Spring Clean Your Diet, Transform Your Life

Fresh Produce

It’s finally warming up and I am ready to get outdoors and break my cabin fever!  The start of Spring is a great time to ready yourself to enjoy all that the warmer months have to offer.  Hiking, biking, golfing, running, swimming,... lakes, beaches, parks, nature trails, gardens, smelling the flowers, catching butterflies.  Whatever our pleasure, why not prepare our bodies to fully enjoy it?


Many of us do some form of spring cleaning.  Whether it’s washing windows and opening them up to air out the house, or dusting off the patio furniture, or rinsing the salt off our vehicles… we prepare our property for enjoyment of the warmer months and longer days of sunshine.


With that in mind, I’d like us to spring clean our bodies as well.  Here are my recommended steps to spring clean your diet…


  1. Clean out your pantry cupboards, fridge, and freezer and throw out or donate all processed and packaged foods.  This includes anything with added salt, sugar, or fat.  (Examples of exceptions are packages that include just one or few ingredients such as rice and other whole grains and frozen vegetable medleys without sauces.)


  1. Throw out all dairy (cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, creamy salad dressings, ice cream, etc.)  Replace it with almond or soy milk.


  1. Toss out any beverages that contain sugar or sugar substitutes.  This should leave you with water, seltzer, unsweetened teas, unsweetened fruit juices.


  1. Make a plan to reduce your meat and fish.  Choose to either go completely meat free, or only consume meat once or twice a week.  I believe that for everyone to be healthy, we each need to consume less than 12 ounces of meat and fish total per week.  The average American consumes that amount each and every day.  I’m also a big advocate of most people being 100% meat free.  Contact me if you need help exploring this line item and what will work best for you. 


  1. Commit to preparing your own food.  Healthy people cook for themselves.  It’s the only way we can control the amount of salt, sugar, and fat in our food.  It’s also cheaper and easier.  I argue (and have proven) that it is less time consuming than eating out for lunch and dinner.


  1. Go to the grocery store, farmer’s market, or wherever fresh produce is found in your area and buy the following for each person in your household:

3 fruits per day (or ½ cup servings)

1 bunch of greens for 2-3 days

1.25 lbs. of vegetables per day


So for a family of 2 people for 5 days of produce you should buy:

30 servings of fruit, 3 or 4 bunches/heads of greens, and 12.5 lbs. of vegetables. 


It could break down like this:

6 bananas

10 apples

4 oranges

1 quart of strawberries (4 servings)

4 kiwi

1 mango (2 servings)

2 bunches kale

1 head red leaf lettuce

1 head romaine lettuce

1.5 lb. broccoli

1.0 lb. bok choy

1.5 lb. cauliflower

2.0 lb. carrots

0.5 lb. mushrooms

1.0 lb. celery

1.5 lb. onions

2.0 lb. tomatoes

1.5 lb. bell pepper


What are you going to do with all of that produce?? Eat it of course!!  Chop it raw into your salad, blend it into a smoothie, roast it in the oven, stir fry it, or steam it.  Combine it with your favorite whole grain (rice, quinoa), tofu, tempeh, or beans (black, kidney, chickpeas).  Don’t forget to sprinkle some nuts and seeds on there.  If you need help with recipes, contact me, or go to www.forksoverknives.com.


As always, I’m here for you as a resource to coach you and support your spring transformation.  I am available via phone, Skype, and email to ensure you a smooth transition and lots of success!


In Great Health,


The Joyful Elephant