Spring Cleaning for Better Health

Spring has finally sprung. The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, and sunshine lingers a few more minutes every day. It’s time to shed our winter coats. Spring is a time of renewal, what better time to feel a sense of revitalization than to do a little spring cleaning. Let’s start by cleaning up old habits. Still have those bottles of soda covering the floor of your car? What about the boxes of cookies and bags of chips collecting dust in the pantry? Don’t forget about the frozen hamburgers and hot dogs suffering from freezer burn. Ask yourself, are the foods in my house sources of high calories, high fat, and/or high sugar? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to let go. Now I know what you’re thinking, “but Twinkies never go bad, they could survive the apocalypse. If the end of the world happens I might need them one day.” Keeping unhealthy convenience foods and beverages around gives us the opportunity to one day give in to temptations and make poor food choices. Making positive changes to one’s diet is important to maintaining a healthy weight and reducing your risk of chronic diseases. Following healthy eating habits includes maintaining good hydration and consuming nutrient dense foods, or foods that are relatively low calorie and packed with vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

In with the new, out with the old — use these FRESH tips to keep you on track:

  1. Find – Locate and consolidate all unhealthy foods.
  2. Remove – Check expiration dates, and if it’s past the expiration date, then it’s time to trash it.
  3. Exchange – Move remaining foods with expiration dates coming up sooner to the front while you move newer/fresher foods to the back. (first in, first out)
  4. Stock – Fill your space with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, foods high in unsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins and mineral supplements.
  5. Help – Donate any unopened, unexpired foods to food banks, churches, etc.

Set your environment up for success! Not only are these healthy eating habits going to make you look, feel, and perform better, but chances are your healthy eating habits will lead others to question your newfound nutrition choices. Something as simple as removing junk food can provide an opportunity to be a role model and inspire your friends and family to make healthy choices of their own. Remember all flowers and trees start as seeds. Plant the seed today and watch the positivity grow.

So this spring, let’s opt for cleaner pantries, a cleaner diet, and cleaner living.