Your “Spring Into Healthy Eating” Guide
They say that “summer bodies are made in the winter”…but that also includes Spring. As a time of new beginnings and change, whether or not you’ve kept up with your healthy eating habits during the winter, there is no time like the present to refresh and clean up your diet. Here’s where to begin:
“Spring Clean” Your Diet
First thing is first, you can’t feel full of boundless energy, look ripped or emit a natural glow if you’re tank is filled with junk fuel. Looking honestly at what is no longer serving you and tossing it outright, or trading up for a more nutrient dense version, will no doubt make you feel better as we head into the warmer (bare skinned!) days.
Sugar, in all of it’s forms may taste sweet, but it’s definitely not doing your body any favours. It makes you gain weight, puts you on an energy and emotional roller coaster and is linked to acne, amongst several other inflammatory conditions. It’s straight up the opposite of being a health supportive food so be sure to know all of the different names for sugar read your nutritional labels.
Alcohol, during hibernation season may have added some spice to your social life, but again, isn’t helping you to build a better body. Adding more stress to the liver which is one of the main organs responsible for detoxification can lead to congested and dehydrated skin, imbalanced hormones, lowered energy and weight gain. Because it impairs judgment and is also a depressant, it can seriously sabotage your health goals by making you feel less motivated. If it’s become a habit, consider breaking cold turkey for a while and take note of how much better you feel.
Processed foods provide ease and comfort during the long dark winter days – but they cause inflammation, weight gain and a slew of other problems. Recall that your diet is the most important factor when it comes to body composition (even more critical than exercise!), so it’s time to say goodbye to crappy packaged, processed foods if you want to hit those #summerbodygoals!
Trade Up Your Produce
Trading up your usual veggies with the high antioxidant, colourful seasonal produce like asparagus, green beans, artichokes, peas, spinach, leeks and radishes will give your tastebuds a change while also changing up the nutrients your body is used to receiving.
From an ancestral perspective, “eating with the seasons” is actually a pretty basic concept that our bodies are designed to follow. Seasonal herbs and greens like parsley, dandelion, and mustard, which naturally spring up from the ground after wintertime are naturally designed to stimulate detoxification of the liver, which is the organ naturally aligned with cleansing during the spring season (according to Traditional Chinease Medicine). Finding ways to incorporate these foods into salads, soups and even smoothies will help the body thrive on many levels.
Change How You Eat
There is so much to say about how you can change your diet with the change in seasons, but we’re focusing here on how changing the way interact with food and set up for success.
‘Eating mindfully’ may sound like a buzzy concept, but all it requires is that you take the time to pay attention to what goes into your mouth. What feels good? What feels energizing? What feels draining? What cravings can you honour? What cravings can you ignore? Where are the cravings coming from? Can you create more space around your meals? Can you chew more slowly and enjoy your food more? How often do you really need to eat? Can you go several hours without food (intermittent fasting)? How does this make you feel?
The second thing to note here is more around doing the work to set yourself up for healthy eating success. Just like we spring clean our closets, we can also spend some time spring cleaning out the pantry. Afterall, if you don’t have processed, sugar-laden foods within reach, the likelihood of consuming them tends to go way down. Hot tips: toss out junk food and expired items, use glass jars for bulk items, and store like items with like. The goal here is to focus on how you can eat healthier meals and snacks at home more often.
Simplify Your Meal Prep
Planning and preparing your meals may seem like a daunting task if you aren’t used to it, but it can be relatively simple, and you’ll soon learn that the ROI is very positive. Thinking ahead and eating at home will almost guarantee you’ll save money, reduce portion sizes and have more energy. Meal planning made simple: decide on your main meals for the week, make a list, shop once, spend 60 mins and prepare meals in ‘batches’, chop and wash healthy foods, freeze leftovers and make up freezer smoothie bags (with all of the contents sans liquid). Also, here is one recipe that illustrates how simple cooking at home can be!
One Pan Salmon & Veggies
- 2 salmon filets
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
- 1 bunch of radishes, chopped
- 5 carrots, chopped
- 12 new potatoes, sliced in half
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425’ and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Wash and chop the veggies and place evenly on a pan. Whisk marinade ingredients together and toss half with the salmon and use the remaining amount for the veggies. Set the marinating salmon aside. Add the veggies to the baking tray and place in the oven. After 18 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, stir veggies and add the salmon (skin side down) and bake for another 12 minutes. Enjoy!
So there you have it. These 4 steps, along with taking your daily supplements, will help to get you back on track and feeling great as the warmer days begin. What are your favourite tips to get out of the winter slump? Let us know! Tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. We are #ReflexNation.