It’s almost fall…. Which means it’s time to clean out your wardrobe, change up your exercise routine, and clean up your diet! With the changes of season, it the perfect time to make these changes to a healthier, more efficient you. This fall season is time to eat a little cleaner, add more greens, and subtract some those bad foods from your diet. And we have the perfect plan to inspire you! Maybe you want to increase your energy levels, brighten your mood, feel less tired, or add in some seasonal produce. Regardless of your goal, there is a simple solution to cleaning your diet. According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N., “A one-week reboot plan filled with delicious, health foods is just what you need to get motivated to eat well long-term,” is what can help jump start into cleaning your diet. This reboot means eliminating foods that are weighing you down, like those dense-carbohydrates (like bagels), high-fat foods (or using butter in recipes), or high-sugar foods (or even adding honey to tea or yogurt!), and loading up on high-nutrients foods that provide additional benefits for your body- besides just fullness.
Cleaning your diet comes down to swapping those processed and refined foods for seasonal whole foods that are nutrient-rich. You will notice the benefits of this spring cleaning jump-start right away because you will feel immediately healthier after cutting out those processed and refined foods that lead to fatigue and overeating.
Clean Eating Meals and Tips
1. Reduce processed carbs
Get rid of foods with so many man-made ingredients! Start by removing all the processed carbohydrates in your diet, including whole-grain breads, pastas, crackers, etc., and relying on plant-based carbohydrates, such as sweet potato, summer squash, eggplant, etc.
2. Ditch added sugar
Stop craving more and more sugar! Start by getting rid of adding sugar to your food, from that habitual afternoon sugary coffee drink to your non-so-innocent honey drizzled on your yogurt. Ditching added sugar includes all sugars from maple syrup, honey, to agave. According to Shape Magazine, “One study found that when people cut their added sugar from 28% of calories to 10% their blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and blood-sugar levels improved in as little as nine days.”
3. Eat seasonal produce
4. Fill your plate with food full of flavor, texture, and colors.
Think of back to your last meal… how many different flavors, textures, and colors did you have? The more the better! Try to eat the RAINBOW (every color- that’s natural of course) throughout the day. For example, if you have a meal of chicken, potatoes, and cauliflower- everything is white, so you’d want to add more color (such as a side garden salad), substitute something for a different color (swap chicken for salmon, potatoes for sweet potatoes, or cauliflower for broccoli), or make sure your next meal is more colorful. The more flavor, texture, and color, the happier and healthier you will be after your meal.
What to put on your plate:
-Aim for 3 cups or MORE of vegetables a day and eat at least one type at every meal, including breakfast! To hit this goal, try adding veggies to your eggs or smoothies at breakfast.
SOME PLANT-BASED PROTEIN:
-Eat more plant-based protein. Start by initiating a “Meatless Monday,” where you swap an animal-based protein for a plant-based protein, such as using tofu, bean, lentils, or other meat substitutes.
-Instead of rice or pasta, try a hearty plant-based carb from a cruciferous or root vegetable. Some good swaps include cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, butternut squash lasagna, or sweet potato fries.
-The brighter the color, the more nutrient-rich the food is likely to be…The only expectation to this rule is if it is processed or color dyed! Opt for whole-foods that are bright in colors and rich in nutrients, such as blackberries, kale, purple potatoes, or Brussels sprouts.
Try this Roast Chicken with Vegetables by Food Network to utilize the farm fresh produce!
Bring together fresh flavors with this Chicken & Mint Salad Recipe here.
Throw some green on your plate with this Roasted Asparagus and Baby Artichokes by Cooking Light.
Just when you thought you’d never have vegetables for breakfast, Cooking Light shows us how to add seasonal veggies to our eggs in this Soft-Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus.
Bring in brighter colors to your meals with this Beet and Ricotta Hummus Recipe by Bon Appetit.
Clean your diet with a 7-day cleaning fix by reducing your processed carbs, ditching sugar, eating seasonal produce, and filling your plate full of flavor, texture, and color. This fall put more veggies, some plant-based protein, plant-based carbohydrates, and brighter colors on your plate. Check out our recommendations for meals to clean your diet now!