The days are longer, the weather is warmer and spring is in the air. This time of year, many people feel motivated to clean up their diet and make other healthy lifestyle changes. Get ready for your spring diet overhaul and set yourself up for success!
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Healthy Kitchen Tips:
Freezer: Empty out freezer-burned items, frozen pastries and ice cream. With the extra room, add frozen chicken, beef and pork. These can make it easy to put a meal together on a busy night. Although fresh fruits and vegetables are always the best, frozen options can be great for quick meals. Frozen veggies make a great side dish but you can also pair them with frozen chicken for a quick stir fry. Frozen fruit can easily be added to a smoothie for extra nutrients.
Pantry: White bread, white rice and boxed macaroni and cheese all need to go! If this leaves your pantry bare, stock up on whole grain pasta and bread. Swap white rice for brown rice or quinoa. Dump the sugary breakfast cereal for whole grain bran flakes and oatmeal. Canned or dried beans can make a great side dish. Natural peanut butter is a great protein source.
Snack Drawer: This is easy. Chips, cookies and cakes can all be replaced with healthier options. You’ll feel better and have more energy with the appropriate snack choices. It’s pretty easy to empty this drawer, because for most, all of it goes. Snacks are an important part of anyone’s diet. Fill your snack drawer with whole grain crackers, popcorn, nuts and protein bars.
Fridge: Fill your fridge with the essentials. Low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat cheese and Greek yogurt are great protein sources. Next, visit the produce section and fill your crisper with fresh fruits and veggies. Feeling lazy? Go ahead and buy the pre-chopped choices to make things easier on yourself.
Container Shelf: Stock up on plastic containers for storage in all sizes. Saving a portion of last night’s dinner can give you a quick lunch. Storing cut-up fruits and veggies can simplify your morning. Plan on picking up a few new containers so you have a variety of sizes for easy storage.
Cook Book Shelf: Are you in a winter recipe rut? Try new recipes this spring to spice things up in the kitchen. Make a pact to try one new recipe each week. Fresh salads, grilled meats and vegetable dishes can add variety to your dull winter meal plan.
Placement is Everything
When you place your foods in the correct place, you know where they are, and healthy eating can be much easier. Make sure your food items are organized and easy to find. When organizing your shelves, make it easy to find nutritious options. Put the healthiest foods at eye level so they’re easy to grab, making you more likely to pick the healthier choice. Place healthy foods on the counter. A bowl of fruit on the kitchen table can encourage you to eat healthy foods every time you walk in the door.
At the End of the Day…
Sweep the cobwebs away and let’s go! Start with one cupboard at a time and begin to add more nutritious food that your body needs. Make this spring all about you as you invest in a healthier kitchen and lifestyle.