In my last post, I shared 4 tips https://pattyrd.com/4-tips-for-spring-cleaning-your-body/ for applying the same principles of spring cleaning you use in your home to your body. I talked about the importance of avoiding fads and quick fixes, enjoying seasonal vegetables and fruits in abundance, eliminating processed sugar, and preparing your own meals as much as possible.
In addition to those four, I’d like to share some key strategies that will help you spring clean your home AND your body at the same time.
Let’s start with the refrigerator
I challenge you to completely clean it out! Remove everything and put it all on your counters or table for inspection. Now ask yourself, “Is this good for me?” Pay particular attention to condiments and sauces that while tasty, may contain a great deal of sodium. Barbecue sauces are notorious for carrying sugar, something most people don’t consider as they are slathering it on their baby back ribs. Do you have a lot of convenience foods, such as pre-packaged lunch meals? If so, take a look at the label and note the fat grams, sodium, and cholesterol hidden inside. Does lunchmeat and American cheese fill your deli drawer? If so, you will want to swap that out with tuna salad, grilled chicken, and vegetarian options that are healthier choices all the way around.
Now move to your pantry
Is it filled with chips, cookies, and crackers? If so, I recommend cleaning it all out and donating it to a food bank or giving it away to friends. Empty calories and simple carbohydrates do not benefit your body in any way, and in fact contribute to a cycle of binging – the more you eat of these foods, the more you crave them. So unless you eat these foods in true moderation, they tend to become trigger foods, and you never want trigger foods in your house. While you are cleaning out items that are filled with sugar and flour, get rid of some other white foods that don’t do the body good – think pastas and rice. Replace these with grains filled with fiber and antioxidants like brown rice, whole-wheat or chickpea pasta, and quinoa.
Finish your clean with your countertop
Did you know that what you see around you every day makes a huge impact on your thoughts and actions? If you have a box of donuts on your countertop, it’s like a flashing sign when hunger strikes – you will reach right for what you see. Oftentimes, this leads to guilt and regret, and, once the sugar hits your system, a craving for another donut. So I recommend you take a hard look at what’s on your countertop and swap out high-calorie foods for foods rich in nutrients. Consider a beautiful bowl of fruit, prominently displayed and easily accessible when you start to feel some hunger pangs. Replace a cookie jar with a selection of herbal teas, and the next time you are looking for “comfort food” in the form of fat and sugar, have an herbal cup of tea sweetened with honey instead.
These changes to your kitchen are guaranteed to affect change in your lifestyle. By cleaning out everything that is bad for your health and replacing it with healthy options, you are signaling to yourself that it’s time to make a change. Spring is the perfect time for cleaning, so sweep out the bad and usher in the good!
Stay healthy, everyone! And please feel free to share this post or to add your own tips in the comments! If you are having a tough time managing your weight or you need help with your own personal meal plan catered to your goals and lifestyle, reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.