Even though spring cleaning usually refers to decluttering and simplifying your home or room, it can also apply to a refresh of your diet and lifestyle!
Check out my top 5 tips for refreshing your diet and healthy lifestyle this spring:
Eat More Whole Grains
Grains are divided into two categories: whole grains and refined grains. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat flour, bulgar, brown rice, and oatmeal. Examples of refined grains include white flour, white bread, and white rice. Whole grains contain the entire kernel of the grain, whereas refined grains have been milled, removing the bran and germ from the grain. By removing these parts, you’re removing the fiber, iron, and B vitamins. Recommended daily values state that at least half of your regular intake of grains should be whole grains.
A simple change to help achieve this goal is to choose brown rice over white rice, wheat bread over white bread, wheat pasta over regular pasta, and oatmeal or wheat cereals over refined sugary cereal. Now is a perfect time to do a spring cleaning of your pantry and replace refined grains with whole grains!
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Fiber
Fiber is such a beneficial and healthy carbohydrate to include in your daily diet. You can increase your intake of fiber by increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating whole pieces of fruit instead of drinking juice will increase your intake of fiber. Also, choosing whole grains over refined will increase your intake of fiber as well. Reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, diverticulosis, and constipation is associated with diets including an adequate amount of fiber. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber daily and males should aim for 38 grams of fiber daily.
Here are some foods high in fiber:
- 1 Cup Black Beans, Canned:12g Fiber
- 1 Medium Avocado: 10g Fiber
- 1 Medium Artichoke, Boiled: 10g Fiber
- 1 Cup Raspberries: 8g Fiber
- 1 Medium Pear: 6g Fiber
- ⅓ Cup Almonds: 6g Fiber
- 1 Medium Apple: 4.4g Fiber
- 1 Cup Oatmeal, Cooked: 4g Fiber
- 1 Slice Whole Wheat Bread: 2g Fiber
Drink more water
Staying hydrated is very important for every cell, organ, and tissue in your body to function correctly. Most healthy individuals require around 6-8, 8oz glasses of water daily (1.5-2L/day); however, so many variable factors play a role in the amount of water your body needs, including gender, diet, kidney function, physical activity level, and so much more. A good indicator of your hydration level is the color of your urine. If your urine is dark and concentrated, it is a good indication that you need more water! Below are some excellent tips to increase your daily intake of water:
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you. A reusable water bottle will help remind you to drink throughout the day and not contribute to regular plastic waste.
- Add fruits or vegetables to your water, like slices of strawberries, cucumbers, lemons, limes, ginger, mint, etc. This can help make it easier and more appetizing to drink more.
- Set a drinking schedule and goals to keep you on track throughout the day. By a certain time of day, you should have finished a certain number of full water bottles.
Eat Less Processed Foods
Taking a minute to clean out your pantry is a great way to do to remove all that excess processed food that has accumulated over the past year. Processed foods are often packed with excess fat, sodium, and sugar. These foods can lead to health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Try replacing your go-to processed foods like potato chips and packaged snacks with fresh, healthy options: such as fresh vegetables, fruits, hummus, salsa, and nuts. Try your best to eat foods that did not come inside a package at the store!
Move Your Body More
Summer is fast approaching and it is not too late to get up, moving, and prepping for your healthiest body. Working out is not only crucial for fitness but can also help boost your mood. Daylight savings has extended the sunlight, so take advantage of that by moving outdoors after work. Outdoor activities can also help increase your Intake of vitamin D! The American Heart Association recommends that adults should exercise at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Below are some examples of how to keep your exercise goals:
- Pick a workout partner to help you stay motivated.
- Set up a work walking challenge to hit 10,000 steps per day.
- Choose a workout activity you enjoy like yoga, dance classes, boxing, Jiu Jitsu, etc.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy throughout the day to help you perform best during your exercise routine.
The best place to begin a Spring cleaning is with your own body! These tips will help your body detoxify naturally and set yourself up to stay on a healthy track into summer. Start by making one healthy choice this Spring, whether that is reaching for water rather than a sugary drink or a vegetable rather than a processed snack. It’s the perfect time to get motivated to live a healthier lifestyle and you deserve it!
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