Congratulations on your choice to get healthy! In choosing to live a healthier lifestyle we have to prepare and plan on it! It just doesn’t happen all by itself! 🙂 We actually have to make plans, adjust and carry on accordingly!
Benjamin Franklin penned it so well….
So now let’s talk about your kitchen and how to prepare it and yourself for a new and healthier YOU!
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1. Now this is an obvious one, but too often overlooked—Clean out your Kitchen! Get rid of anything you deem ‘unhealthy’. And no this doesn’t necessarily mean to eat it all up before your new ‘diet’ starts, but if it’s unopened and still fresh then donate it to your local food bank—You don’t need it! Along with the cleaning out, organize your pantry and get it ready to fill with the good stuff! Also by keeping it organized and pretty and within easy reach makes it a lot easier for you to grab something that’s good for you instead of reaching for something possibly unhealthy instead.
2. Use herbs and spices instead of salt. Did you know according to WebMD, that “common herbs and spices may help protect against certain chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease”. Too much salt can cause fluid retention, increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. So with that, throw out all the 20 year old (or am I the only one who has 20 year old spices?!), clumped-together jars of herbs that you never use and restock your shelf with fresh and start experimenting with something new!
3. Replace your cooking oil with healthier options such as Olive, Canola, Coconut, Flax Seed and Omega III oils. Vegetable oil is pure saturated fat that can lead to many chronic diseases including high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease and obesity. Healthier oils contain those ‘good’ fats that are essential for cellular health, brain and nerve function, reduce inflammation and can lower those unhealthy cholesterol levels. The benefits of omega-3s also help reduce symptoms of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as certain skin ailments. (source) I’ve also dedicated a full post explaining more on healthy fats vs unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
4. Use a water filter. As much as you’re trying to live a new, healthy lifestyle don’t forget about the health of your water, too. Use a water filter over your kitchen faucet and/or a water pitcher to keep your water clean, too. The taste alone (or lack of rather) is worth it to me, as well as removing those added chemicals and chlorine that I don’t want to put in my body!
5. Clean your produce. A simple produce cleaner is 1 cup of filtered water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 Tbsp. baking soda and 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice. Think about it all the hands that have touched the produce, the chemicals, insecticides and pesticides sprayed on them! Gack!
The Dirty Dozen are foods with the most pesticides used on them–definitely soak and clean these well or buy organic when possible.
I hope this was helpful! Did you know that February is Heart Health Month? Did you also know that Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in middle aged women? Scary to say the least! So now, more that ever is the time to change your lifestyle habits to lower your risk of heart disease so you won’t become one of those statistics!
I’d love to hear your own Healthy Kitchen ideas and suggestions, so leave me a comment below!
Here’s to your health!