Put a spring into your step this season by following my simple top tips below on how to spring clean your diet
Now I've never really been about the 'clean eating' method, or restricting, or calorie counting, when it comes to healthy eating, preferring to focus more on balance, sustainability, and creating delicious food with wholesome ingredients, but Spring really is the perfect time to take stock, see what areas of your diet and lifestyle could perhaps do with a bit of a shake up, and make the decision to truly nourish and nurture yourself with all that this beautiful season has to offer – Spring is all about renewal, new life, and positive energy, so get inspired and get creative!
Spring clean your kitchen cupboards – start by giving your kitchen a good old detox. One of the best ways to avoid those mid-afternoon munchies and that after-dinner snacking is to remove the temptation completely. Get processed, sugar laden food and drink out of arm's reach, and stock up on healthy, fresh, seasonal wholefoods.
Hot water and lemon – swap your early morning coffee or tea for a revitalising hot water and lemon. Not only does this refreshing bevvy help to kick start the digestive system and get everything flowing, it also helps to boost detoxification, nourishes the skin and keeps it looking fresh, and supports the immune system by topping up your vitamin C levels.
De-caffeinate – if you're someone who relies on a coffee or two (or 3 or 4) to get you through the day, make a conscious effort to reduce your daily amount. Although it may sound dramatic, caffeine is a drug and can be highly addictive. Not only can it leave you feeling wired and twitchy, it has also been shown to possibly worsen or contribute to anxiety, negatively impact sleep, potentially contribute to dehydration and nutrient depletion, and can wreak havoc on our adrenal glands and stress hormones. Try switching to herbal teas – not only will this count towards your daily water intake, but you'll also get all of the added health benefits of the wonderful herbs themselves, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamins, and minerals.
Apple cider vinegar – containing so many amazing health benefiting properties, this is one of my absolute favourite store-cupboard essentials! Have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water 10 minutes before each main meal. This will help to stimulate the digestive enzymes and digestive juices that are essential for the break-down and digestion of your food. It may also help to relieve acid reflux by increasing stomach acid levels and preventing acid backflow, as well as regulating blood sugar levels, enhancing detoxification, and acting as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent.
Get on board with brassicas – loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, brassica vegetables are a great addition to your Spring-time menu. These superstar veggies are also packed with liver supporting antioxidants which help to promote detoxification, as well as being superb inflammation fighters, blood sugar regulators, and heart health enhancers. Brocolli, bok choy, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, maca, radish, and watercress, are all great options.
Fresh, whole, and in-season – get yourself down to some farmers' markets this Spring. Going to markets is one of my favourite things to do at the weekend – great food, great atmosphere, and great local farmers and businesses to support. The fresh produce on offer has always been lovingly grown or made with care and passion, is in-season, non- processed, and full of flavour - and generally healthier and far better tasting than what you would find on the supermarket shelves. For a comprehensive list of London farmer's markets take a look at https://www.lfm.org.uk/
Exercise for fun (yes, fun!) - exercise doesn't have to mean getting up at 4am to fit a hardcore gym session in before work – ugh! Focus on doing exercise that you can enjoy and make fun, that way you are much more likely to stick with it and make it part of your daily or weekly routine. Even better, get the kids, family, and friends involved, so you can keep each other company and keep each other motivated. Group cycle rides, dance classes, and woodland walks are all fantastic options.