Time to spring clean your diet
Spring is here and with warmer weather and longer days, it’s the perfect time of the year to say farewell to winter comfort foods and introduce healthier diet alternatives.
Rosemary Mueller, a registered dietitian with Advocate Medical Group’s Weight Management Program, offers four ways to spring clean your health:
Start with your fridge
Mueller suggests cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer from top to bottom, making sure to toss out old or expired items. This will not only get rid of your expired food, but will also allow more space for nutritious options.
When you start to replenish your supply, ask yourself if the foods will add or detract from your nutrition goals, like weight loss or healthier meals for your family.
“If the foods you are considering restocking don’t meet the criteria you have set, then out they go,” says Mueller.
“Just like the explosion of colors as things come in to bloom, add a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables,” Mueller says.
Find new and exciting ways to incorporate these colorful combinations into your diet, such as starting your day with a fruit and vegetable smoothie.
“A high speed blender or extractor provides the capacity to toss in some flax seed and nuts for added omega-3s and some healthy monounsaturated fats,” she says.
Make the switch
Try to eliminate “white” foods from your diet like white rice, plain white bread and refined cereals.
Instead, opt for brown rice and 100-percent whole grain breads and cereals. Mueller says other healthy options include whole grain pasta, barley and quinoa.
Ramp up your water consumption
“Divide your body weight (in pounds) by two, and try to achieve that number in ounces of water and sugar-free fluids per day, up to a gallon (128 ounces) maximum,” Mueller says. “This hydrates the body and helps with weight management.
“A change of season is a great time to renew, refresh and re-dedicate oneself to improved eating habits. Just making a few small changes in your diet now can reap big health dividends in the long run and assist – along with a focus on fitness – with permanent weight management.”
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