It may not seem like it from the awful weather today, but spring cleaning is upon us. Soon it will be time to air out the house and wash the windows but it’s also a great time to start fresh and make some healthy changes for yourself. Check out some of these ideas on how to do some internal spring cleaning.
- Clean out your refrigerator and freezer
You’re cleaning everything else, don’t forget to go through your food and throw out those old leftovers and expired condiments and consolidate multiple opened packages of the same product. Once you’ve done that, fill it up with healthy foods and fresh produce. Keep it organized so that fruits and veggies are easy to access, and like foods are grouped together. Try using clear tupperware and labels so that foods are easy to find, and you know how long they’ve been stored.
- Purge your pantry
What is your pantry? Your pantry is the FLAVOR for everything you cook. The non-perishable items that you will keep in your pantry will allow you to transform one single ingredient, such as a chicken breast, into many different dishes. Having a well-stocked pantry will make your grocery shopping and menu planning much easier and more efficient. Take a good look at what you have in your pantry. Are there a lot of processed foods and artificial ingredients? Get rid of those things – and don’t throw them away; donate them instead.
We recommend buying your spices in small amounts as needed from a bulk spice section like the one at Whole Foods. Spices can get very pricey and buying them from the bulk bins can save you tons of money. It’s also a good idea because we tend to keep one jar of spice for a very long time; spices do lose flavor over time especially when stored over the stove! To get the most flavor for your dollar it’s best to buy from the bulk spice section.
Another really great thing you can do with a well-stocked pantry is create your own dressings, sauces and marinades. Making your own is healthier and less expensive then using store bought dressing and sauces. Store bought versions often include a lot of fillers, preservatives and sweeteners. And you can also create custom flavors that are more suited to your tastes.
- Set up your kitchen for success
Over the winter, your countertops and cupboards probably got a bit cluttered. The first thing you’ll want to do with your kitchen is make room. Have a good storage system in place so you have enough counter room to work with. Cooking can get stressful and frustrating if you feel like you don’t have enough room or you can’t find the tools you’re looking for. Anything that doesn’t have to do with cooking should not be in the kitchen; so move it!
Having the right tools in your kitchen allows you to be more efficient with your time. You will be able to produce wholesome food from scratch easily, which means you can buy the less processed foods and do more yourself for a healthier and more nutritionally dense meal. Not to mention tastier. So arrange your kitchenware by frequency of use; make sure that the tools you use on a regular basis are easy to access. Things that you don’t use often or are for special occasions should be stored so that they aren’t taking up room and adding unnecessary clutter.
- Schedule time to get outside
Set aside some time each to be outside moving around. Mark the time and activity on your calendar, bring your kids along or enlist a friend to get out and about with you.
- Farmer’s Market
The Dane County Farmer’s Market starts this Saturday! Make a trip up to the square and knock several things off your list at once – you’ll be outside, you’ll be walking around, you can buy local whole foods and relax and have fun.
- Stay hydrated
With the warm weather starting up make sure you’re keeping your body hydrated! Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day!