Five Ways to “Spring Clean” Your Diet


Let me start this by saying that I am not qualified in ANY way to be giving nutrition advice to anyone which is why I refrain from a lot of advice posts regarding nutrition/diet of any kind.  I do what works for me and what works for me doesn’t always work for someone else.  

That being said, I wanted to share with you some ways that I have “spring cleaned” my diet a little bit in the past few weeks and how I have benefited from it.  Again, this IS NOT meant to be advice to others but I have had people express interest in hearing what my diet entails or as I prefer to call it, how I fuel. 

Along with starting the ShiftFit program workouts, we were also provided with a nutrition guide so that we could maximize our results.  Upon taking a look at it, I realized that I eat much of what was listed/suggested but I wasn’t exactly doing it “right” which was leading me to eat in a way that I wasn’t properly fueling my body therefore I was hungry ALL THE TIME.  I was also half marathon training which had a little something to do with it too.  

So, like I said, once I took a look at the information that was being provided to us I realized my food intake could use a little rearranging and some modifications/additions.  Here is what I’ve tweaked and found to be beneficial:

5 Ways to "Spring Clean" Your Diet TheFitFoodieMama.com

1. Start the day with protein and healthy fat. 

Skinny Confidential: A Very Veggie Scramble

Probably for the last 5 years, I have started every single day with a piece of gluten free toast and almond butter.  This began when I was pregnant with my daughter and just became a habit.  It was light enough to digest pre-workout and didn’t upset my stomach.  It also wasn’t enough, usually I workout right in the morning then would follow it with a protein shake/smoothie but was still starving an hour later.  

The fix? Start the day with protein and some healthy fat.  It was suggested on the nutrition sheet that 2 eggs and 1/2 an avocado would be the perfect breakfast.  Since I typically workout right in the AM I wasn’t sure I could pull it off but I have found that if I wake up earlier, this breakfast actually keeps me quite full. *Diet has since changed to eliminate avocado due to histamine intolerance. 

If for whatever reason I don’t want to eat that much before I workout, I will fuel for my workout beforehand, follow it with a protein smoothie then refuel with the egg/avocado breakfast about an hour later.  This sounds like a lot of food in a short amount of time but it really isn’t (since I’m replenishing) and keeps me fuller, longer. 

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2. Drink more water.

Drink More Water

This seems like an obvious one but I tend not to drink enough throughout the day which would lead to feeling tired which made me cranky.  Dehydration can also impact your metabolism and can leave you feeling hungry when you’re not.  I would make the mistake of thinking I was hungry mid-afternoon and reach for whatever I’d find that I could justify as healthy.  These were really just empty calories and not needed to fuel my body…which equals a little extra cushion I don’t need. 

Now, I have made a point to step up my water intake, taking in approximately 1/2 my body weight in ounces. To accomplish this, I have a water bottle (pictured above) which lists the amount of ounces it contains and has a dial I can turn to keep track of how many bottles I’ve drank!  

A really good app I’ve used to keep track in the past is called Waterlogged and is definitely worth checking out! :)

3. Scale back on the wine.

Wine for Dinner

I didn’t say I gave it up, just that I am going to scale back a bit.  There was a time not so long ago that I was enjoying a glass with dinner every night.  I would justify it because I was half marathon training but in reality, it’s just not healthy.  Instead of uncorking a bottle every night, I now reserve it for the weekend.  I figure if I am going to be putting in all this hard work building muscle, I shouldn’t ruin it with extra liquid calories.  I need to make room for more water anyway. Ugh. 

4. Meal prep for lunch. 

You might also like:  Time to #MoveItMonday!

Meal Prep Meme

I confessed to someone the other day that I don’t meal prep and they were really surprised! They thought since I was a food blogger I’d have this whole meal prep thing down.  Nope…untrue.  Actually, lunch would usually be whatever was healthy and gluten free that I had laying around my house.  Maybe some eggs? Sweet Potato? Avocado? Leftover dinner? It really just depended on the day and there were some days that it would just be another protein smoothie.

So, last Sunday I made a point to buy a bunch of chicken breasts and some fresh Spring greens and have been making myself a big yummy salad every day for lunch.  I honestly thought it wouldn’t make a difference but I have to say, having a healthy and filling lunch keeps me full and focused and I no longer have that afternoon slump.  

Plus, it is WAY easier to make the chicken ahead on Sunday and throw it into a salad instead of playing the guessing game when the clock strikes noon everyday…DUH! 

5. Adding some color.

Rainbow Chard

 Don’t get me wrong, I love my veggies but I am guilty of not always having enough of it, especially raw veggies (I’m the steam-in-a-bag queen) and root veggies.  Now, I am making a point to purchase fresh, nutrient dense veggies like rainbow chard (pictured above), spinach, carrots, broccoli and peppers.   Also, colorful potatoes like sweet, purple and red potatoes that all contain vitamins, minerals and fiber that is important for converting energy to muscle and improving overall health. 

Aside from those 5 things, I am also just really trying to be more mindful about what I eat.  I never consider myself to be on a “diet” instead, I prefer to think of it as fueling my body with real, whole foods that serve a purpose.  

Let’s chat:

Does Spring make you want to “clean” up your diet too?

Anything you’d add to the list? Tips or tricks to share?

*This post originally appeared on TheFitFoodieMama.com on April of 2015. 


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aelicatese
About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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53 Comments

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply April 21, 2015

those are all great tips! I know if I cut back my wine intake it makes a hug difference but oh, I so enjoy a glass every night with dinner! I bring my lunch every day and that helps as well- I really can't make them ahead of time because I eat a lot of leftovers so that is kind of pre planning :) You are right the more fresh ingredients I eat the better I feel !
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...My pre race run weekend!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Thank you! I know, it is SO HARD to cut back on wine especially now that it is going to be Summer soon which means more parties, weddings, etc.

Jenny
Reply April 21, 2015

LOVE this post! This part? " but I have found that if I wake up earlier, this breakfast actually keeps me quite full. " DEFINITELY the key! And I'm thinking I have to check out this Shift stuff!! :)
Jenny recently posted...21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 15My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Thank you! You should definitely check out ShiftFit- it is intense, I am really loving it so far!

Debbie Rodrigues
Reply April 21, 2015

Drinking water is a must. It is easier when one is exercising, but hydration is key to a healthy life also on rest days.
Great tips, Annmarie. It would be a pleasure to have you share one of your blogs in my Tip Tuesday linkup next week.
Debbie Rodrigues recently posted...Sports Are Good But Be Aware Of The InjuriesMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    You are so right, it is a lot easier to drink when you're active. I would love to participate in the Tip Tuesday link up, just le me know what I have to send you :)

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply April 21, 2015

I think when you are eating more color (and you are getting that color from real food, not skittles), you definitely are improving your diet, full stop. Not only are you getting more variety but also more fiber, nutrients, and expanding your palate!
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...Marathon Training with a Chronic Illness (Living with Crohn’s Disease)My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Totally agree!!! More fresh variety means a more advanced palate! :)

Marcia
Reply April 21, 2015

I see a lot of myself in the ways you describe your eating ie: not enough in the morning, short on water and no meal prep. That said, I did hit up the farmer's market last week for lots of new veggies I haven't had in awhile. I roasted beets last night that were awesome!
Marcia recently posted...CARA 10-Mile Race ReportMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Roasted beets sound amazing right now! I need to put them on the menu for the week :)

Amber
Reply April 21, 2015

Love your "I do what works for me" motto, I am the SAME way :) For example, I eat a very low fat diet (I don't digest fats, they tend to make me bloat/gassy/constipated) so I have it with dinner, instead of starting the day that way :) Tips to add, LEMON WATER :) Eat what makes you feel good and PROTEEEEEINNN :)
Amber recently posted...IBS - Natural Remedy OptionsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Oh yes, lemon water is a great tip! Unfortunately, since I have heart burn (really bad) that doesn't work for me but I am ALL about the Protein! :)

Meredith
Reply April 21, 2015

YES! These are such simple and effective ways to feel better and happy for spring and summer. I'm pretty good about hydration, but could definitely work on more protein in my breakfast, too. I always have protein and fat on weekends -- usually a nice helping of eggs and avocado or guac (guaccccc) or a smoothie with some protein, but during the week I am admittedly awful about breakfast, because it's just so early. I usually just have a banana, or a banana with greek yogurt, which is better I guess.

I'm going to work on better breakfasts and more COLOR! Thanks for the tips!
Meredith recently posted...Prevent Paper Waste (5 Tips for Earth Day)My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Haha, love your emphasis on guaccccc....it seriously rocks! Yeah, surprisingly, breakfast is my favorite meal but I just wasn't making the time for it during the week like I should. My belly and I are much happier now that I am :)

Barrie
Reply April 21, 2015

Love the pizza pic for lunch prep! Hysterical! I definitely am trying to eat more GREEN things! And of course, drinking water- which is hard, so I try to add mint, lemon or have unsweetened seltzer.
Barrie recently posted...Review: Handana and GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    When I found that meme I cracked up and had to include it! :) Adding natural flavors and sweeteners to water is a great idea!!!

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
Reply April 21, 2015

I've been doing eggs and avocado for the past year or so and I love it. really does fuel me through my workouts. Good tips!
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted...Rock Your Core Week 4My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Seriously, eggs and avocado are the BEST combo EVER!

Ivanna
Reply April 21, 2015

Annmarie, These are all great tips. I agree with eating protein in the morning, it keeps you full for hours. For me spring cleaning my diet means cutting back on sugar, cutting out gluten and dairy and drinking more water.
Ivanna recently posted...HOW TO USE A NIKE+ POD ON A NON-NIKE SHOE (EASY DIY TUTORIAL VIDEO)My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Yes, I have pretty much cut out dairy too...it tends to make me feel yucky and bloated!

Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
Reply April 21, 2015

These are some great tips. That pizza picture made me laugh out loud. Sometimes I'm great at meal prep and other times I have nothing at all ready for lunches.
I think adding more colour is a great idea especially heading into spring/summer where there is more variety of vegetables & fruits available.
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted...I Confess…My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Lunches really have always been my biggest struggle. When I worked outside of the house I would just buy a salad but since being home I literally forget to eat until I am too hungry to cook something. No bueno!

Jess
Reply April 21, 2015

Annmarie, I LOVE this post. They're easy tips to follow (although maybe easier said than done), and incorporating one or all of these could be great for anyone! I'm bad about meal planning lunches...in that I don't.
Jess recently posted...Link Love #14 and a smokey bacon pizzetteMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Aw, thanks Jess! I debating posting it since I feel a bit unqualified to speak about it BUT I figured coming from a personal place it was okay. And yeah, lunches have been a huge challenge for me since staying at home. Cooking the chicken ahead of time doesn't take too long and has been tremendously helpful!

Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food
Reply April 21, 2015

These are great tips and all ones that I've been trying to work on since the beginning of the year! I REALLY need to work on my water intake...which I have been trying to do for years! (ha!) I don't know why I have such a hard time with it!
Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food recently posted...Trying to Crush a 10KMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    My water intake always fluctuates...some days I drink all day and other I literally have less than 8 ounces. I don't know why it's such a struggle either, it's not like I hate it or anything :P

Breaking The Momma Mold
Reply April 21, 2015

This is a great article and thanks for sharing your personal finds! I have been on an egg white kick and slowly moving to whole eggs. Yum. My little addition and other obsession has been baby spinach. I stuff it in egg whites, wraps, top with a poached egg , in smoothies ... I'm starting to sound like forest gump ;)

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Oh YES! Baby spinach is the bomb!!! Love it!

Myra
Reply April 21, 2015

Awesome tips!!! Starting your day with fats is amazing!! I'm a huge fan of bulletproof or buttered coffees or I'll have eggs, avo and uncured bacon. So amazing and keeps me full for 4-5 hours. I used to be a big smoothie drinker or I'd do the same as you, toast and almond butter but I was always starving a couple hours later. Healthy fats are where it's at!!

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    I haven't had bulletproof coffee in a long time but now that you mention it, I think I will be making it tomorrow! :D

Mary Long
Reply April 21, 2015

Great tips! I have to have my protein first meal of the day. If I don't, I am snacking by 9AM. For lunch, I started using swiss chard or collard greens in place of my wrap pr sandwich thins. Since they are a thicker leaf, they hold up better then lettuce. Kale, spinach and chard - chopped as my salad greens is a great combo too. One thing that I did to "force" myself to new foods was to go to the store or farmers market ( more fun IMO ), pick something that looks interesting and then commit to building a recipe around that item. I once bought a HUGE daikon and shredded it to make little potato like patties in the frying pan. They turned out great! The one thing I need to work on is drinking more water. I have it pretty well covered at work but the weekends, I struggle to remember to drink up!
Mary Long recently posted...Lately… Running, Yoga and Listening To Your BodyMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    Ooooh daikon sounds so yummy! I need to go to the farmers market once it starts here (not until end of May, I think) they always have great stuff!!! Awesome ideas!

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes
Reply April 21, 2015

Do we really need to scale back on the wine? ;) My go to used to be an english muffin with almond butter and then switched to a ton of protein instead and it made a world of difference!
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted...Improve your Running Game with Champion’s #ALLGAINNOPAIN clothing line!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    I mean, I don't realllly want to...maybe just not EVERY day :P

GiGi Eats
Reply April 21, 2015

Protein + Healthy Fat = MY LIFE!!!! :) Salmon on a bed of SPINACH, mmmmmm! I want that RIGHT NOW!
GiGi Eats recently posted...Wine and Onesies Make The Perfect PairingMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 21, 2015

    OMG salmon and spinach is my FAV!!!!

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply April 21, 2015

you did NOT just tell me to scale back the wine. girrrrrrrrl you cray. also - love that pizza meme haha TRUTH
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...Run for the Parks 4-Miler RecapMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 22, 2015

    It is kind of a cray cray thing to do! :P And the pizza meme was hysterical, when I saw it I was like "yep, perfect!".

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Reply April 22, 2015

Woohoo. I actually do all these things.
I just need #6.
Stop eating binge eating crap.
Ben & Jerry helped me this week. Whoops
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted...That Time I Realized The Boston Marathon Winner and I Were Practically TwinsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 22, 2015

    Oh man. Ben & Jerry are such bullies...always peer pressuring to eat them, haha!

Ariana
Reply April 22, 2015

Sounds like you are making some great modifications! I love the protein & fat breakfast. For about 8 or 9 months I was eating meat and nuts every day for breakfast. I still do a couple of times a week, but I find on days I'm doing heavier weight training my body fairs better with some pre-workout carbs.

Right now I'm conducting a fuelling experiment on myself, so I look forward to sharing the results with everyone in a couple of months ;)
Ariana recently posted...Post-Workout Coffee FrappMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 22, 2015

    I definitely need some pre-workout carbs too, I just ordered some that I can put in a shake with some protein...haven't tried it yet but will see what happens!

Edith Rodriguez
Reply April 22, 2015

Thanks for these tips! I've found that eating protein in the morning gives me the most energy to last for the day. Before I would eat anything quick for breakfast or simply skipped breakfast, not anymore! Now I just need to work on the water. I'm horrible with that.
Edith Rodriguez recently posted...28 Amazing Benefits of Coconut OilMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply April 22, 2015

    The combo of protein and fats really has helped to keep me full- can't believe the difference! Water is always a struggle- some days I'm good other days, not so much.

Kimberly G
Reply March 22, 2016

These are such great tips! I definitley gained some weight over the summer so now I'm trying hard to lose it. I'm getting back into meal planning and trying to incorpoate more protein for breakfast.

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply March 22, 2016

Great tips! I'd say I typically try to get more protein and veggies when I clean up my diet. Eliminate some of the extra carbs and crap :-) Tweeted!

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply March 22, 2016

I haven't had any wine, or any alcohol for that matter for about 6 weeks now and I feel SO much better for it. I wish I had of done it sooner.

Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
Reply March 22, 2016

These are some great tips Ann Marie, scaling back on the wine is one I've been trying to work on lately.

    aelicatese
    Reply March 22, 2016

    Yeah....me too!! :D

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply March 22, 2016

I'm all about drinking more water! So many times, I think I'm hungry, but I really just need some good ol' H2O

    aelicatese
    Reply March 22, 2016

    Yes!! Water is key fo sho!

dixya @ food, pleasure, and health
Reply March 23, 2016

i think adding color and stating my day with protein + fats always helps me :)

Sam @ PancakeWarriors
Reply March 23, 2016

All of these are great tips!! I love the last one, add some color! That has been what I'm preaching lately, I love all the micronutrients you get from colorful food!! This was a great post!

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