Spring is a time for renewing, right? We all know where to start first: cleaning the house! I spent a whole weekend cleaning out my closets, scrubbing the floors and otherwise using some of my abuela's best spring cleaning tips to get the job done. After I was done there, I took some advice from a beauty hoarder and spring cleaned my beauty routine, too.

But those aren't the only things in my life that could use a serious makeover. Although I am generally a healthy eater, the winter months are always hardest on me. Who doesn't pack on a few pounds during the holidays and often hold on to them through the cold? That's why I'm tackling my kitchen cabinets and refrigerator with the same oomph that I tackled my clothes. I'm determined to getting a little healthier this year by spring cleaning my way to better health, starting with the contents of my fridge and pantry!


Read more ¿Qué más? I'm a beauty hoarder--time to spring clean my beauty routine!

1. First of all, out with the old: The biggest part of spring cleaning is getting rid of all of the unused, unwanted things. You do it with your clothes and your beauty products, so do the same in the kitchen. Go through the cupboards, refrigerator and freezer to throw out anything that is expired, unidentifiable, freezer-burned or stale. Also think long and hard about keeping something you bought 6 months ago, stuck in the back of the cabinet and forgot about. Either make a commitment to use it now or donate it to a food bank. You won't even know you miss it, trust me.

2. Get rid of junk food for good: That "just in case" carton of cookies you've been holding on to? Or the almost-always-there pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream? They need to go. Just get rid of them! I'm not saying give up sweets and chips forever, I'm just saying that you should get them out of the house.  When I want a dessert, I share one with a friend at a restaurant. That way I'm guaranteeing that I don't have too much and it's not a 2 a.m. cookie craving that's got me feeling guilty the next day.

3. Stock up on frozen produce: It might be a little hard to believe (I took some convincing, at least) but studies have shown that frozen fruits and veggies have the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts. Although I am always a fan of shopping seasonally, this is a quick and easy (and often cheap!) trick to get your family to eat more greens no matter what time of the year it is. Stock up on some favorite nutrient-rich veggies and do like I do: throw them into every meal! It's a subtle change but adding extra peas and carrots to soups or some frozen broccoli into pasta really adds up. Just make sure to add the kind without added sugars or sauces so your family will thank you for the health boost.

4. Invest in some healthy habits: Now that you have some veggies, time to do something good with them. Put a beautiful bowl filled with fresh fruit on your kitchen counter. Studies show that you're more likely to reach for something that's visually out, so make sure your eye catches that apple instead of the box of cookies (which you threw out anyway, right?). Also make sure to get some easy and fiber-rich whole grains for quick meals on weeknights. Try whole wheat pasta or, better yet, get some South American super grain quinoa. It's easy to cook and the whole family will reap the benefits!

5. Spice up your spice rack: Get rid of any dried spices that are more than a year old. They won't really be working anyway, since they lose their potency after that time. But spices and herbs are a great way to add flavor and some antioxidant power to your food, so invest in some fresher favorites. Opt for smaller containers that you'll replenish more often instead of buying in bulk and throwing it out in the end. Some Latin favorites to consider: bay leaf, saffron, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, ground garlic clove, cumin, epazote and cilantro.

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Are you aiming to get healthier this year? How are you planning to spring clean your kitchen?

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