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Spring Cleaning Begins with the Diet

March 1, 2017

By Joanne Gardner, MS, RDN, LDN

Spring prompts many of us to consider a seasonal clean-eating effort to rewind from the indulgences of the Fall and Winter. These eight steps can help to guide you through your own Spring cleanse:

Start with your pantry

Toss out foods that are stale or have sat untouched for too long. What about discarding some of the high sugar, processed foods that have crept into the house? Unopened foods that are still within their “use by” dates can be donated to a food pantry.

Plan lunches and dinners

Incorporate foods that support your body’s detoxification processes; focus on legumes or lean animal proteins, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, fresh herbs and citrus.

Take a break from caffeine and alcohol

Though our morning cup of coffee and evening glass of wine provide us many benefits (energy, socialization, relaxation), their physiological impacts can lead to nervousness, anxiety, headache and other symptoms.

Start your day with a bowl or a smoothie

Combine high protein and antioxidant rich foods into a smoothie or stir together in a bowl. Give this combination a try:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit including blueberries, unsweetened cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, chopped apple or pear (organic fruits are recommended)
  • ¼ lemon with rind (optional)
  • 2 TBS pumpkin, chia, ground flax and/or hemp seeds
  • 2 TBS chopped walnuts or almonds
  • ¼ avocado
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder ( organic un-denatured whey or plant based, no sugars added.

If you prefer to eat your foods with a spoon: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to hydrate the nuts and seeds or refrigerate overnight.

If you want to make a smoothie: Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add ½ to 1 cup water and blend until smooth, adjusting the water until you reach the desired consistency.

Photo contributed by Jocelyn Weiss

 

Other actions to help the body’s natural cleansing processes include:

Exercise outside in the fresh air

Aim for 30 minutes per day of walking, jogging or cycling to help optimize metabolism, stimulate blood flow and reduce stress.

Sweat with a sauna

Research has shown sweating in a sauna may enhance metabolic processes and support the detoxification of toxic chemicals and metals from the body.

Practice yoga

Making time for a few postures each day can help to reduce stress and stimulate blood flow to your organs.

Get extra rest

Detoxification and elimination processes are hard at work while you sleep.

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