Why wait until the New Year to make your lifestyle and dietary resolutions. Now is the perfect time to delve into your pantry and well…start cleaning!
From clearing out the things you don’t use to labelling all those unknown ingredients lurking anonymously in plastic containers, your pantry and fridge is as good a place as any to start your overhaul. Once you have the foundations for healthy choices at home you will find it considerably easier to make healthier choices both at home, when packing lunches as well as when eating out.
Check out our 3 tips for spring cleaning your diet.
Give some love to your pantry and fridge – Go through everything in your pantry and fridge and get rid of anything out of date. Invest in some appropriate plasticware for your cupboards, look for those which will allow you to best utilise space on your shelves. Having things easily accessible will not only save you time but also encourage you to experiment with new recipes using ingredients you forgot you had. The same goes for your fridge. Remove anything well beyond its prime and give some order to things so that you can quickly navigate your way around the sauces when throwing together a quick mid-week dish.
Start planning – While having every meal and snack locked in a week in advance isn’t everyone’s style, planning at least some of your meals in advance certainly has its advantages. A specific shopping list and planned meals ensures less wastage and means money saved. Be savvy with your leftovers and turn them into lunch for the following day. Add Bolognese sauce to a wrap with lots of salad, throw roast vegetables into a salad or sandwich for a bit of extra flavour. Small portions of stir-fry make a great mid-afternoon snack.
Portion control – While you may have had things under control over the summer months, the slow-cooked delights that warmed you up over winter often lend themselves to slightly larger portion. We’re not just talking overall meal size but more specifically how much protein and carbohydrate foods you have on your plate. While gender, body composition and activity levels will all affect your estimated daily energy requirements, as a general rule, aiming for half of your plate to be salad or non-starchy vegetables, ¼ to be a lean protein source and ¼ to be carbohydrate options. When it comes to salad and non-starchy vegetables it’s important to arm yourself with some quick easy recipes that will add extra flavour. Have a selection of salads and roast/BBQ/stir-fry vegetable options that you can quickly add to a meal to provide a great source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and to help with keeping you feeling full and preventing overeating. Keep protein portions to approximately 120-180g and choose lean cuts, trimming any excess fat. When choosing what carbohydrates to include with your meal, look for ways to include wholegrains where possible.
Giving your dietary intake a regular review is a great way to keep on top of things. Treat your dietitian a little like the dentist and aim for a review at least annually.
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