Ahh, spring. That loveliest of in-between seasons, offering time for a refreshing reset and return to recreation.
It's also time for reckoning.
As in, "I reckon that pollen is not going to clean itself off my patio furniture." Or, "I reckon there's no way to shove this winter bedding into closets that seem to be breeding (and begging for Goodwill)."
And with more glorious - but also kind of pesky - sunshine illuminating every corner and crevice, it is hard to stay blind to the need for spring cleaning.
The upside? Once you surrender to its calling, and commit to the undertaking, it feels so darn good.
And we kinda figure: if tidying up our dwellings gives us the best of the seasonal feels, wouldn't tidying up our bodies do the same? Like, at the time we're mobilized to do our spring cleaning, shouldn't we ride that muster toward some spring clean eating?
Just as the effort to clean up your home will make it look stunning, operate with efficiency, and emit a more positive energy, so too will your body enjoy the same kind of output from a cleaned-up diet!
In fact, the roster of clean eating benefits is impressive and measurable: weight loss, lower inflammation, glowing skin, more energy, faster recovery, better sleep, elevated mood, sharper focus, and support of a sustainable lifestyle... to name a few of the more conspicuous.
Just as the basic tenets of housecleaning are tidying, organizing, and disinfecting, the main precepts of clean eating call for more raw/fresh ingredients, little to no processed foods, and healthy cooking methods.
From that baseline, the more particular parallels in your approach to deep spring sprucing of both your home and your nutrition abound:
Get rid of that which doesn't serve you.
The garments that aren't so timeless. The cosmetics that smell kind of funky. The table lamp that's become an eyesore (and, yeah, maybe a fire hazard). They need to go. They are not making you look, feel, or operate as intended. Same logic applies to the fake, processed, and sugary foods in your kitchen. They are overworked and underperforming, and you know what you need to do. It only hurts for a minute.
Invest in items that may cost a bit more upfront but have a higher/more sustained payoff.
A "classic capsule" wardrobe of high quality clothing outplays a closetful of fast fashion. The thoughtfully-designed mattress made of sustainable materials beats a mass-produced sleep set. And, yes, Turkish cotton towels outlast (and understink) your dorm-variety bath linens. Ahead of a bargain, consider the replacement cost. Same with the stuff you put into your body. And the stuff you use to prepare the stuff you put into your body. A simple grill, safe cookware, dependable prep gear that won't break down. Whole, fresh, organic ingredients that won't break you down. I know what your grandpa told you, but sometimes a penny spent is a penny saved later.
Organize your shelves and drawers.
You'll best use and enjoy what you can best see and access. Orderly shelves and drawers are as key to outfit selection as they are to meal preparation. De-clutter and engage symmetry in your closets and dressers... then do the same in your pantry and fridge. Better choices are made when our brains don't have to scoot around junk or recall what's hidden. Bring forward the good stuff, arrange it harmoniously, and dress... or eat... to the nines.
Give your tools a tune-up.
We've all had that vacuum that eventually seems to blow out more than it sucks up. Likewise with the blender that jams up every 5 seconds, clumping frozen fruit under its blades. These are sad tools that make us sad. (And by that second sad, we mean enraged.) Ready or replace your gear so that it is not just marginally operational, but performing at a level that makes the task simple, worthwhile, and maybe even delightful. This goes as much for your cookware and kitchen prep tools as it does your cleaning and gardening gear.
Make your sleep more hygienic.
Traditional spring cleaning incorporates a good sleep space refresh or refurb. Flip or rotate your mattress, and wash your pillows. Or splurge on upgrades for both. Freshen up bedding, simplify your decor, and add in elements that might enhance your shut-eye - maybe a fan, white noise machine, or blackout curtain. The sleep-eating connection is a much-studied, and strong, one: crummy sleep promotes crummy eating. Conversely, practice disciplined sleep hygiene and gain a huge advantage toward making cleaner food choices.
Donate with a spirit of generosity, not just disposal.
It feels better to give away that which still has some value - some truly good life left in it - than that otherwise bound for the garbage. Delivering to a shelter the towels free of tatters and nearly-new shearling slippers has an entirely different effect than unloading a trash bag full of "well-loved" miscellany. Where and when possible, try the same strategy with food donation. As you discover how wonderful clean eating makes you feel, resolve to pass it on by dropping off fresh staples to philanthropic pantries and kitchens.
And now that you've got the mindset for this tandem springtime clean-up, let us suggest a few of our favorite recipes to give your fresh fuel a simple cook, cool dip, and flavorful prep:
Other Light-Handed Methods