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:
1. Start the day with protein and healthy fat.
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.
2. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.