Months of cold weather usually means months of comfort foods. Transitioning into clean eating isn't easy for everyone so if you are looking to reset your eating habits and don't know where to start, look no further. Spring is the perfect time for a reset so let's get to it
1. Ditch Refined Sugars and Grains
This one is #1 for a reason. Start by getting rid of all refined foods. Ditch sugar cereals, breakfast bars and anything white. Switch to fiber rich whole grains and substitute a vegetable where you would normally eat pasta, potatoes or rice. Try spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for pasta and purred cauliflower and turnip instead of potatoes.
2. Watch Your Oils
Using the wrong cooking oil can sabotage an otherwise healthy dish. Avoid vegetable and seed oils like canola, soybean, safflower, and corn oil. Skip margarine too. All of these are high in trans fats that raise your cholesterol. Only cook with natural oils like olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed ghee or butter. Each of these contains nourishing monounsaturated fats and omega-3s.
3. Cleanse Without The Cleanse
If you are ready to cleanse but not quite ready to commit to a serious one, take a less drastic route and try apple cider vinegar (ACV). Adding one teaspoon of high quality ACV to a small glass of water and drinking it before every meal stimulates your digestive acids. Drinking a tall glass of water with fresh lemon first thing in the morning can also give your system a boost. You should also stay away from non-water beverages. Avoiding caffeinated drinks, sugary drinks and alcohol is a great way to easily detox.
4. Upgrade Your Herbs and Spices
Trading your favourite comfort food for grilled chicken is a step in the right direction but let's face it, it isn't likely sustainable. Jazz up your lean protein, veggies and whole grains with fresh herbs and spices. Rosemary, for example, stimulates the liver and helps clear out toxins. You should also stock up on these great tasting helpers:parsley, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and curry.
5. Eat Bitter Greens
Leafy greens get all the love but don't forget to add some bitter greens as well. Eating arugula, mustard greens, or dandelion, for example, helps promote natural detoxification in the liver. Bitter foods stimulate your taste buds and that helps produce enzymes that aid in proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
6. Bring Your Own Lunch
This spring, resolve to bring your lunch instead of settling for something unhealthy in the name of convenience. Cook your meals so that you have leftovers. Leftover vegetables over grains or greens makes a perfect lunch. It is also important to make sure you get healthy fats and protein at lunch. Keep nuts and seeds on hand so you can add them to salads. Also, it is a good idea to keep canned fish at the office. If you don't have time to make a full lunch, you can just grab a little tuna with your veggie of choice.
7. Snack To Fill The Gaps
No diet is perfect, there will always be nutritional gaps. If you don't have time to eat or prepare a full meal, snack on whole foods like nuts, seeds and fruit. Carry a green power supplement with you at all times so that you at least always have a way to get your fix of nutrient rich super foods.
How do you tidy up your diet? Share your tips in a comment.