Spring clean your diet
Spring is the perfect time to spruce up your diet to help you feel more energetic and healthy. Spring cleaning your diet doesn't have to mean you have to turn to cleansing teas or fasting to detox your body.
Going back to basics with simple, unprocessed food, taking advantage of nutrient-packed seasonal fresh produce, drinking more water, cutting back on alcohol and focusing on what you're eating and drinking can help energize you to take charge of your health.
Nutrition consultant Shannon Crocker has the following tips to help you revitalize your diet:
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Skip packaged meals and cook basic, simple meals using fresh ingredients. Basic whole foods offer more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for relatively fewer calories. It might take a little planning ahead, but by making your own meals, you save money as well as extra calories, fat, sodium and sugar that often accompany processed meals.
Don't forget about your drinks. Skip sweetened beverages. Keep milk, sparkling water and pitchers of plain water front and centre in your fridge. Add lemon, lime or orange slices - or mint leaves to water for a refreshing drink.
Think light. Think green.
Puréed asparagus soup is a sublime yet simple spring soup. Sautée asparagus with a little garlic and shallot, add broth, simmer until tender. Purée and season to your taste.
Fill half your plate with veggies, ¼ with grain and ¼ with lean meats, fish, poultry or meat alternatives like legumes.
Select a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits. Enjoy salads, stir-fries and smoothies made with dark leafy greens. Make fruit or veggies your snack of choice.
Check out the frozen section of your grocery store for healthy options: frozen kale, edamame, spinach, berries. These can often be less expensive than fresh, especially off-season.
At the butcher counter, choose cuts of fresh, lean, unseasoned meats and poultry instead of processed deli slices. Add your own seasoning with fresh herbs.
Plan for healthy snack foods and make sure they're front and centre in your fridge and cupboards. Stock up on fresh snacks, such as hard-boiled eggs, cut veggies and fruit, bean dips and plain yogurt. Keep the cupboards packed with healthier snacks like raw nuts, seeds and plain, ready-to-pop popcorn.
How are you spring cleaning your diet? We'd like to hear from you. Post your comments below.
When you plan healthy meals, do you plan them with others? Register the meals you share at LiveRightNow.ca and help feed a Canadian family in need.