“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful — that will be my life.”
— Elsie de Wolfe, interior designer
Spring is here and it’s time to reorganize the kitchen! What is in your pantry?
Is there a place for everything and everything in its place?
Stock up on healthy foods
One of the best ways to stick to cleaner, safer eating habits is to get rid of anything that is not on your “good for me” list. Go through your pantry and toss out any processed foods, bad fats like vegetable or corn oil (or oils that have been sitting around more than a year), anything made with GMOs or that includes corn syrup, MSG, or aspartame and other chemical additives. Don’t forget to make sure your canned goods are BPA-free.
And it’s easier to stick to healthy eating when you have on hand a selection of healthier “cheat” snacks, like organic dried fruits, raw organic nuts and seeds, kale chips, or other crackers that are free of GMO wheat and other grains. Not everyone needs to avoid gluten, but commercial wheat is loaded with glyphosate (an herbicide,) so read your labels carefully. And watch out for sodium and sugar additives. Fresh is always best. If it comes in a box or bag, beware!
Make your kitchen a happy and pretty place to be
Your ingredients should be easy to see and find. I like to use pretty containers to put my everyday items in. You can even “dress up” the inside of your fridge. I love opening up the refrigerator and seeing a beautiful, ceramic bowl heaping with fresh veggies for my morning juice. You can pre-wash fruit and store it on pretty dishcloths in the crisper drawers. Invite yourself to cook by organizing your spices and herbs so they are within easy reach. And always have a beautiful bowl full of avocados and fresh, colorful fruit on your countertop.
Plan your week
A winning strategy for healthy eating is to take the time to do a meal plan at the start of each week. And even if you don’t stick to it exactly, you will be much more likely to eat well — and save money. Pull out your favorite recipe books for inspiration.
Consider keeping a master shopping list that you can put on the refrigerator and check off “need to get” items as they come up so when it is time to go shopping you can grab your bags and go. Make cooking healthy meals fast and easy! And remember, the time to think about what to eat is NOT when you are tired or hungry.
Prepare in advance for easy meals
Another winning strategy is to have a designated day of the week when you do some batch cooking. Make a pot of chili or soup, wash your veggies, and prepare easy-to-grab snacks and other staples like salad lettuces, quinoa, rice, bean hummus, pre-baked sweet potatoes, etc. Then store your prepared food in easy-to-see glass or safe plastic containers. Throw pre-washed kale, chard, and spinach in the freezer along with berries and other fruit like bananas so they never go bad and are always at the ready for a quick smoothie.
Keep some superfood add-ons like spirulina, maca, chia or hemp seeds, cacao powder, and goji berries on hand to throw into your smoothies too. You might even try making your own nut milk. It’s so easy to do, and the best part is you know there is no added sugar or harmful ingredients like carrageenan. Just soak a cup of your favorite raw organic nuts in water for 4 to 8 hours. Rinse, drain, and put in the blender with 3 cups of fresh water and blend it up with a little vanilla, cinnamon, or stevia if you like. You can strain or not depending on the nut and your preference. Delicious!
So here’s to a happy spring and your beautifully organized kitchen! Enjoy abundance and gorgeously good health.