Message from the RDs: Spring Clean Your Nutrition Habits for the Summer – Chelsea Rice

Spring is the time to prepare for those summer months ahead. Even though spring days may still be gloomy and cold, before you know it the sunshine will be out and everybody’s windows will be open. Many of us work so hard in the winter months to achieve our health goals by the summer, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be forgotten when that warm weather hits. Below are 5 nutrition tips that will keep you on track with your health goals, no matter what time of year it is!

Spring clean your kitchen.

We are all guilty of having those foods stocked away in our kitchen that we have been trying to avoid all winter. Take the time now to organize your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Throw away all the food that has been sitting there too long or may be expired. Do you have any leftover treats from the holidays? Get rid of it! If it is still safe to eat, don’t feel the need to throw it away. You can always donate it or give it away to others that could make good use of the food.

Pre-plan your meals.

Spring and summertime schedules start to get busy with extra-curricular activities and events. Plan your meals and snacks around your schedule. Make a shopping list with healthy foods that you can eat through the week. Go grocery shopping at least once a week to restock those fresh foods and ensure you won’t stock up on a lot of processed products.

Eat seasonally.

The fresh produce that you missed all winter is soon to be back in season! Chop up some fresh vegetables for an easy snack throughout the day. Keep a fresh fruit bowl at your home and office to pair with meals and snacks. Most importantly, make sure to eat the rainbow! Bring color to your plate by incorporating a variety of produce, instead of continuing to buy the same fruits and vegetables.

Think outside of the box.

When planning activities, think outside the box. Even though Chicago has many fun events revolving around food and drinks, there are also so many activities to do in the sun that are great for our health. Go on a long walk or bike ride on the lake, take a rooftop yoga class, or join a sports league with friends. These activities will not only keep you active, but social as well!

Hydrate often.

Start off your day by drinking a glass (or two) of water. Keep hydrated around or at each meal, and don’t forget to bring that water bottle to the gym with you! Carrying a water bottle with you at all times is a great way to get into the habit of always drinking water. Struggling to drink plain water? Add fresh fruits and herbs to your bottle for a different flavor (and great added benefits!). See my personal favorite infused water recipe below!

Strawberry, Basil, and Cucumber Infused Water (Yields 1 Serving)

Ingredients

  •    3 basil leaves
  •    2-3 strawberries, sliced
  •    3-5 slices cucumber
  •    Water
  •    Ice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large glass. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!