Springtime is here and while most people are concerned with eliminating the cob webs and dust bunnies that have found their way into the inner sanctum of their homes during winter, here’s how you can spring clean your diet.
Because…let’s face it? For most people the chill in the air brings along sugary baked treats, heavy sauces and a decreased interest in eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Of course, you can argue that fresh produce is less available during the winter months. But, while that was the case in years past, industrialization has made fresh fruits and vegetables available all year round like never before. In addition, eating in season can make meal planning fun, increases the biodiversity of gut flora and is less costly.
Clean Out Your Fridge
Listen, you can’t eat what’s not there. Your home should be your safe haven. All the foods that trip you up, shouldn’t be there. That one food that you can’t stop eating, has no place in your home. It’s like if Superman had kryptonite stored in his kitchen. He wouldn’t dare. The big difference is that kryptonite isn’t additive. Your arch nemesis, that food that you can’t stop eating is.
So rid your fridge of the junk. While you’re at it, clean out the pantry too. I even have 30 pantry staples to stock in your pantry for healthy eating. Read ingredient labels. If sugar, flour, grains, salt, hydrogenated oils are in this first top five ingredients then toss it out.
Back Up on the Sugar
Sugar is a beast. Inflammation, premature aging, cardiovascular disease, excess weight and more. You name it, sugar is probably at least partly to blame. Cane sugar, beet sugar, coconut sugar, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey etc…is all sugar. Try to avoid it in processed foods as much as possible.
Avoid Packaged Foods
It’s the truth. Prepackaged foods are convenient. But, what’s also true is that most times they are also unhealthy. Certainly, there are healthy snack alternatives. By no means can anyone avoid packaged all together.
It’s just difficult living in a modern world. But “buyer beware”, indulging in packages foods can expose you to more than your fair share of added sugar, salt and added preservatives. Think of fresh foods as high octane fuel for a mustang and prepacked convenience foods as low grade generic sludge for a slow moving junk piece of car.
Even if you don’t think that you are driving a mustang right now, don’t you want to? Be the change you want to see.
What type of fuel are you using?
Go Against the Grain
If you want to spring clean your diet like real for real, then you should consider removing grain from your everyday diet or reducing it greatly.
What is grain?
Grain are the seeds of grasses or the seeds of cereal. Grains include wheat, barley, oats, rice, barley, corn, rye and spelt.
It’s not a coincidence that diets like the keto and paleo diet exclude grain. This goes beyond weight loss. If you want to learn more about why removing grain may be beneficial to you, read No Pain No Grain by Peter Osborne. It’ll give you some good background and help you understand why people that follow those diets reap so many health benefits along the way.
By the way, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “If I swap out oatmeal in the mornings, what will I eat?”
Awe…I thought you’d never ask. Try this creamy almond porridge. It’s so creamy and satisfying.
Eat More Raw Foods
Before fire was invented, all the food we ate was raw or uncooked food. There are many benefits to cooking food before eating it. Cooked food tends to be easier to digest, it adds flavor and cooking allows people to avoid the many parasites and diseases that can make us sick.
Even so, eating raw non starchy fruits and vegetables is an optimal component of the human nutrition. In many situations, some enzymes, and phytonutrients are lost during the cooking process. Even when you choose to cook your non starchy fruits and vegetables be sure to not over cook them.
And just so that we’re clear, I’m not talking about the popular trend of going raw vegan. What I’m talking about is incorporating more raw foods as a part of your normal diet no matter how you eat.
Try recipes like this strawberry salad with honey balsamic dressing or even fresh juices like this green juice envy for a big nutritional punch. Even just eating more fresh fruits is a great way to go about it.
While we’re at it, let’s clear up a few things first. Corn is a not a vegetable. Corn is grain. Tomatoes are fruits. Avocados are fruits. Any variation of potatoes (white potatoes, sweet potatoes) are starches. The debate is still on about whether potatoes should be considered vegetables. Many people still consider potatoes vegetables although the starchy content could make them problematic for many. Peppers are fruits.
Subscription box companies are a great way to incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. They send a variety of produce in each shipment so you can stay on task and eat as much fresh produce as possible. The one I use is linked below. Just make sure you use the referral code to save.
So what do you think? Are you ready to spring clean your diet? Spring is a wonderful time of year. Spring cleaning your diet is the first step to spring cleaning your life.
Original March 6, 2021 Updated for content: March 21, 2022
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