Spring is here, which makes us ready to open the windows, organize our closets, shed the old and freshen up for the warm weather ahead. It’s the season to get rid of what no longer brings us joy and welcome in what helps us feel our best – and this includes not only clearing out your dresser full of old t-shirts, but also your food pantry and fridge (and your gut).
What we put in our bodies directly affects how we feel, how we function and how we think. As we enter a new season, it’s the perfect time to take a look at our eating habits for a clean sweep and refreshing jump-start.
Here’s our 5 top tips on spring cleaning your diet:
1. CUT THE ADDED SUGAR
We can't preach this one enough! Our typical snack foods, on-the-go items, and even the yogurt you have in your fridge are loaded with ADDED SUGARS. There’s a big difference between added and natural sugars:
- Added: sucralose, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, stevia, even coconut sugar. These spike your blood sugar levels giving you a surge of sudden energy following by a crash – and can even be stored as fat when there is just too much for us to process. Our body is meant for sustained energy (not sudden spikes) to function its best.
- Natural sugars: it’s simple. Enjoy anything real (apples, strawberries, bananas, whole grains, dark leafy greens). The whole food ingredients contain natural fibers with the natural sugars. When paired with a balance of healthy fats and protein, your body will digest slowly, giving you the energy and sustenance you need.
Bottom line – do a clean sweep of your pantry and fridge and see if you can start cutting out items with added sugar and substituting more natural whole-food based sugars!
2. DRINK MORE WATER
We hear this over and over again: 8 full glasses of water a day. But making this a habit has always been a challenge! The truth is, by drinking more water, you will have less cravings while also staying full longer. Our best tips to make this a habit:
- First thing in the morning, drink 1 full glass of water (even better, warm water with lemon will jump start your gut and digestion).
- Always have a bottle in your bag or at your desk! Preferably one with measurements on the side (like our shaker bottle). By having it on hand and knowing how much you’re drinking from each bottle, it feels much more achievable (and rewarding). Refill it several times a day and enjoy!
- If you don’t love the taste of water, try adding lemon slices, mint leaves, or some fresh fruit for a natural flavor!
3. MARIE KONDO THE PANTRY
Who doesn’t love watching a clutter-clearing home organization? The KonMari methods with Marie Kondo can be applied to your pantry, as well as your closet!
- Take an afternoon to pull everything out, separate into piles (canned foods, snack foods, cooking essentials, fresh items, drinks, etc) and spend some time in each section deciding what “brings you joy” – weed out the items that are taking up space and not keeping you healthy.
- Keeping Tip #1 in mind (cutting out the added sugar). Read those labels and try tossing a few of those snacks to substitute with fresh produce.
- Get a few reusable containers to organize items like rice, beans, pasta, oatmeal, etc.
Pay it forward: don’t just throw any unopened items away – donate to a local food pantry to help those in need.
4. SET UP A FRESH PRODUCE DELIVERY
Half of the battle to eating clean is simply having the healthy choices on hand when you are in need. There are many services now that offer meal-prep kits or fresh produce delivery on a regular basis. Here are some of our favorites:
5. JOIN THE PLASTIC-FREE MOVEMENT
Be conscious of our earth and the footprint you leave. There are many ways that we can cut back on our waste, but here are some of the simplest things you can do that make a major impact on both your pantry space and our long-term health:
- Reusable Water Bottles: our shaker bottle, Soma, S’well are just a few that we love to have on hand.
- Stasher Bags: no more ziplock bags! We are a huge fan of these resuable, multi-use bags! They are great for food storage, travel and are even dishwasher and microwave safe.
- Grocery Totes: always make sure you have a few in your car or take one with you in your bag for the stop into the market on the way home. Not only are you cutting down on plastic bags, but oftentimes grocery stores will give you an extra discount for bringing your own!