Spring is here…. yay! This is such a great season to check point ourselves from all the post holiday healthy intentions and spring forward our health and wellness even more. Living a healthy lifestyle is a daily journey finding what works for your body, mind, and soul. Do you feel stuck? Or confused? Or frustrated with leading a healthy lifestyle? Everyone is on a different health journey with good intentions in mind and to keep efforts simple here are 4 easy ways to focus healthy intentions and implement daily change for long term healthy habits.
1.) Refresh the Fridge + Pantry
Healthy eating really starts with what we have available in the home plus what we see, so keeping healthy foods front and forward in the kitchen is super important. I love recommending to give the fridge and pantry a good spring cleaning which will provide a blank slate to open room for adding in colorful produce, healthy proteins, grains, and healthy fats! Take stock of processed pantry goods plus old baking goods and refresh with healthy options. An example for a simple healthy swap would be plain white flour for healthier flour options like almond, coconut, whole wheat, or cassava flour. This simple pantry swap will point baking in a healthier direction immediately. Try giving this delicious brownie recipe a whirl made with Cassava flower, they are do gooey and tasty!
Cassava flour is a new flour on the block when it comes to healthier options, made from the whole root of the cassava plant, Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour has a mild flavor and I love the fine texture. This is a great flour for gluten free cooking and baking as well. Cassava flour’s neutral flavor and fine, light texture make it an excellent choice for sweet and savory baked goods. The Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour is gluten free, grain free, nut free Paleo and Whole30 Friendly and Non-GMO Project Verified so it will fit into many dietary plans and efforts. I love all the clean and simple ingredients that the Bob’s Red Mill fours contain so it is definitely a trusted brand I go to personally and recommend trying.
2.)Focus on Fresh
Food naturally high in antioxidants plus fiber will help the body naturally cleanse, promotes healthy digestion, decrease inflammation, fights illness, and provides energy! One way to get started in adding more fresh, less processed foods is to create a mindful plate. Simply divide the plate in half filling half the plate with colorful non starchy vegetables and some fruit, fill a quarter of the plate with lean protein like chicken fish, tempeh, tofu, turkey or lean beef, and the other quarter healthy starch like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or sweet potatoes. This mindful plate exercise will naturally balance the plate and uses good portion control without having to count calories which all helps control our overall wellness.
3.)Focus on Pre+Probiotic Foods
We want to focus on creating a healthy gut since 70-80% of our immune system is in our digestive system and scientifically the gut and brain are very connected which impacts everything from our mood, to weight, immunity, and over all health!
⁃ Prebiotics feed the good bacteria so the good bacteria, Probiotics, can stay healthy and happy. Together they can help really create a healthy gut microbiome and keep our body and mind in balance.
Prebiotic Focus Foods: asparagus, onion, garlic, banana, dandelion greens, barley, greens, oats, leeks, apples
Probiotic Focus Foods: yogurt, kefir, anything fermented like sauerkraut or kimchi or kombucha, miso, tempeh
Try implementing and rotating both prebiotic and probiotic foods in the daily diet so your gut has a steady diet of all the healthy bacteria.
4.)Focus on Hydration
Hydration is crucial to all of our body functions and organs. Everything we drink during the day goes toward our hydration state. Some liquids have a dehydrating effect so consistent hydration with the main focus on water helps our kidneys, liver, and digestive move out toxins in the body, decreasing inflammation. Staying on top of good hydration is also a great weight management tool as we get ready for bathing suit season! Bored with water?
⁃ Jazz up water or sparkling water (my favorite) with fruits/veggies/ herbs, I love making a citrus based water that is so refreshing and detoxifying.
⁃ Eat your water, focus on eating water packed whole foods like melons, cucumbers, berries, greens, tomatoes, celery, oranges, peaches, carrots, bell peppers, grapefruits
⁃ Decrease Dehydrating Beverages like alcoholic beverages,caffeinated, high sugar beverages.
Leading a healthy lifestyle and implementing consistent change is not easy but it does not have to be complicated. Just try taking simple steps each day to move towards healthier choices. Spring cleaning the diet can really help re-set and focus healthy efforts and move the body in a really well direction just in time for summer. Cheers to all the Spring cleaning and healthy habits.
If you would like to view this entire nutrition segment from the Nashville Today Show on News Channel 4, click on the media tab and the segment is available to watch. Thank you again for taking the time to pop over here, hope this helpful to spring forward a healthy way each day.