Fresh fruits and vegetables abound during the spring, so make room for these nutritional powerhouses. Spring has arrived, and with longer days and warmer weather comes a new crop of fresh produce. ‘Tis the perfect season to “spring clean” your diet, so out with the heavy fall and winter fare and in with springtime fruits and veggies. In-season produce reaps the most nutritional value so here's what to look for on the produce aisle or at the local farmers' market.
Spring-cleaning your diet will not only help you be healthier, but also give you more energy. We asked Toronto-based registered dietitian Lisa Weinberg for her tips on cleaning up your diet this spring.
1. Reduce your meal size
Let's face it -- after a long (and cold) winter we have all eased the winter blues with a few too many nights of comfort foods. "We tend to put on weight during the winter," explains Weinberg. "We eat heavier meals, more food and perhaps we have been sick. It all adds up to extra pounds. But don't think detox -- it's just making healthier choices." When spring hits the outdoors is inviting, we gear up for bikini season and we start to hit the gym more often. By eating smaller meals more often, you will boost your metabolism and help clean up your diet.
2. Eat probiotics
Probiotics (good bacteria in your digestive system) seems to be the buzzword in the health world these days, but they are especially important during the spring. By adding more in the spring, you boost the digestive system and help it to work better.
3. Eat the colours of the rainbow
Spring comes with so many new fresh fruits and veggies in a wide variety of colours. One of the best ways to spring clean your diet is to add spring colours to your meals. Choose from every colour of the rainbow, like fresh berries, melons and leafy greens to mix into your balanced meal and you'll be upping your intake of essential vitamins and loads of antioxidants.
4. Eat your snacks
You should be eating 5 small meals every day including some healthy spring-clean diet snacks such as almonds or walnuts and some fruit -- perfectly portable and yummy. Spring cleaning your diet is really not about not eating, or cutting way back on food -- it's about eating sensibly throughout the day so you're not starving at the end of the day and then you blow it.
5. Get motivated to exercise
If strutting your stuff around the office in summer dresses and skirts isn't enough to make you want to hit the gym more often, think about wearing that itsy-bitsy bikini. When spring rolls around it's the perfect time to exercise more and why waste all that workout time spent if you eat poorly afterwards? If you find you're slow on spring cleaning your diet try making your way to the gym a couple more times a week -- it will motivate you to eat healthier so you're not working out for nothing!