Written by Lisa Baker, Nutritionist at Nutra Organics
With Spring well and truly here, Summer approaching, weather warming up and days getting longer, you may be feeling the need to clean up a few things… and your diet may be one of them.
In the same way that you might pack away some of your winter wardrobe and bring out your summer clothes, spring is a great time for a bit of a pantry refresh and choosing slightly different go-to snacks and meals. We have written up a few tips for cleaning up your diet. Just adopting 1 or 2 changes can make a big difference!
Disclaimer: we aren’t here to tell you to follow any particular ‘diet’. Our food philosophy is so simple: eat real food, eat a variety of colourful, seasonal, fresh whole foods, and continue to eat the foods you love and enjoy them - but aim to incorporate healthy alternatives so that you can nourish your body at every opportunity. We’re here to provide a little more inspiration to help you make some of those healthier choices.
Out with the winter pantry and in with the fresh produce of spring. Go through your kitchen and get rid of all the junk that’s in there. Write up a shopping list then hit the local markets or supermarket and stock up on all the in-season produce.
We love any excuse to remind you all to drink more water. Drinking plenty of water helps with waste elimination, blood pressure, satiety and generally just being alive. Aim to have 2-3 litres per day - especially if you are increasing the amount of exercise you are doing.
If you struggle with drinking enough water, our new Collagen Beauty flavours will be your best friend! They taste amazing mixed straight into water, delivering a natural fruity burst that’s low in sugar but high in glowing benefits for your skin, hair, nails and gut health.
Eat All the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables!
Eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables is your best way of ensuring you are getting most of your essential nutrients. Fruit and veg are generally less dense in energy, but more dense in fibre, vitamins and phytochemicals. Fibre keeps you regular, regulates the release of sugars into the bloodstream and helps to support a healthy gut microbiome.
Mind the Snacks
Snacks (when done correctly) can be a great ally when it comes to improving your diet. Some research suggests that snacking has a positive association with weight management. Having snacks between meals stops you from getting ravenous right before lunch or dinner meaning you are more likely to make considered choices for those meals and not speed eat or overeat. Snacks done badly, however, are a really easy way to blow out your energy intake for the day. Not a problem if it’s only an occasional thing, but if snacking is a regular part of your routine, and the snacks tend to be based on refined foods (baking, processed foods, chippies, crackers etc) then it’s very easy to snack your way through the energy equivalent of half a day’s worth or more, and kill your appetite for more nutritious foods. Basing your snacks around fruits and vegetables is a really good way of adding more nutrients into your day and making sure you’re not unwittingly overdoing the energy intake.
We’ve come up with some snack and meal ideas to give you some inspiration for spring cleaning your diet.
Spring Clean Snacks
Vegetables for Dipping
Carrots, celery, cucumbers, radishes capsicum, snap peas, and broccoli all make for some great dip-to-mouth carriers! And there are so many good dips out there, so this snack definitely isn’t a boring one. The vegetables can offer that satisfying crunch, and dips like hummus, baba ganoush and any natural greek yogurt based dip will provide a source of protein which will help keep you satisfied between meals. We also have a few homemade dip recipes here if you would like to make your own, and they’re a great way to sneak some more of our Bone Broth or Vegetable Broth in your diet.
Hard Boiled Free Range Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are a really amazing snack to have ready and waiting. If you work in a confined space, they may not be the most socially acceptable snack, but they are convenient, nutritious and are the kind of snack that actually gives your stomach something to work on for a little while. You can boil up a bunch of them and just keep them in the fridge (they last up to a week after you cook them). 1 decent sized egg contains about 325kj, 6g of protein, 5g of fat and 0.5g of carbohydrate. The micronutrient profile of eggs is great too, containing Vitamins A, D, B12, Riboflavin, and Folate, Selenium and Choline (and more). So pre prepare some eggs, find a well ventilated space and get snacking!
Apple Slices with Nut Butter
This really simple combination is such a winner because it combines crunch and sweetness with natural sugars from the apple to give you a bit of an energy boost, with the satiating and slower burning fuels of protein and fat from the nut butter. This combo is well balanced macronutrient wise, and is easy and delicious!
Greek Yogurt, Nuts and Berries
This fresh, healthy combo is another great macronutrient balanced snack. Greek yogurt and nuts both provide a good source of fats and protein and berries are a great source of antioxidants, micronutrients and sweetness without adding much in the way of sugars. If you want to add more sweetness, a drizzle of local honey can make a great addition.
Spring Fresh Breakfasts
It’s definitely smoothie season again! Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to throw in a huge variety of nutrients and start your day off right! Smoothies can be customised to fit almost any way of eating. Paleo, keto, vegan, low carb, high carb, high protein - you name it.
The basic building blocks of almost any smoothie are as follows:
- The base (choose 1) - nut milks, juices, coconut water or water.
- The protein source(s) (optional, choose as many as you want) - protein powders (we recommend either our collagen (choose from either Collagen Beauty, or Collagen Build depending on your current goals), natural yogurt and nut butters.
- The fresh superfoods (choose as many as you want and get creative) - berries, fresh fruit, avocado, nuts, seeds, oats, spinach, cacao.
- Superfood supplement blends (optional) - This is just a really easy way to up the nutrients in your smoothie if you’re after something with potent nutrition!
We have some more inspiration here if you would like to follow a smoothie recipe or get ideas.
Going savoury for breakfast is another good way to ensure a nutritious start to your day!
Sugar can easily be reduced by stewing some berries and using them in the place of maple syrup.
Spring Inspired Lunches and Dinners
Lunches and dinners should take inspiration from all the amazing fresh seasonal produce which is available in abundance during this time of the year. Get creative with combining different colours and flavours to ensure you are getting the best variety of nutrients in your diet.
Nourish bowls are kind of like the un-blended savoury version of smoothies… you can throw a massive variety of things in there and it will contain a huge amount of nutrients and taste and look great every time. We have a heap of nourish bowl recipes here for some inspiration.
Follow a recipe exactly or just use them to point you in the right direction and invent your own.
And there you have it! Just a few simple, easy, delicious and achievable ways to clean up your diet.
We aren’t about promoting radical diet changes or restricting you from the foods you love. That never works. And everybody is different, so a diet that works for someone doesn’t mean it will work for everybody else.
We encourage a wholesome lifestyle that incorporates loads of different seasonal fresh produce and wholefoods, and making healthy swaps so that you favourite foods can still nourish you.