Spring Clean Your Eating Habits

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2016

Spring Clean Your Eating

Traditionally, spring cleaning allows us to freshen up our homes to get ready for the warmer seasons. However, don’t focus solely on cleaning out closets and scrubbing floors—clean up your eating habits, too! Here are five tips to welcome the best of spring by focusing on yourself and your overall health.

1. Pluck out old “weeds” for new blossoms 
Potato chips are only the start of cleaning your diet of junk food. Begin tossing items packed with sugar and preservatives, such as pretzels and energy bars and reach for healthier options like pistachios! Shelling them helps slow down consumption, encouraging you to consume less [1]

2. Keep your plate vibrant with variety and color 
Eat a variety of nutritious foods to keep your diet healthy! Aim for new healthy recipes or try fun pistachio pairings with a brightly colored vegetable or an interesting piece of fruit that you’ve never had before! The versatility of pistachios are endless—not only are they delicious, but they are filled with nutrient benefits too. Did you know the kernel’s vibrant green colors are from an antioxidant called lutein?

3. Revisit your food portions 
Take time to reevaluate and monitor your portion sizes during meal and snack times. Doing so may help break the habit of mindless eating you may have slipped into during winter. Put portion control into play and use the “Pistachio Principle.” Consuming in-shell pistachios may encourages slower eating while the leftover shells offer an important visual cue about the amount consumed; thereby, potentially helping reduce calorie intake.

4. Plan Ahead 
Change is hard but make your health goals achievable by setting yourself up for success! Try simple things like keeping the healthiest snacks at eye level or storing them in clear containers on your desk. Make a specific plan that you can look forward to—remember that you’re in control!

5. Make it fun!
Remember that adapting to a healthier you doesn’t happen overnight. Reaching your spring goals shouldn’t be dreadful or even worth complaining about. Make it enjoyable! Schedule a dinner date with friends at a vegetarian restaurant, or take up new food challenges and log it to see your progress. Journal of Consumer Marketing suggests that the act of taking a picture before eating — including all of the natural-light seeking and angle tweaking that goes into it— can actually make food taste better [2].

References
[1]: K. Kennedy-Hagan, J.E. Painter, C. Honselman, A. Halvorson, K. Rhodes, K. Skwir.  “The Effect of Pistachio Shells as a Visual Cue in Reducing Caloric Consumption.”  Appetite. 2011, 57(2): 418-420.
[2]: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/03/the-psychological-case-for-instagramming-your-food.html