SPRING IS HERE!
Well, almost I guess. The spring rains have arrived here in Oregon and the flowers are starting to poke up above the muddy ground and bloom. Crocus flowers are one of my favorites. With spring here and the drive to clean things up, why not start with the diet? It’s a good time of year to ease into weight loss–the pressure of New Year’s Resolutions is come and gone and it’s much easier to focus on change when the prospect of summer is upon us! Spring Clean your diet with some of these tips:
Cut Out The Sugars
If you struggle with sugar like I do, then perhaps taking a break from eating candy and sugary-treats is a good idea. It’s a good idea for me! An easy way to cut out sugar from the diet is to eat natural, whole foods like fruits and vegetables. There’s sugar in so many things–even your salad dressings, ketchup, lots of things you’d never even suspect have sugar. A way to cut out sugar is to substitute fruit when you’re craving something sweet. Often times a sweet, juicy orange or a bowl of blueberries is just what you need for that craving. The other day I had a banana with a little whipped cream on top for dessert. It was 100 calories and totally satisfied my sweet tooth!
Add More Veggies
Read this post about how to get more veggies in your diet. The short version: try adding roasted vegetables to your dinners and healthy green salads to lunches. Even if you do this just a few times a week, you will feel the difference. Spring is also a good time to check out your local Farmer’s Market. I love the local markets here in Portland. It makes me feel good to support local, small farmers and you know their vegetables aren’t super GMO creations.
This is also the time of year that Michael and I start cleaning up our raised garden beds. We get things ready for a spring crop of lettuce and kale. Growing our own kale is fantastic. It’s so healthy for you. And kale chips are pretty tasty, too.
Try Healthier Grains and Starches
Instead of white rice, try brown rice or quinoa. Instead of white potatoes, have a yam or sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are so healthy and much more satisfying to me! Instead of pasta, try spaghetti squash. It really does work as “spaghetti”! What about trying lentils instead of rice or pasta? Lentilles au Vin Blanc is a good one.
How about trying something new? Like giving up bread for a month, or going dairy-free. Even going meatless one day a week can sometimes jump start healthy eating habits. I don’t know about you, but when spring arrives I get an overwhelming desire to IMPROVE. Everything — my diet, clean the house, de-clutter my life…What about trying a new recipe? Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, Southwest Quinoa Salad to name a few.
Spring Clean Your Kitchen
This is the time of year I want to purge all the stuff in my pantry that’s been there forever. If I haven’t eaten it over the winter and I don’t plan on eating it anytime soon, I donate it. I do this about twice a year. Toss the junk food. If it’s not in your house you won’t be tempted!! Trust me, this works! I do so much better with my diet when I don’t have the sweets and trigger foods in my house.
Do you do any Spring Cleaning?