If you’re anything like me, I do best when my yummy treats are out of sight and then out of mind. Spring is a wonderful time to start a cleanse because the temperatures are warming up but it hasn’t gotten too hot yet and because the days are getting brighter and longer, it can rejuvenate, energize, and motivate us to get re-focused on our health. When thinking about a cleanse, getting your diet cleaned up, or you want to have that “beach ready” body, it starts by cleaning out your refrigerator and pantry. Here are some top tips to tackling this project.
Take Stock of What You’ve Got:
1. Take look at what you have in your kitchen in terms of ingredients that you might want to get rid of. Consider the following: sugar, breads, crackers, sodas, alcohol, dairy, processed treats, packaged foods, ice-cream, etc…
2. Think about cooking in bulk to use up your ingredients you want to get rid of. Indulge for a moment because you don’t want it to go to waste. Maybe have a “Clean out your fridge” Party.
3. If you have things that you can’t necessarily indulge in, consider moving them to a higher cabinet that you don’t regularly look in or move beverages out of the kitchen that can be stored in a dark place for later. Of course, this is a great opportunity to get rid of those sodas for good. (Wink, Wink)
Create a replacement list:
If you’ve ever been addicted to chocolate, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or some other yummy substance, you know that simply taking something out doesn’t always do the trick. You’ve got to come up with a plan; something you can automatically grab for when you have your craving.
1. Craving Chocolate? Try taking some magnesium. Sometimes chocolate cravings mean that you might have a deficiency.
2. Cravings or hungry? Try drinking a cup of peppermint tea. This can help satiate you.
3. Alcohol alternative: try kombucha or sparkling mineral water with lemon, lime, or a bit of 100% orange juice. The Sparkling Mineral Water with less than 4 oz of orange juice with a strawberry or blueberries in it is a really nice mimosa alternative.
4. Getting rid of Wheat? If you like snacking on cheese and crackers, try rice crackers and hummus instead. There are so many gluten free pasta alternatives out there. My favorite are the rice noodles you find in the oriental section of the grocery store. Toast and cereals might be out for breakfast but eggs opens your world up to so many options. Goat milk or coconut yogurt are also great breakfast options.
5. Got a sweet tooth? Try frozen berries or dark grapes. You can also consider blending frozen bananas with ice and vanilla extract for a vanilla ice cream alternative.
6. Dairy is a more challenging item to get rid of. I would caution you to not replace dairy with soy based products as this was not the way soy was intended to be ingested. You can try goat milk products, nut or rice milks, and coconut options.
1. Plan your bulk cooking day or your “Clean out the Fridge” Party
2. You’ve made your alternative shopping list, so pick your day to tackle the grocery store.
3. After you’ve cooked or partied, it’s nice to take everything out of your fridge and give it a good wipe down. Vacuum crumbs and other rogue food products. Wipe the surface with an all natural cleaning solution. You can try good ‘ol Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon or essential oil of choice.
Must have food for energy and feeding your adrenals.
1. Pantothenic Acid, B5, is a great nutrient to feed your adrenals. Broccoli, cooked lentils, and sweet potatoes are great sources of B5 and is in line with your newly clean fridge.
2. Vitamin C: Did you know that parsley is a rich source of vitamin C. Fresh parsley goes great in many dishes but try it in a quinoa salad, an Italian style dish, or in a salad. You can also have oranges and clementines hanging around.
3. Cobalamin, B12: Unfortunately the richest sources of B12 are in liver and clams...not a typical food item in the American kitchen. Liver pate’ on rice crackers is actually not too bad. If you’re feeling adventurous or playing a dare game- I say give it a try. You can also find B12 in many other foods but consider a really good quality beef, wild caught salmon, or eggs.
As always, keep your blood sugar stabilized through the day and nutrient rich foods. The more fresh and colorful your plate, the better you will feel and it starts with a fresh, colorful, and clean fridge.