Transform Your Diet to Reflect Seasonal Foods, More Regular Eating
Thankfully spring is well and truly here. I love this time of year, it's so fresh and vibrant. It makes me want to throw off the winter blues, and get outdoors more!
Perhaps it's time for you to reassess your health goals. Maybe you started the year with great intentions to get healthy, but have found yourself slacking off as the months went past.
Well, now is the perfect time to get back into it. And, the brighter evenings give you a good excuse to get outside. So, here are a few ideas for a healthier lifestyle:
Spring Clean Your Diet...
1. Eat with the seasons
At this time of year there are lots of lovely leafy vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, fresh parsley, and basil available. If you base your meals around these, you'll give yourself a really healthy start.
Also keep an eye out for:
- Collard greens
- English peas
- Green beans
- Spring baby lettuce
- Vidalia onions
Why not experiment with those fruits and vegetables which you haven't tried in a while, or revamp your old favorites:
- Cabbage with garlic
- Peas with mint
- Balsamic vinegar with leeks
- Stir-fried kale, chives, and finely chopped red chilli
Including plenty of variety and color is the key to a healthy spring diet.
2. Focus on eating regularly
Eating regular meals is really important for keeping your energy levels up, and also to help prevent unhealthy bing eating.
Why not begin your day with a simple breakfast, such as fresh fruit and natural yogurt? For lunch you could have a salmon salad open sandwich. And, for your evening meal, stir-fried veggies with marinaded chicken.
Obviously, that is just one days menu plan, but as you can see it doesn't have to be complicated to be healthy.
3. Clear out your cupboards
Spring cleaning your cupboards will give you the opportunity to get rid of unhealthy foods, and make it easier to resist temptation.
If you don't already use a menu plan, spring is a great time to start afresh. Or, if you are already using menu planning, go through your weekly shopping list and cross off less healthy foods, then replace with some healthier options.
4. Notice what you are eating
That may sound a little strange, but very often we don't stop to consider the overall balance of our meals. That's why making a note all your meals, snacks and drinks for a couple of days is such a great idea. You may be surprised by some of the choices you make on a regular basis.
Also, knowing what you are eating and when, can help you work out what influences your food choices. For example stress, certain people, or places, etc. That way you can avoid situations if you need to, or plan how to overcome the issue in the future.
Spring Clean Your Lifestyle...
5. Move more
When I think of spring cleaning my lifestyle, things like detoxing from TV come to mind. If you watch too much TV, why not replace some of that idle time with a nice walk, or catch up with a friend? Better still, you could combine the two.
Getting some exercise will improve your energy levels, and you'll also feel fitter, which means you'll have more energy to cook and eat well.
As always, you should start off by choosing an activity you really enjoy doing. Something that will slot into your daily life easily is best. You can then build up into a regular routine from there.
6. Commit to change
Have you tried making yourself "accountable" in the past? I'm a huge fan of this, and really do think it works wonders.
Choose a friend or family member who you can trust to be supportive of your efforts, tell them about your goals, and ask them to help you stick with your plan.
That way, your goals and aspirations will become more than just a few wishes in your head.
Spring is the perfect time of year to give your lifestyle a healthy kick — will you begin today?
Melanie Thomassian is a registered dietitian, and author of Dietriffic.com. Get more healthy eating ideas by visiting her website.