Spring Clean Your Health

By Nikki Doering, RD, LD
April 24, 2019

spring_walk.jpgAfter a particularly long winter, we’re desperate to open the windows and generally start fresh! This spring we’re encouraging you to make YOU the spring cleaning focus, inside and out.

Here are some tips that we share with clients year-round, but put them all together and you’ve got a perfect list to spring clean your health.

  • Clean Up Your Gut: Think of this as truly spring cleaning from the inside out! In order to maintain optimal health, our gastrointestinal tract (also called our gut or digestive tract) should have more beneficial bacteria (probiotics) than bad bacteria. There are many food sources of probiotics like fermented dairy products (full-fat plain Kefir or full-fat yogurt), kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha. You can also add a probiotic supplement like Bifido Balance two to three times a day before meals to help balance your gut.
  • Clear out Toxic Household Cleaners: Here’s something you won’t see on most spring cleaning lists – throw out your cleaning products! Vinegar and water cleans just as well as most commercial products, without the harsh endocrine disrupting chemicals that those products (think Windex, Pledge, etc.) are full of. These harsh cleaning chemicals can create a hormone imbalance within your body which can have many negative effects such as weight gain, mood changes, thyroid imbalances, and increases heart disease and cancer risk. Skip the risk with vinegar and water, add some essential oils and you’ll have the fresh smell that many crave, without those lingering chemicals. If you prefer to buy, look for natural lines, such as Mrs. Meyer’s or others that specifically state free from phosphates, parabens, phalates, chlorine bleach, petroleum distillates, ammonia, fragrances (not from essential oils), optical brighteners, sulfates, dyes, and fillers.
  • Clear Out Toxic Beauty Products: Beyond cleaning products, the lotions or makeup you apply in the morning gets into your system and bloodstream faster (It only takes 26 seconds!) than if you put it in your mouth. Your skin is your largest organ, and many people are shocked to learn that products they’ve been using on their bodies may be contributing to health issues like those listed above. Toss or recycle products that list parabens, phalates, PEGs, BPA, EDTA, or Formaldehyde in the ingredient list. Going forward, https://www.ewg.org/ is a great resource for safe products.
  • Get Motivated with ($10!) Nutrition Classes: Sometimes all it takes is seeing others on the same journey to reignite your inspiration. With five class options (topics range from boosting metabolism, reducing cancer risk, better digestion and more) at such a reasonable price, you’ll be in and out and will leave with fresh motivation and commitment.
  • Clean Out the Medicine Cabinet: Time to look for outdated products and toss/recycle them.  If you’re nervous about the impending allergy season, we and many of our clients have seen great success with these supplements, a natural alternative to medications.   
  • Check-in With a Nutritionist: If you’re bogged down by information, overwhelmed by your goals or just confused with the signals your body is sending you, don’t worry, that’s what our nutritionists and dietitians are here for. Whether by a phone or in-person nutrition consultation, the team is here to help get you feeling your best.
  • Kitchen Clean-Up: New products shouldn’t have trans-fats anymore, but older products from before the June 2018 ban are likely still lurking on some fridge shelves. So take everything out of your refrigerator and toss (recycle if applicable!) any expired products and any products containing trans-fats; we don’t recommend consuming anything with trans-fats, so any and all products with partially hydrogenated oils that you find should go. Other items to clear out are products made with hydrogenated fats and refined oils, such as soybean, corn oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil still commonly used in processed food. Many of the same rules apply in your pantry as in your refrigerator. Take stock of products with hidden sugars and toss them out. Chances are if they are shelf-stable to last long in your cabinets, they are loaded with sugar and consuming them won’t do your health any favors.
  • GettyImages-617780768.jpgGrilling Equals Health: Don’t toss the bones that remain after a delicious grilled meal. Use them to make your own bone broth, which is very easy to do at home and has many positive benefits such as healthier skin, stronger teeth, increased energy and a strengthened immune system among many more.

About the author

Nikki is a licensed dietitian at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Nikki has seen firsthand the tremendous impact nutrition can have on your brain and body. After suffering a concussion with a multitude of related symptoms, Nikki felt lost. “Fortunately I stumbled on a Dishing Up Nutrition podcast on just that topic full of nutrition advice that helped me immensely.” Nikki’s main goal was accomplished when she healed her brain and improved her memory and concentration. Nikki is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian through the Minnesota Board of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

View all posts by Nikki Doering, RD, LD

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