During the winter months, it is easy to choose heavy and rich foods over healthier options. Less fresh vegetables are available and it is cold outside, so hot and comforting foods sound delicious. As the weather starts to warm up, many of us start to realize that it is time to get our diets back on track.
Here are some tips on spring cleaning your diet:
- Stock up on spring produce: Fresh produce becomes more readily available once the weather starts getting nicer. Foods that are seasonally available in the spring include asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, leeks, peas and apricots. Stock up on these foods in the spring as they are often only available for a short period of time. Check your local farmers market to find the freshest options.
- Clean out your pantry: Get rid of unhealthy foods such as chips, cookies and candy. Instead, fill your pantry with nutritious snacks such as nuts, unsweetened dried fruit, nutrition energy bars such as Balance Bars and whole grain crackers. When unhealthy foods are in sight, you are much more likely to choose those over good-for-you snacks.
- Drink tons of water:In the winter, it can be difficult to want to drink a lot of water due to the cold weather. It is very important to stay hydrated and water is the best beverage choice. Aim for 8 to 10 glasses per day. Staying hydrated will help you to feel your best.
- Limit eating out: Restaurant food is often higher in fat, calories, sodium and sugar than food we make at home. The portion sizes are often 2-4 times of what we should be eating and therefore, it is easy to overeat. Prepare fresh healthy meals at home such as salads, grilled chicken, fajitas and more. Aim to eat out 2 times per week or less.
- Plan meals ahead of time: The weekend is a great time to plan meals in advance for the week ahead. It is easy to get too busy during the week to make healthy, homemade meals. Set aside 1-2 hours each weekend to prep food for the week in advance. Excellent choices include: roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, whole grain muffins, cooked beans and tuna salad. By making some of your meals ahead of time, you will save a lot of precious time during the week.
These quick and easy tips will make practicing a healthy lifestyle easier as the weather gets warmer. Happy spring cleaning!
*Amanda Hernandez is a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar®.