5 Easy Ways to Set Up Your Kitchen for Healthy Cooking
© Jimmy Dean
We all have certain fitness and health goals we aspire to achieve. The thing is, sticking to those goals isn’t always easy, and sometimes, we need something to encourage us on our health journey.
Because healthy habits start at home – more specifically, in our kitchen cabinets – the best place to start this transformation is right in our kitchen space. With that in mind, here are a couple of easy ideas to set your kitchen up for healthy cooking and eating and organize it in a way that will boost your health and wellness.
Keep everything handy and easily accessible
A big part of moving towards healthier habits is finding ways to make the process more convenient and easier for yourself and your family. One of the best ways to achieve that is to keep everything handy and easily accessible for when you need it.
Start by arranging fruits and veggies into bowls and display them in a way so that they’re the first thing you notice when you walk in to grab a snack. Make sure there are some other healthy snacks as well, such as nuts and seeds, and keep them within reach – ideally, pre-portioned and ready-to-eat. A small herb garden will make it easy for you to keep your meals flavorful and healthy, while small, ready-to-use appliances will support you in your intentions to eat healthy.
Get your fridge and pantry organized
The way you arrange your healthy food and snacks also plays a vital role in how successful you’ll be in sticking to your new eating habits. For starters, make sure to keep the healthiest foods and snacks in your eyeline. The foods that are kept at eye-level make for an obvious choice, and it’s a trick often used by grocery stores to get us to spend more. Also, try not to overfill your fridge and pantry. Chances are, you’ll forget where’s what and how many of it you have which only contributes to food waste, so it’s best to avoid overstuffing.
Just like you want to keep the healthiest stuff easily accessible, you also want to hide the less healthy items in places that are more difficult to access. Arrange your environment for mindful eating and eliminate anything that doesn’t support you in achieving your health goals.
Make cooking easier by doing the prep work
It’s no secret that putting in some leg work early on can spare you a lot of the hassle later on. As soon as you get back from the grocery store, don’t just put away the foods and call it a day. Instead, make an effort to get the food ready for cooking. Chop your vegetables and portion the meat for the next couple of days, and make sure everything is sealed and properly stored.
Because healthy cooking starts with the stove, you want to make sure that you’re cooking with the right kind of unit. Ease of cleaning, time-efficiency, and temperature control are factors that contribute to the overall cooking process. They also happen to be hallmarks of a quality gas burner which is quite popular among culinary enthusiasts. Things like these can make the cooking process much easier and far more enjoyable. What this means is when the time comes to actually cook the food you’ve prepared, you’ll be more motivated to keep your diet on track.
Other than investing in the right tools that will support you on your health journey, making better food choices also starts with some other, smaller tweaks to the way we approach cooking and eating. Sometimes, this will mean storing away larger plates and bowls and keeping smaller ones within reach as a way to control your portion sizes.
Other times, it will involve going through your favorite recipes and making some healthy substitutions both in terms of food and cooking techniques. Of course, there are numerous methods for eating smarter, and they all involve simple changes that everyone can make and make it easier for them to create healthy habits and stick to them.
Tidy up and declutter
You may be thinking: what does cleaning have to do with eating healthy? Well, a lot. According to researchers, a messy and cluttered kitchen has a big impact on our eating behaviors. It affects our mindset by inducing a sense of chaos which makes us more prone to overeating. On the other hand, a clean and tidy kitchen gives us a sense of control. It also helps us avoid unnecessary stress and frustrations, which reduces the urge to make unhealthy choices.
The best place to start is to declutter your countertops and kitchen cabinets. Take everything out and go through your items deciding what to throw away and what to keep. Store away any items and appliances you don’t use on a daily basis, leaving plenty of space on the counters for easier prepping and cooking. Rely on labels, jars, and bins to keep everything organized and tidy and ensure healthy eating success.
When it comes to adopting healthy eating habits, staying on the right track can feel challenging at times. However, if you manage to create an environment that supports and encourages healthy cooking and makes things easy and convenient, you’ll boost your chances of achieving your health goals and set yourself up for success.