Physical Well-being

Spring Cleaning: Physical Well-being

Spring cleaning is an age-old ritual that has roots in Jewish, Christian, and Persian traditions. In the 1800s, spring brought about warmer weather which meant that the soot and grime from lamp, coal and wood heating used during the winter could be thoroughly cleaned out of the house. Spring cleaning is a ritual that has evolved with time and provides us with an opportunity to say goodbye to winter and prepare ourselves and our space for what is to come.

While spring in the northern hemisphere only lasts from March 20 to June 20, this spring cleaning and organization process for your Physical Well-being can be applied year-round. 

1. Capture. Before delving into spring cleaning, it can be helpful to identify the various items that need organization and cleaning. 

Exercise: Identify all the items in your home that help you with physical activity. Gather your exercise equipment and workout clothes into a central location. If you have memberships to digital fitness platforms or physical gym locations, create a list and confirm passwords. 

Nutrition: Assess your food environment while thinking about your health and nutrition goals. Prepare for organization and cleaning by emptying all food items from your pantry and refrigerator onto a table or counter. Ensure that you have adequate time to address your kitchen before starting this step to avoid food being left out for too long. To get a head start on your organization, check expiration dates as you transfer items onto the counter and throw away everything that is expired.  

2. Organize. Now that you have captured the various items related to your Physical Well-being, you can begin to set intentions and organize those items. 

Exercise: Take a few moments to think through your exercise goals and set intentions. Maybe you aim to spend 30 minutes a day engaging in physical activity or maybe you want to walk 10,000 steps a day. Utilize your goals to inform how you organize.

Organize your calendar to create dedicated time for physical activity. If you are working from home, this may look like a 20-minute lunch break every day to walk your dog. If you prefer to take classes at the gym, look at the class schedule in advance and add classes of interest to your calendar.

After you have organized your time, you can begin to organize your items. Ensure that your exercise equipment is all stored together in a space that is easy to access. You may need to install shelves in a closet or utilize storage bins to help you organize the equipment you have. Additionally, organize your gym clothes so that they are accessible when you need them, whether that is for a walk at lunch when working from home or to put in a gym bag the night before. 

If you use a password manager, be sure to add your online fitness logins to it.

Nutrition: As you begin going through the items from your pantry and fridge, set aside any goods that do not support your health and nutrition goals. While some of these items will be goal-dependent, there are general foods and ingredients that should be minimized or eliminated to support your Physical Well-being:

  • Trans Fat: This type of fat was ruled unsafe by the FDA in 2015 as it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Trans fats are found in foods containing partially hydrogenated oils. Check the ingredients list on items such as peanut butter, coffee creamers, packaged baked goods, vegetable shortening, and microwavable popcorn. 
  • Added Sugar: Added sugar has low nutritional value, and too much of it has been associated with negative health outcomes. Review the nutrition facts label of packaged goods and aim to minimize items with added sugars. You can also check the ingredients list for added sugars, which come in many forms, including granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and molasses. 
  • Refined Grains: Refined grains include white rice, white bread, regular white pasta, or any product that has been made with white flour (also called enriched wheat flour or all-purpose flour), including cookies, cakes, and crackers. Refined grains have undergone processing that removes the nutritional value and fiber of the whole grain. Review your foods made with flour and aim to replace them with their whole grain counterparts, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, or quinoa. Note that even if a label says ‘made with whole grains’ on the front, it may still not be the most healthful choice. Instead, make sure the word ‘whole’ appears as the first ingredient on the ingredients list, such as whole wheat flour. 

In addition to setting aside items that do not support your health goals, begin making a list of items that you need. Here are some examples of healthy pantry staples: 

  • Snacks: 
    • Nuts and seeds: Have them as a snack or add them to oatmeal or salads. 
    • Brown rice cakes: An excellent snack, with many ways to top (find examples on this blog). 
    • Crackers: If you like crackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers and Simple Mills are brands with whole grains. 
  • Grains & Baking: 
    • Quinoa, lentils, and farro: Quick and easy whole grains to add to any meal.
    • Whole grain flours: These include whole wheat flour, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, or oat flour.
  • Condiments & Sauces:
    • Olive oil is nutrient-rich and is great for baking, sautéing, or for cold dressings.
    • Ketchup, mustard, & tomato sauce: Look for low sodium and low sugar options (choose options without high fructose corn syrup).
  • Canned & Jarred Goods:
    • Nut butter: Great for a snack with fruit or on a sandwich for a meal
    • Wild-caught canned seafood: Great for quick lunches.
    • Canned beans: Add to salads, soups, and chilis for fiber, protein, and a nutrient boost.
    • Chicken or vegetable broth: Look for low-sodium options to have on hand for soups and chilis. 
  • Long-lasting Fresh Fruits & Vegetables:
    • Sweet potatoes, squash (butternut, acorn and spaghetti), apples, beets, carrots, and citrus fruits.
    • Garlic and onions are the backbone of many recipes and are also chock-full of nutrients. 

When it comes to your fridge, leverage your freezer to always have a healthy meal on standby. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce and can be added to sautés, soups, smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods. Frozen fish and poultry can be thawed for a healthy, last-minute meal. 

The last step in organizing is to set up a system. Store like items together, and label and date containers. Clear storage bins in your pantry and refrigerator are a great place to start. They serve a dual purpose of organizing your goods and helping you and your family see the food that is available to consume.

3. Clean. It may be most helpful to clean as you organize.

Exercise: Wash or disinfect your exercise equipment. Your equipment has likely collected a fair amount of sweat, dirt, and dust over time. 

As you go through your workout clothes, donate or get rid of any articles of clothing that no longer fit or that you no longer need. Your activewear may not be perfectly clean, even after washing. If you find that your workout clothes don’t smell as fresh as they could, try soaking them in a distilled white vinegar and water mixture before their next wash.

Nutrition: Before putting your food back into the pantry or refrigerator, clean out the dust, crumbs, and grime that has collected over time. 

Donate or throw away any food that you will not eat or that will not support your nutrition goals. As you put your items back in your pantry and fridge, keep an eye out for common food additives that generally should be avoided, such as artificial food coloring, sodium nitrite, high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, and artificial flavoring.


Nicole Schultz Ninteau is the Physical Capital Resources Manager with Schultz Financial Group Inc.

Schultz Financial Group Inc. (SFG) is a wealth management firm located in Reno, NV. Our approach to wealth management is different from many other wealth managers, financial advisors, and financial planners. Our team of fee-only fiduciaries strives to help our clients build their wealth across four capitals: Financial Matters, Physical Well-being, Psychological Space, and Intellectual Engagement. We provide family office and wealth management services to clients located in Nevada, California, and other states. If you’d like more information, please check out our website or reach out to us via our contact page.

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