Here are some basic strategies for keeping your kitchen healthy all week-long:
Pack your pantry with the basics. If your fridge and cupboards contain random condiments, herbs, spices, flour, snacks packed with preservatives, etc. then cooking up a fast healthy meal won’t happen. However, if you have quinoa, fruits, organic meats, veggies, gluten-free pastas, canned beans, canned soups, rice, protein powder, etc.; you can whip up quick and healthy meals in no time. Just remember to check the labels to avoid any high fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial dyes or other processed ingredients.
Organize your kitchen.
- Clear clutter from counter-tops.
- Clean the dark corners of your cupboards: If you don’t use something at least a few times a week, put it in a drawer, cabinet or get rid of it for more space.
- Organize drawers and get rid of useless gadgets.
- Keep knives sharpened and within reach.
- Keep a garbage bowl on the counter-top while you’re cooking: it makes cleanup even faster when you can dump out one bowl of scraps rather than constant cleaning.
- As you start cooking, get out all the ingredients you’ll need and have them on the counter. There’s less chance that you’ll forget something.
Get ahead whenever possible.
- Cook on the weekends, make sure there are leftovers and prep on your days off. Then during your busy work days you have easy and healthy eats to grab.
- Cook recipes that keep well (soups, stews, whole grains, beans), and refrigerate or freeze them for easy re-heating when you need them.
- Prep smoothie ingredients! This makes the morning easier when you can just dump the ingredients into your MagicBullet or NutriBullet.
- Crave snacks? Stock the top or middle shelf of your refrigerator with easy to eat seasonal fruit, veggies, organic nut butters and organic salsa. Do you know your cravings type yet? Take the quiz here!
Make simple meals. Cook brown rice or lentils, cut up red bell pepper and use it to scoop hummus, wrap leftover chicken in romaine leaves with organic ranch. And don’t forget eggs! Dinner with scrambled free-range eggs, tossed greens with sliced avocado and cut up raw carrots is perfectly acceptable, delicious and fast.
If you see it, you’ll eat it! So put healthy foods in your line of sight. Instead of hiding your leafy greens in the drawers where they’ll be forgotten, place them on the top shelf where they’re the first thing you see and are easy to reach. Every time you open the fridge, this will remind you to make a quick salad.
Make the place where you eat and prepare food into a fun and welcoming space. Even the smallest of kitchens can be turned into a healing, creative zone with little touches like linen napkins and simple decor.
Light candles for every meal, sit down and say a prayer or bless the meal with a little gratitude. Even a little extra awareness for the farmer, animal, or person who brought the meal to your table makes a simple meal relaxing, and puts you in the best mood for digesting.
No matter where you’re eating, get into the best digestion mode possible. Whether you’re eating at home, at work, or even in the car between meetings, take five, slow, deep breaths before you eat. While the ideal eating space is a calm, beautiful setting, even a noisy park bench or your work station can transform into a healing meal spot.