Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Clean Your Diet!

by Kris Pitcher

The tulips are coming up and spring is on the way! I think I'm safe to take my snow boots and tow rope out of my car too. As the sun comes out and the days are getting longer...the dust bunnies start to come out and I can clearly see it's time to spring clean.

Let's clean it up, shall we?
That goes for our diet too! It's time to spring clean your diet. Get those dust bunnies outta there! Here's my plan for a week of focused cleaning. From there, see how you feel. But if you've been slipping at all, take a week to clean it up.

Ditch the refined carbs. This means, well everything! If it's not in the form mother nature intended, skip it. Look for whole grains and try some new things like barley, quinoa, or get back to basics with beans. Breads, cereals, cookies, crackers etc. out for one week.

See ya later sodium! Any packaged or canned items are loaded with added sodium. And if you eat out, you're over your daily recommended amount in three bite fulls. Watch condiments as well which can be a hidden source of high sodium.

Down with sugar! Read labels for added sugar. You're looking for the obvious, but also be on the lookout for sucrose, lactose, fructose, corn sugar, high fructose corn sugar etc. Agave, honey, and "raw" all still sugar. If you really want to clean out totally - no sorbitol, an alcohol sugar.

And for one week...cover your eyes and peek through your fingers. No soda, diet or regular. I hope you're not drinking regular soda, but for just one week, no diet soda either. It's got a  fair amount of sodium, enough artificial sugar to make your body think you're getting the real thing, and can send your brain craving carbs and sweets. Just one week. Uncover your eyes now.

Spring cleaning your diet will help you focus on eating healthy and giving your body the nutrients it needs. It will give your brain the message that you can do without certain things (things you thought you had to have), while allowing your body to make some progress. Sugar, sodium and refined carbohydrates can cause us to be bloated, and put us in a psychological and physiological cycle of wanting more goodies.

Here's to spring! Happy cleaning!

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