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Spring Cleaning – Does your diet need a little attention too?

There are certain times during the year that we tend to take stock and do a little “clean up” of some part of our lives.  Spring is a great time to take a look at how we are eating and do a little “spring cleaning”.    Magazine covers are plastered with fresh salads, light meals and beautiful table settings, farmers markets are opening back up and longer daylight hours mean more time to get outside and enjoy some warmer weather.   With that extra energy and time, it’s the perfect time to make some small changes to your meals. 

Let’s take a look at 5 quick ways to spring clean your meals!

  1. What’s in Season –Lighten up your vegetable choices with spring finds like peppery arugula or watercress, or fresh baby spinach, chopped asparagus, radishes and spring peas.  Add them to your scrambled egg in the morning, mix them into rice or pasta for a quick dinner or just toss them with your salad greens at lunch for some fresh flavor. 
  2. Clean out (clear out the pantry/freezer) – There will still be cool, rainy nights so take stock of your freezer and plan to use that leftover casserole or soup on one of those nights and free up some space.  Pair them with a fresh salad or jazzed up tuna melt .  This is also a great time to take stock of your pantry and plan meals around some of the items that have been taking up space.  If you have things you won’t use consider making a donation to your local food bank. 
  3. Drink up – A recent study at the University of Illinois revealed that that drinking an extra glass of water a day can help slash your calorie intake and reduces the amount of sugar and unhealthy fats you eat.  But did you know water can do more than just that?   Water is the most important nutrient for your body.  It helps to lubricate your joints, keeps your skin moist and healthy, your blood flowing and helps flush toxins out of your body.  So sneak in an extra glass of water while you are working at your desk or carry an insulated water bottle with you in the car and sip on it while you are waiting for the kids practice to end. 
  4. Freshen up – Give your meals a fresh flavor by adding a splash of citrus just before serving.  A squeeze of lemon juice over cooked broccoli, a splash of lime juice on a piece of roasted fish or a light salad dressing with orange juice and olive oil can make your meal feel fresh, light and springy.
  5. Swap it out – A complete overhaul is hard to do!  Instead of trying to completely shift your diet try swapping out one less healthy food or habit for a healthy one and stick with that.  Instead of instantly grabbing a bag of crackers or chips in the afternoon have a piece of fruit or cup of yogurt first.  Swap a cup of tea for a soda for an afternoon pick me up.  When eating out, order a piece of fish in place of a burger.  Simple swaps that you can feel good about!