Kitchen Makeover time! One of the best things I ever did for myself toward better health and not sabotaging all my hard work effort was to go through my cupboard, refrigerator and freezer. I know what you might be thinking, “I can’t do that! I spend money on that! I might have company over and want to have that! I need to eat that and not let it go to waste!”
I went through the same thing. I made up my mind though after I forced myself to measure eat perfectly well with whole foods for 30 days. When I saw and felt how much food matters, I knew it was time to give up the junk I had been clinging to. It was challenging to let go, but once I did, many benefits came without having temptations everywhere.
I love the Kitchen Makeover DVD in Chalean Extreme, so if you have that, watch it and do it. It’s golden!
Giving your cupboard a makeover. I find that we often head to the cupboard when I need some carbs, something to munch or crunch on (salty or sweet). It’s all cool, but needed to find healthier versions and weed out the things that would put instant fat on the body.
You will need boxes and bags. I will let you decide if you want to donate to a local food pantry or just toss the junk. This will take a bit of time and some label reading, but ask yourself, “will this food get me closer to my health and fitness goals?” If the answer is “no,” then toss it.
Step 1: Pitch the stuff
Get rid of empty-calorie foods the ones with lots of calories and little nutrition. These are those mindless munching types of foods you grab when stressed or bored. Get rid of them!
Sugary things: soda and sweetened drinks, cakes, cookies, pastries, pies, candy and chocolate bars, frozen milk desserts, snack cakes, and cereal bars (those thingies that say low fat, but have tons of sugar)!
Anything that has High Fructose Corn Syrup in the ingredients.
Fat and Oily things: mayonnaise, chips, microwave popping corn, crackers, cookies, pies and pastries, packaged muffins, snack cakes, and mixes (brownie, cake, muffin, etc).
All trans fats: These hide in thousands of processed foods — margarine, shortening, crackers, cookies, snack cakes, cereal bars, microwave popping corn, and frozen convenience foods and snacks. Look for ingredients like “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oils or shortening and get rid of it.
Step 2: Stock up on great-tasting, healthy alternatives for foods you love
- Regular popcorn you make in a hot air popper.
- Flatout Wraps for making mini pizzas
- Canned, fat-free, low sodium beans.
- Canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce (low-sodium versions).
- Bottled marinara sauce (choose one made with canola or olive oil)
- Brown rice (get a steamer to make this stuff in).
- Quick or old-fashioned oats (or individual packets)
- Whole-grain breakfast cereals with 4g fiber or more
- Canned soups (low sodium)
- Whole-wheat pastry flour
- Stevia (or liquid stevia – I get the vanilla creme kind). The perfect sweetener that is natural!
- Salt-free seasoning blends (and individual herbs and spices).
- Canola-oil cooking spray.
- Extra Virgin Coconut oil – I think this is the best oil period and so healthy!
- Raw almonds
- Whole wheat pasta
- Raw nuts
- High-quality protein bars
- Dried fruit
- Protein powders
- Whole grain cereal
Shop in the natural foods aisle and you’ll see other foods that are friendlier for your waistline. You’ll still need to read labels, but you are at least stepping in the right direction.
Step 3: Divvy Up
This will set you up for success! Repackage the stuff you buy into portion sized containers. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but it will help you stay conscious about what you are eating because let’s face it, it’s so easy to eat mindlessly and keep reaching into a bag for more and more and more and just one more.
Buy a food scale, a few measuring cups, snack-size plastic bags and plastic reusable containers (about 8 oz in size).
Repackage snacks like almonds, chips, crackers into appropriate serving sizes. Divvy up your foods right away when you get home from shopping. Use small plastic bags or reusable plastic storage containers to organize your food into the right portions.
Place the healthiest options at eye-level for easy snacking. Put items that are lower on the health totem pole on a low shelf so you have to squat to find it. A little effort and exercise, right?
Next time we’ll tacked the cold and frozen stuff with our refrigerator!!
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