Finally, the long awaited spring is here. According to the calendar anyway! For some of us, we are still waiting for the warmer weather and an end to the snow and cold (I know I am…). The end of winter brings a new energy, as everything around us renews itself. And, it’s the perfect time for us to think about our own renewal as well. And what better way to start that renewal than through our diet?
Spring is about moving away from heavy hearty meals to lighter, refreshing dishes. This doesn’t mean depriving your body of food and nutrients, even if you have over indulged this winter. With a few simple changes to help your body embrace the change in season, you can renew (or reset!) your eating habits, helping you to reset your energy levels as well. With more energy comes an ability to be more active. And after spending so much time indoors during winter, we look forward to being exactly that.
It can be difficult to completely change our eating habits, so breaking it down into smaller pieces, and starting with just a few days can make it easier. Often after seeing the positive impact changes such as these have on our lives, it becomes easier to make the time for them.
The Basics of a ReSet Meal Plan
Well, the first thing that you can do when you start a renew diet is to go through your kitchen and remove anything that can disrupt your “re-set” – cookies, chips, any “refined” baking supplies (refined sugar, refined flour), soda, instant foods. This can be a tough step, but an important one: For me, I know myself too well, and after a long day of work, I’m going to be able to “justify” resorting to eating these foods. And I’m going to feel awful afterwards.
Next, stock up on healthy “instant” foods – ideas include fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbal teas, and my favourite: ingredients for protein smoothies. This way, when you do return home from a long day at work, you can still save yourself from having to prepare a long meal. It is a good idea to also have ingredients for making salads, so that you can add some variety to your “instant” foods. Be sure to include good sources of protein (raw nuts, homemade hummus, tempeh can be “instant” too if making a quick scrambled tempeh recipe or adding to a salad). Try to eat organic as much as possible, to reduce the toxic load of pesticides, and other chemicals.
A third step would be the creation of a meal plan. Be sure to include healthy versions of your comfort foods so that you are not bored following the plan. And as you are finding your recipes, build a grocery list for yourself to make it easier to shop. And be realistic – if you won’t have time on Tuesdays because you are playing chauffeur for your child’s sports team, don’t expect yourself to cook for an hour that night. Meal plans can take time to create, so your meal plan can be rotated, in other words, used on a repeated basis. Click here for a sample three-day meal plan. Keep the plan posted somewhere easily accessible, so you have it with you at the grocery store, in the kitchen when you are preparing food, etc. Saving a copy to your smart phone can help with this.
And while you are focussing on eating clean food, help your body to get clean by drinking lots of pure fresh water – try for at least 8 glasses each day. Try to get ample sleep too – 7 to 9 hours whenever possible.
As you focus on your renewed way of eating, find rewards for yourself. Making changes like these takes effort – and you should feel proud that you are making that effort. Be sure to find some (non-junk food!) ways of rewarding yourself – a long walk, trying a new herbal tea, or treating yourself to the latest novel by your favourite author – and allowing yourself the time to read it J.
In just a short time, you will feel better as a result of this renewed way of eating. And that will be the greatest reward!