By Katherine Harris, RDN, CDE
Spring is the perfect time to spring clean your kitchen and set yourself up for a healthier diet. The weather is warmer and there are delicious local and seasonal options to try. Spring clean your health with these five rules for healthy eating:
- Rule #1: Keep healthy foods options on hand at home and leave the tempting food choices, such as sweets, at the grocery store. Remember, out of sight; out of mind. If the cookies or chips aren’t there in your home, you won’t eat them.
- Rule #2: Clean out your kitchen. Organize your fridge and pantry for healthier eating by going through and tossing out any expired or processed foods. Replace those items with seasonal vegetables, fruit and other whole food staples.
- Rule #3: Think seasonal. The warmer weather in New York brings new seasonal produce, such as fresh asparagus, radishes, sweet peas, lettuce and fava beans.
- Rule #4: Only buy what you know you can eat in the next week. Think about your schedule: will you be home for your meals? Are you going to need to cook and pack up the food to take with you? Determine what you need and buy accordingly. It will help you to plan ahead and buy specific healthy food options. Additionally, once you’ve purchased your groceries, think “FIFO”; first in, first out. Eat foods that will most likely go bad earlier in the week, such as fresh vegetables and fruit, before you eat any frozen foods.
- Rule #5: Stay hydrated. Our bodies are 60 percent water and it’s vital for the function of our organs. Drink more water by choosing it as your main beverage during and between meals. Add some lemon or lime for variety. Also, think reusable. Carrying a reusable water bottle with you is easier on the environment than disposable plastic bottles—and cheaper in the long run.
Katherine Harris is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator at AdvantageCare Physicians, New York. She provides medical nutrition therapy as well as diabetes self-management education and training for individual patients via virtual visits at the AdvantageCare Physicians Express Duane Street medical office.
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