A healthy lifestyle starts in the kitchen. You know the saying, you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet? In this fresh season of newness, take an hour or two to prep your kitchen for your healthiest year yet. We’re sharing a handful of easy, healthy steps you can take to set yourself up for success in 2021.
Purge your pantry
Start the new year off with a clean slate by purging your pantry and fridge. Clear out all the expired foods, the foods you know you’ll never eat and any food that is just going to be a hinderance to your healthy lifestyle. If you have unopened foods you want to get rid of, make sure to take them to your local food bank.
Make a shopping list
Create your ultimate shopping list of new foods and current swaps you want to make. Add shelf-stable items that are better for your nutrition and easy to incorporate into your weekly meals. For example:
- Dried beans and legumes
- Unsalted nuts like walnuts and almonds
- Balsamic vinegar
- Healthy oils like grapeseed oil, walnut oil or flaxseed oil.
- Brown rice/quinoa/whole-wheat couscous
A collection of high-quality oils is particularly important for setting up a healthy kitchen. Some oils, like extra-virgin olive oil, are best used in uncooked dishes, such as salad dressings, or brushed on chicken and fish after cooking. Flavorful nut and seed oils are great for adding unique flavor to salad dressings and stir-fries.
Keep a running list of perishables you want to keep in the fridge. Dividing your shopping list into sections is a great way to make sure you don’t meander into unhealthy territory when doing your shopping. Stick to the parameters you outlined before leaving the house to help avoid temptation.
Get organized + maintain
I personally like to keep my kitchen organized in designated “zones,” especially because we have a small space. Keep your healthy foods easily accessible at all times. This way, whenever you mosey on over to the snack cupboard, the easiest to grab snacks are right there and at front of mind. Besides, an aesthetically pleasing kitchen is so much more satisfying than a disorganized mess. Trust me, I’ve been there. You can see my fridge and pantry makeover here if you need some inspiration.
A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen, and you’ll enjoy being in there that much more often if it’s maintained. Make it a place you enjoy spending time. Fill a fruit bowl with the fresh, colorful fruit you just purchased and place it on your kitchen countertop. Clean and cut fresh vegetables right away and put them in containers in the front of the fridge so they are convenient to grab and eat on the go. Place fresh herbs in water in the fridge to use quickly and put new milk behind the older one to use that one up before it spoils.
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to make your kitchen one of the most sustainable rooms in your home.
- Compost: Get a countertop composting bin for your kitchen scraps. It helps reduce food waste and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Switch to green cleaning agents: Your kitchen is one of the last places you want laden with toxic chemicals. Switch your big-box cleaning supplies for natural-based ingredients and sustainable materials.
- Go non-toxic with cookware: Your old non-stick pan could be leeching toxic chemicals into your new, healthy meals. Opt for a brand that uses ceramic, cast-iron or stainless-steel to avoid adding more harm to your health.
- Ditch single-use items: Say goodbye to plastic bags, paper towels and cling wrap. There are so many better options out there for your everyday needs. Check out our complete list of zero-waste swaps here.
You can’t have a healthy new year without proper hydration. These tumblers are one of our favorite ways to stay hydrated, sustainably! Drink all the water your body needs to feel its best and even take it with you to the store while you’re fulfilling your healthy shopping list.
Main + featured image via our home tour with Jane Riley
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