PHOENIX - With spring in full bloom and the feeling of lightness all around, now is the perfect season to clean up your eating habits and embrace a healthier and happier you. If you're ready to break free of unhealthy habits and recharge your body, it's time for a little nutritional spring clean up!
The emphasis of my spring clean up is a sugar detox. Why sugar? Sugar causes inflammation in the body, and inflammation has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It also creates an addictive cycle of hunger, fatigue and moodiness and causes excess storage of fat. Below I've listed steps to help you hit the reset button and kick your sugar cravings to the curb this spring.
My Steps For Spring Cleaning Your Nutrition:
#1. Purge Your Kitchen: Go through your pantry and fridge and remove anything packaged or processed. Read food labels and rid anything containing ingredients you can't pronounce. Look out for sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, diet products, sugary and salty snacks.
#2. Restock Your Kitchen: Now that you've cut out sugar and purged your pantry, what can you eat? Focus on eating the most satiating foods: fat, fiber and protein. Fat, fiber and protein will keep you full and keep your blood sugar steady. Go for avocado, nuts, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil for healthy fats. Eat lots of fresh seasonal veggies for fiber. And think lean meats, eggs, fish and beans for protein. Make sure this trifecta appears in each of your meals (and therefore in your kitchen) to keep your blood sugar balanced and your sugar cravings at bay.
#3. Emergency Stash: So your kitchen should now be filled with healthy satisfying food, but you must also prepare for times when you can not eat at home. But you also should have an emergency healthy food stash for quick snacks or to take on the road! Your stash could include flax crackers, unsalted nuts, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, low sugar/clean-ingredient granola bar, Greek yogurt, or cans of wild salmon.
#4. Flush Out The Bad Stuff: Your body is comprised of around 60% water and just about every system in the body needs it to function. The best way to cleanse your body of toxins is to drink more water. Lemon Water aids digestion and cleanses your system (lemon helps maximize enzyme function which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.) Begin each day with a glass of filtered water plus the juice of half of a lemon. Continue drinking water throughout the day, and consider a coconut water after exercising to replenish.
The first week or so of going 'cold turkey' with your sugar detox may be tough (strong cravings, headaches, tiredness to name a few symptoms), but the benefits will make it worth it! Once sugar is out of your system, you'll begin to feel more energetic, more positive and clear thinking and may even lose weight naturally. I recommend grabbing a partner to make sure you stay accountable and motivated while taking on this spring clean challenge. If you need additional support, consider working with me.
Lindsay Hunt is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach in Scottsdale, AZ. She is dedicated in helping people make healthy lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results. You can work with Lindsay from anywhere as she offers virtual health coaching programs. For more information visit www.walkonthehealthyside.com or follow her on facebook.com/lindsayehunt.
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