Spring Clean Your Diet

Ever thought of improving your eating habits as a spring cleaning job? Just as you give your house and garage a thorough once-over every year, you can do the same with your diet. Here’s how.

Clean it up. Drink more water and less soda drinks. “Drinks shouldn’t be sticky,” says Pam Davis, R.D., LD., dietitian and diabetes educator, Baylor Medical Center at Garland.

Clean your plate. Ms. Davis also recommends “cleaning” your plate by ditching cheesy casseroles in favor of simple, three-part meals, consisting of a meat, starch and a vegetable. For example, a pork tenderloin, brown rice, and green beans meal would fit the bill.

Toss it out. Go through your pantry and freezer and toss anything that’s old or unhealthy. Don’t keep frozen meat any longer than six months. Label and date any leftovers before you freeze them for later use.

Plan it. Planning your meals makes it less likely you’ll grab fast-food on the fly.

Sit down with your cookbook – or your kids, who will be more likely to eat what they have helped plan – and create a weekly menu.

Practice restaurant savvy. If you eat out, do so wisely. Most restaurant portions are bigger and usually with more sodium or fat. Split a single entrée or order just a half portion if offered by the restaurant.

Davis is a diabetes educator at the Baylor Diabetes Center at Baylor Medical Center at Garland where people with diabetes can attend self-management diabetes programs, support groups and classes.

Baylor Medical Center at Garland is part of Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System. For fiscal year 2007, Baylor Health Care System will report $390 million in community benefits to the Department of State Health Services.

Source: Baylor Health Care System

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