Spring Clean your Diet!!
Even if you haven’t been indulging in rich, comforting meals all winter, chances are you’ve accumulated more unhealthy foods in your freezer, fridge and cupboard than you realize. To start off the new season on the right foot, a little spring cleaning for your food supply might be in order.
That’s what i have done today:
Declutter Your Freezer
If you throw foods in the freezer and forget about them, it’s time to clear out the old build up. Get rid of all the items with ice crystals forming on the food or the packaging. Anything with freezer burn will taste worse, but it also often means that the nutrients are lost from foods, especially produce.
Keep some uncooked protein, like lean beef and chicken; it’s good for up to nine months once frozen, and can help you skip a midweek trip to the grocery store. Fill the rest of your freezer with bags of frozen berries and peaches (to throw in smoothies, yogurt and hot cereals) and vegetables like peas, spinach and broccoli (to add to soups and increase the nutrition of takeout dishes). Want to keep a few microwavable meals on hand for times you need a quick fix? Look for options with fewer than 400 calories and 400 mg of sodium.
Lighten Up Your Fridge
Even with tons of frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer, you’ll want some fresh varieties as well. Aim for foods that will keep for several days in the fridge, such as apples, oranges, cauliflower and cabbage. Don’t cut up anything or wash produce when you bring it home from the store. To make these items more convenient for packed lunches or snacks, prep them only the night before you’ll be consuming them.
Swap out creamy condiments like salad dressings, mayo and sour cream for mustards, Greek yogurt or olive oil with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. And always have a carton of eggs for quick-cooking protein that goes well with any meal or snack.
Clean Your Cupboard
There’s more to junk food than potato chips. Toss items packed with sugar, sodium and preservatives, such as pretzels and most granola bars and energy bars.
Trade in high-sugar cereals — and keep in mind that even healthy-seeming choices like granola and gluten-free options can fall into this category — for oatmeal flavored with cinnamon and fruit. Load up on whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and wheat pasta; low-sodium beans for a punch of protein and fiber; and cans of fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon to get those omega-3s.
Put Everything In Its Place
To ensure your healthy habits stick, it’s important to put some thought intothe way you store your foods. From the pantry to the fridge, place the nutrient-dense items at eye level, front and center, and put any treats in the back and make sure that everything is in the correct place to stay at its peak freshness.
Stocking your kitchen with nutritious choices is the first step to healthy eating — and arranging your storage areas in a way that encourages you to reach for them ensures the kickoff to a slim new season.
Same goes for Sienna’s foods. All her yogurts, smoothies, fruits, veggies and juices are at her eye level, so she can see and ask to have those as soon as we open the refrigerator. Like this she won’t be tempted to ask us something that she shouldn’t be eating.