When was the last time you looked at your kitchen and gave it a real health inspection? Are all the foods in your fridge, pantry, or freezer serving to keep your waistline slim and trim or not? Maybe it's time to take a good look at your kitchen; some of the items that hinder progress are actually found right in our kitchens.
If you're like most of us, your kitchen is usually where all the action happens. It may even be safe to assume that for some of us the kitchen is where we spend most of our time, cooking and preparing meals for our family members, friends, and ourselves. If that's where most of your time is spent, wouldn't you want it to be beautiful and inspiring? As with most things in our lives, cars, homes, and offices, our kitchens too can speak volumes about our relationship with ourselves. The way it’s organized and what it contains is a direct reflection of the way we take care of our health.
Take a moment and scan your kitchen—see where it needs work. If you have knick-knacks on the counters, remove them. Donate any gadgets you don't use or have never used. Some of us may still have small appliances in boxes we got as a gift and never even used. Take a good look through your pantry and remove any food temptations you’re still clinging on to for comfort. Look deep into that fridge and see if you notice any leftovers turning all sorts of shades of green.
If you’re looking to improve your health and are committed to eating clean, commit one day this month to throwing out food items that don’t aid your health goals. Declutter your cupboards and drawers and remove anything that no longer serves you.
Here are 10 ways to help make your kitchen healthy and keep you inspired to achieve your personal health goals.
- Be your own health inspector. Go through your pantry, fridge, freezer, and cupboards and remove all foods that remind you of your previous dietary lifestyle and no longer support your current health goals.
- Read labels. If food contains any refined sugars, trans fats (better known as hydrogenated oils), food additives and preservatives such as MSG, or coloring agents, throw them away.
- Look at the expiration date. If it's past its date, get rid of it.
- Replace your unhealthy food with healthier items such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Place these items in separate, wide mouth mason jars, label and date them, and keep them in your fridge, freezer, or pantry.
- Organize your kitchen so that like items are with like items. Put similar items in the same place, for example, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and cereals; condiments and oils; whole grain flour, baking goods, supplements, and spices.
- Clean and organize your kitchen drawers and cupboards and give away items you no longer or have never used.
- Organize your daily kitchen equipment in a more functional location so they’re easy and quick to access.
- Keep only your daily used, small appliances on the counter, for example, your blender for smoothies. Your counter space should be as clear and clean as possible.
- Divide drawers in the following manner: utensils, cooking utensils, baking utensils, knives (knives can also be hung on a wall for easy access), and miscellaneous tools. All storage ware, bowls, pots, and pans should have separate cupboards so you know exactly where they are.
- Store natural kitchen cleaners under the sink ready to be used when in need. Natural only, please!!
How much you choose to do is up to you. The idea is to just get started. You can choose to do everything in one day or do one thing each day. There is no right or wrong way. Creating a relaxing and inspiring atmosphere in your kitchen is key to maintaining your health goals.
Organizing your kitchen—keeping it simple, clean, and inviting—not only makes us feel better about ourselves and keeps us motivated to take care of our health. By removing items and decluttering our kitchen, it also helps us let go of disorder from our past so we can make room for new and better opportunities to enter our life.