Setting Up Your Kitchen for Healthy Eating in The New Year
The first rule for setting up your kitchen for healthier eating? Don’t buy sh*t. Just don’t. Because then you’re going to eat it and well, that’s the opposite of healthier eating.
My #1 Rule for a Healthy Kitchen:
Don’t buy sh*t.
Unless you have Yoda-level self-control (if you do, tell me your secret), my biggest piece of advice is to not fill your kitchen with those junk foods you can’t seem to resist.
I’m not saying you can’t indulge but the problem is mindlessly eating and I know if I have a stash of snacks on my countertop or in my cabinets, I’m more than likely to start munching away in front of the TV and before I know it, oh look, that entire bag of chips has magically disappeared — into my stomach.
Setting up your kitchen to be healthy is a great way to make your whole house feel healthy, not to mention your own body.
Let’s dive into my other – maybe not so blunt – tips:
If you want to keep snacks …
Just because I can’t keep snacks around doesn’t mean you can’t. If you want to buy some snacks, then no judgment.
And I’ll let you in on a secret: there are actually snacks in my own home. My husband has better will power, so we keep them up in a high cabinet, meaning you (I) have to really work for it by digging out the stepstool and navigating into the highest space. That gives you a moment to pause and think — do I really want this snack and if yes, how will I make sure I have just one?
Remember that not all snacks are bad snacks. Fruits and vegetables are healthy snacks! So why not display them on your countertop or kitchen island? That makes them easily accessible (and decorative), unlike those pesky less healthy munchies.
I love placing fruits and vegetables in deep organic wooden platters. It’s a nice way to bring life and warmth into the kitchen, as well as a bit of color. If you have really dark wooden cabinets or a darker countertop, try a light-colored ceramic bowl instead.
Whatever you do, get a bowl that is not too deep so you don’t lose an avocado or tomato that just ends up dying at the bottom of the bowl only to be found weeks — or months — later. It’s not pretty, folks.
Keep everything organized
Don’t let the clutter monster take over your pantry or coffee/tea station. Keeping everything organized is a sure-fire way to know what you have on tap to whip a quick dinner – or cup of your favorite brew.
Go through your pantry at least once a quarter. Make sure all your labels are facing forward so you know what’s in there and check those expiration dates so you know what foods are getting close to spoiling and need to make their way into a meal ASAP.
If you can, make your pantry pretty, too. I love the Container Store. You can buy all sorts of different containers and baskets that make it fun to open up your pantry door because not only is everything where it should be, it looks great too.
A coffee/tea station is a nice option, too. And another way to avoid the junk food. If you want something sweet, just whip up a Chai tea or something that’s tasty without all the added fat and calories.
Use smaller plates
Dinner plates have gotten just absolutely huge over the past several decades, right? Surely I’m not the only one who thinks so… so consider splurging a little on some smaller cute salad plates as your main source of entree service.
Every diet ever has pointed out that smaller plates trick your brain into seeing a full or even overflowing plate of food and helps you stick to the correct portion sizes.
Plus, plates with a pretty design can be left out on the counter so you can more easily grab one instead of reaching into the cabinet for that ginormous dinner plate.
Keep things clean
A clean and tidy kitchen can encourage you to cook, whether it’s with your family or on your own. Get a speaker so you can play some fun music while you’re there and it won’t even feel like work.
Also, invest in good appliances. I’ve told every client who’s done a kitchen renovation to get a steam oven. I have one myself and I am completely sold. They make the most amazing, delicious food that keeps all the flavor in.
That dry, rubbery chicken you get when you accidentally overcook the bird a little bit? That’s a thing of the past. It’s an investment that is worth every single penny.
Add some greenery
Plants, including fresh herbs, make a great addition to the kitchen. Plop some rosemary in a glass of water or a little vase and it not only looks pretty but smells nice too. But any plants are great to try and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can create a wall of greenery with fresh herbs. It’s a thing. Really.
Fresh flowers are another way to add joy to the kitchen. Just buy a bouquet, set it in a pretty vase and enjoy!
You can also use essential oil diffusers. Those make your kitchen smell great and can mix well with the cooking and baking aromas in the room, too.
Those are just a few things that you can do to set up your kitchen for healthier living. But remember No. 1 — don’t buy junk food. Just don’t. You will thank me later.