With all of this winter weather that our area has been slammed within the last few weeks, I for one, am starting to feel like we will never catch a break. I feel that I can speak for most of the general public by stating that winter weather is so yesterday. Even so, we can’t give up hope that spring will soon be right around the corner. But for the few more weeks that we must endure the endless shoveling our cars out of snow banks, slipping and sliding down a half shoveled walk way and wondering whether or not we will actually make it past Wednesday this time, I hope to offer you some insight on how to get a head start on spring!
For many, the beginning of spring means vigorous spring cleaning. If you are at all like me, that means throwing most of my tired, winter clothes into bags and taking them home, possibly lightly “dusting” my dorm room and maybe even borrowing a neighbors vacuum. But this year, I would like to suggest something different. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to just be clearing out your closet or rearranging your dorm room. It could consist of something that will have much more long term effects on you as a human being. Have you ever considered spring cleaning your eating habits?
As we all know, it is extremely easy to go to Cav’s Corner and grab a few slices of pizza and some fries, or run over to the RAC and order the chicken tender basket. I would like to argue that with a little extra thought and effort, the sometimes over easy approach that many of us college students have towards eating can be tweaked to become more healthy. The argument that I myself have is that it is just easier to drink that second cup of Pepsi or take just one more of those cookies. But I don’t think it has to be that way.
Here are some of the suggestions on increasing your clean food intake that I found with just a little research. According to an article found on eatingwell.com’s website, there are seven things that can be cut out of your diet. Saturated fats that are found in whole milk, high fat cheese and butter raise the body’s bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol is the kind that closes up your heart arteries and adds unusable fat to the body. Instead, chose healthy fats that are found in avocados, nuts and olive oil. Refined grains such as white rice and white bread are also a category that you can cut out of your cleaner eating. Instead, chose foods with the word whole wheat in the label, such as whole wheat bread, grains and pastas. Alcohol is a big one to consider. The American Heart Association recommends that women have one alcoholic drink per day while men are allotted two drinks per day. Processed foods are also something that needs to be cut out of a cleaner diet. This is much easier said than done, as much of the food that we consume has already been prepared for us. But if you have the option to do your own cooking, try to cut out as many pre made foods as you can and replace them with homemade items. Sugar and salt are the last two main things that need to be cut out of a cleaner diet. Women only need 6 tsp of sugar and men only require 9 tsp. In order to cut unnecessary salt and sugar out of your diet, cook with more whole ingredients vs processed foods and flavor with more spices and herbs than plain table salt. As I said before, the cooking aspect is tricky because most of our food is prepared for us. This is a challenge to all of to clean up our eating habits, especially with Lent coming up. Whether or not you celebrate, the beginning of spring is still a great time to make a few necessary changes.