By Andrea Withey, RDN, Great Falls Clinic

When you can feel the warmth from the sun and see the green underneath your feet you know that spring is here. With the change of the season comes the perfect time to make positive changes to your health. Spring is the ideal time to do some “spring cleaning” of your diet and lifestyle. Here are a few ways to help you spring into good health.

1. Reorganize your refrigerator

Take some time to go through the back of your refrigerator to see if you have any outdated products or anything that is close to date. Cleaning out the clutter will give you a relatively blank canvas to work with. You will be able to see what fruits and vegetables you have, which might make the creativity of your meals a little easier.

2. Add more color to your meals

With spring comes color not only in the foliage around us but also from the local produce. One of the best ways to better your health is through adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Challenge yourself to think outside of the box and add yellow, orange, purple, red, or green colors to every meal you make. This will not only make your plate look amazing but it will help increase your dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

3. Lighten up on portions

During the winter months we sometimes feel like we need to conserve energy to stay warm and the best way to do this is by eating more calories. As the weather gets warmer we don’t have to conserve as much energy to stay warm. Cutting back on your portions is the best way to cut back on excess calories. Try serving meals on smaller plates or filling half your plate with lower calorie, non-starchy vegetables.

4. Cut out the extras

When you look at packaged foods you may see ingredients you are unfamiliar with. By eating more whole foods you will cut back on these ingredients as well as added sodium and sugar. Try the bulk section at the grocery store to get whole grains, nuts, and seeds to add to your meals and snacks.

5. Get outside

When the sun is shining and the birds are chirping it’s a joy to be outside. Take advantage of the longer days by going out on a brisk walk, riding your bike, going for a hike, or even doing some yard work. It is recommended we get 150 minutes of physical activity in a week. The best way to do this is to find your favorite activity and do it for 30 minutes 5 days a week.

Now go and get your “spring cleaning” on for a healthier you!