The first step in preparing for your new healthy lifestyle is to set up your kitchen.
Cleanse your house of processed and expired foods, declutter your pantry, and restock with nourishing goods. This is a great time to go into your pantry and fridge to start reading those labels! Anything that lists more than five ingredients or contains ingredients like soy, high fructose corn syrup, or words you can’t pronounce goes in a pile off to the side. Not to worry, we are not going to throw anything in the trash, we are going to pay it forward by donating to a local food shelter or church soup kitchen. Next, add to your pile any refined carbs such as sugary cereals, white bread, or white rice. These have been stripped away of their nutritional content and no health benefit to you. Let’s move onto any sodas, high-sodium lunch meats, salad dressings, and, ice cream these are generally high in salt and sugar, which will cause your body to store fat and increase disease. The goal is to leave your kitchen full of whole foods and free of processed goods.
Get organized. Buy some glass containers and healthy cookbooks, read labels, prepare a list of what healthy foods you may need to stock up on, create an on-going grocery list.
Purge. Clean out your cabinets and refrigerator of junk food (cake, candy, processed foods, and chips) in order to mentally prepare yourself. Donate unused foods to a local food bank.
Be mindful. Take time to breathe, read labels, and imagine your new kitchen as a foundation to a new healthy life.
Now it’s time to fill your kitchen back up with healthy foods! I love it when my kitchen is neatly organized and stocked with healthy food choices. It is much more inspiring to eat something that is washed, chopped, and appropriately stored; rather than left whole and hidden in the back of your fridge, am I right!? Glass containers and reusable produce bags provide a safe and chemical-free home for produce. When food is stored in plastic containers, chemicals such as BPA (bisphenol A), and can steep into your food. BPA is a major hormone disruptor that can be linked to fertility issues, heart disease, and even fetal brain development. By placing berries, sliced carrots, mixed greens in glass containers, at eye level, my hand naturally gravitates towards the healthier options. Pre-chopped produce allows for a quick snack option like hummus and carrots or a quick weeknight meal like a stir fry or salad.
Top 10 Healthy Kitchen Staples
Dark leafy greens – full of vitamins & minerals that help to prevent cancer and inflammatory disease
Sea Salt – 30% sodium & the rest is 70% minerals that help to control blood pressure and maintain acid balance in the blood. Remember, a little goes a long way!
Quinoa – a complete plant-based protein that is high in fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and calcium.
Organic eggs – a high-quality complete protein high in fiber, B vitamins, and is a great low-cost option
Olive Oil – good quality fat that is anti-inflammatory, good for your skin, and hormone health
Nut butter – a good healthy fat and protein source that can be added to smoothies, apples, or made into sauces
Almond flour – an excellent option for grain-free, gluten-free baking. It contains vitamin E, fiber, and protein
Coconut oil – a good mono-saturated fat that the body uses as a source of energy. Also, an excellent option for foods that need to be cooked at high temperatures because it doesn’t oxidize
Berries full of vitamins and minerals that boost brain and skin health. Anti-inflammatory food, high in vitamin C
Raw local honey a great immunity booster and natural sweetener