With the snow gone and the sun reprising its shining role in the summer, you may be tempted to get beach-ready ASAP, whether it’s through a juice cleanse or dedicated detox.
But don’t get hasty – you don’t have to go hardcore to detox your diet. Especially in the springtime, where seasonal and sweet produce is aplenty, giving you ample opportunity to cook light and fresh dishes.
Here’s how you can detox your diet the dietician-approved way.
Forget about packaged foods
Packaged foods are solid in the winter, when the days are short, and convenience becomes a deciding factor to your food choices. Many companies do make healthy options with their packaged foods, too.
Having said that, packaged foods – like cereals, cookies, crackers, and chips – tend to contain far too much sugar, too much salt, and insufficient fiber & nutrients.
Only resort to packaged foods when all of your other options are exhausted. And if you must eat packaged, choose foods with ingredients you recognize, not ones that belong in a science lab.
Besides that, it’s best to buy fresh, whole foods that you can mix, match, and prepare at home.
More smoothies, less sugar
Smoothies can make for a fine, on-the-go breakfast alternative – if the ones in stores were free from sweeteners like agave. All that added nonsense quickly changes a healthy smoothie into the nutritional equivalent of a doughnut.
If you’re ordering a smoothie from a store, try to skip any added sugars, and replace the fruit juice with water.
When you’re making your own at home, include proteins like plant-based powders or nut butter, as well as healthy fats like coconut oil. To truly complete your healthy smoothie, find fiber in ingredients like chia, flax, or some green vegetables!
Fresh salads + protein
It doesn’t get much better than a fresh salad, complete with seasonal produce, in the spring. Utilize popular in-season veggies like zucchini, spring peas, lettuces, and broccoli. Flavour with herbs such as basil, parsley, and mint for an extra kick (plus they’re quite easy to grow yourself).
Salads are also flexible in terms of meal prep – it’s stupidly simple if you create them in jars. That’s right, jars.
Just pour your preferred dressing on the bottom, then start building layers of healthy, hearty ingredients. Start with grains and proteins, then add the more delicate green veggies on top. Then just pop them in the fridge, where you can grab them and go every day.
The protein is essential here, as it’ll help you maintain the feeling of fullness. Wild-caught fish is a fantastic option, as are organic meats and eggs. Devoid of those, any protein will do, from chicken to quinoa.
Skip sweets at night
Limiting carbohydrates, particularly refined ones, helps with blood glucose regulation, and counters the body’s proclivity to store fat overnight.
For anyone with a sweet tooth that really kicks in after dark, opt for pure dark chocolate (bonus if you can restrain yourself to about an ounce, or one-third of your average chocolate bar).
Dietary detoxes encourage a shift in how we approach food and eating. When you condition your body to enjoy clean, fresh, non-processed foods, subconscious healthy choices will follow.