Kitchen cleanup 2015!

dietandnutrition_Jan15_BYou might be a few months away from a spring clean but the first month of New Year is a perfect time for Kaia girls to give their kitchen cupboards and refrigerator a clear out. If you want to make some healthier meal plans for 2015 then you need to make sure that your kitchen is transformed into a healthy eating zone, so that you can enjoy nutritious dishes to match your great fitness regime with Kaia. It isn’t just a matter of cleaning work surfaces and stocking up but finding what temptations are lurking and creating a more nutrition-friendly environment.

When tackling your kitchen and ultimately what your daily diet, you need to firstly give yourself some time, at least a couple of hours, and also follow a sensible action plan to make the most out of your dining-at-home diet. If you are not sure how to start, then here’s a quick guide to creating a kitchen that will motivate you to eat better:

  1. Empty your cupboards and refrigerator – You need to see every item of food you have in your home in front of you. So your first task is to empty your stores and lay everything out together on a big table or work surface.
  2. Make a mental assessment of your diet today – Seeing what foods you have in the house laid out in this way allows you to make an instant appraisal of your diet. Follow your gut instinct and your first impression and ask yourself what you see. Do you see the diet of a healthy person or someone who is lacking fresh produce?
  3. Check for sell-by dates – Check that every food is in date. The chances are that you will have some jars and condiments that have been hanging around way beyond their best. Get a refuse bag and simply throw out all this out-of-date stuff. This is a great way to begin your clear-out because you instantly feel like you are decluttering.
  4. Look at your cooking essentials and basic ingredients – Put basics such as flour and butter to one side and write down what is missing and also what could be replaced. If you do not react well to gluten then consider changing flour to rice flour or potato starch. What cooking oil are you using? Do you have a good quality olive oil in the house?
  5. Get rid of any foods that do not fit with a healthy diet – You do not need to be a nutritionist to know that processed foods are hardly up there with a healthy eating plan. There’s nothing wrong with a little dark chocolate but if you are stocked up with chocolates galore then they need to go. This includes tinned foods too, such as fruits in syrup and fruit juices made with concentrate. Start to read ingredients on packets and know what you are actually putting in your mouth.
  6. Consider different mealtimes and what foods are missing – With a pen and paper jot down what you need that you don’t have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even for light bites and suppers. Do you need some fresh fruit to eat with oats in the morning? Just write down what you think you need and make sure you cross off any unhealthy choices that pop into your mind.
  7. Write a shopping list with recipe ideas in mind – Spend time looking online or at healthy recipe books for nutritious and delicious recipes that fit with a balanced diet. It is easier to write a shopping list if you have meals in mind. You don’t need to really come up with complex recipes but think about simple dishes such as poached salmon and broccoli and salad with beetroot and grilled chicken. Make sure you include some new foods on the list too and take this opportunity to take a healthy culinary journey.
  8. Clean, shop and stock-up – Before you stock up again clean all the nooks and crannies and keep storage simple so that ingredients and produce are easily at hand in uncluttered spaces. This way you will use a good mix of what you have bought and food won’t go to waste. Don’t overfill cupboards and try and shop more regularly for fresh food.
  9. Keep healthy recipes at hand – Finally, keep some menu ideas at hand for quick-to-prepare meals, Friday night healthy treats and family dinners. If you are stuck for inspiration it is good to be able to follow a tried and tested dish.

By clearing out your kitchen you can reignite a new interest in what you eat and this can help to bring greater awareness to your diet, so that you are less prone to mindless eating. While you are enjoying a nutritious meal you might want to match your new diet with a new exercise regime, so get in touch.

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