wash, chop and store it in airtight containers to make it that much easier for you to grab and go.
- Use the crock pot or instant pot instead of going through the drive through or ordering out. The crock pot is so easy to throw together a delicious meal in the morning for it to be ready by the time you’re home from work. The instant pot says it all in the name- instant meals in less than one hour. Healthy meals in a pinch? You wouldn’t know because the flavor leaves no clues!
Check your dinnerware and food storage
you store your leftovers in plastic? What about water bottles? If you use plastic containers and water bottles, make sure they are BPA free. Toss them if not and buy either BPA free plastic storage or glass. Glass containers, though slightly more expensive than plastic, are better for you and last much longer so you really get your money’s worth. Shop for deals and have your glass storage containers last for years to come, benefitting both your health and the planet.
Springtime often means an abundance of locally grown produce, depending on where you live. Shopping local not only supports local agriculture, but it’s better on your wallet too. In a time where inflation is at an all-time high, raising the prices of food and produce, shop around to find the best deals, use coupons and buy local to make sure more of your money stays in your wallet.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Your body is running insane amounts of cellular processes every second of every day, nonstop. It never takes a break. Hydrating properly is so essential that the human body can’t last long without water.
According to the U.S. Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, women need approximately 11.5 cups (2.7L) per day and men need 15.5 cups (3.7 L). Many different factors go into determining your optimal hydration levels, including medical diagnosis, medications, activity levels, environment and lifestyle. Find out what your optimal water intake is and make it a priority to hit that every day. Hydration is a cornerstone of health and is often entirely under your control. As far as other beverages, limit or avoid sugar laden juices and sodas. Instead, flavor with fresh fruits or vegetables. Drink up, your health depends on that!
Move and shake off the winter blues
Winter is over, and warmer weather is here to stay. No more hibernating or blaming weather for lack of activity. Get outside and start being active again. Like everything in spring, new life is sprouting. Growing. And so must you. Get back into a routine of being physically active and exercising if you got away from that in the winter months. Feel the difference in your mood and your energy levels when you get moving and exercising! Move that stagnant, stuck energy. Your energy flows differently when you do, and so will life.
New season, fresh you
While you’re busy spring cleaning your house, don’t neglect your health. It’s important to take inventory of all aspects of your life and see what’s old, what can go, and what needs some polishing and tune up. Clean up your diet and lifestyle so you can enjoy the new season to the fullest, with benefits lasting well into the future.