By Tanya Glos
The boxes on your spring cleaning to-do list are almost completely checked off. You’ve de-cluttered closets, desks, drawers, the garage and the attic. You’ve even made a choice to clean up your diet by making healthier food choices. But did you realize that all that organization you worked to achieve throughout your home should include your fridge, freezer and pantry? Organization and healthy eating are intimately related and need to be done simultaneously to be effective. When a home is organized, people function on a higher level. Decisions are made easier because the mind has fewer options through which to sort. The mind feels more peaceful, relaxed and equipped. That same feeling should be felt in the kitchen, where we make many important choices for our health.
The absolute first step to take once the decision is made to commit to a new lifestyle or eating plan is to take an inventory of what “fits in” with the new, and what absolutely does not. Here are some kitchen decluttering steps to take, and which to avoid, NOW!
WAIT UNTIL THE PERFECT TIME. There is never a perfect time. It won’t come after the holidays (have you noticed there are holidays, events, and special occasions all year round?), or after vacation, or after school is out. Those are all excuses not to do it NOW.
WAIT UNTIL ALL THE SNACKS, DESSERTS, SODAS, OR OTHER TEMPTING ITEMS HAVE BEEN CONSUMED. They’re always around, especially in a busy household. However, you can control where those treats are and whether or not you open the cabinet where they will be placed. Yes, it takes self-control, but you can do it NOW.
READ, RESEARCH, AND ENDLESSLY DISCUSS EVERY NEW AND FADDISH “DIET.” Don’t get caught up in the hype of a new fad. Speak to a nutritionist, health coach, dietitian, or someone you know who lives the lifestyle you’d like to be living. Ask NOW.
ANNOUNCE TO THE WORLD THAT YOU ARE BEGINNING A NEW “DIET.” Announcing blindly to everyone only keeps you focused on your plan beyond mealtimes. Who cares? Don’t make it the focus in every conversation. Stick to telling the people who are in your home or are living the same lifestyle as you. And do it NOW.
OPEN ALL OF YOUR CABINETS THAT CONTAIN FOOD. Pull out everything that is a temptation for you, and put it in a pile. This applies to your utensil drawers, cooking gadgets, and appliances (like the seldom-used ice cream maker). Similar to clothing, cooking items that haven’t been used in a year can be safely donated and most likely will not be missed. Donate the pile, give it to a neighbor, or empty an out-of-the- way cabinet and place the tempting items inside if there are other members of the household who will eat it. YOU will not open that cabinet again starting NOW.
MAKE A SHOPPING LIST FOR ONE OR TWO STORES KNOWN FOR HEALTHIER AND ORGANIC OPTIONS. Farmer’s markets and health food stores make healthy shopping easier. Stick to your list and include healthy foods that you look forward to cooking with.
CLEAN AND ORGANIZE WHAT’S LEFT, PLACING YOUR HEALTHIEST OPTIONS AT EYE LEVEL. Use attractive baskets and other organizational containers. Make it appealing, sensible and accessible.
Following these simple steps could make all the difference in helping you stay on track and committed to your new lifestyle. Imagine your kitchen as a refuge and a positive place! It’s not where temptation lurks. You’ll open an organized refrigerator and be inspired and at peace with your decisions. But please, do it NOW!
Tanya Glos helps people gain the benefits of a lifestyle filled with healthful, whole, organic foods. She has a degree in Dietetics and Nutrition Care and has practiced what she’s preached to individuals, families and groups since 1994.
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