Building healthy habits is all about making it easy. A cluttered pantry and fridge full of old cereal, sugary granola bars, and half used condiments that are crusty around the edges can make it harder than it needs to be to reach for the cucumbers and peppers.
But if you know anything about me, you’ll also know I’m all about a practical balance and that your kitchen doesn’t need to be made up of only the things from the organic farmer’s market. Today we’ll dive into 3 tips on how to optimize your kitchen so you can reach for the healthy choices and enjoy the treats in a smarter way this spring!
Placement is EVERYTHING!
It’s unrealistic to say you’ll throw out everything with added sugar. You won’t. And that’s okay. But we can rearrange your pantry and refrigerator to make the processed foods an afterthought and the veggies and whole grain rice cake with almond butter the easy option.
For example, in your pantry the higher sugar, less nutritious items like cereal, cereal bars, chocolate, candy, chips, etc can be placed on the highest shelf where it’s harder to reach and not as easy to see at first glance. With that, arrange snacks like seaweed, rice cakes, protein bars, and mixed nuts on an eye level shelf.
You’ll glance into the pantry and grab what’s accessible, not really thinking twice about the top shelf.
The same goes for the refrigerator. Try putting treats in the back of the fridge and
place meal prep, leftovers, fresh fruits and veggies where you can see it and easily grab.
We’re not going to throw out the chips, sugary yogurt, and ice cream right away if at all. But we can slowly replace things. As you come to the end of your Activia yogurt, don’t buy more. Replace it with a low sugar greek yogurt option. As you come to the end of your Belvita snack cookies, don’t buy more. Replace it with a higher quality, lower sugar, and better balanced RX Bar.
Make note of all the snacks and treats you can replace with more balanced and whole food options, and simply replace it with higher quality equivalents when you come to the end of it.
Countertop cleaning is just as important as pantry and refrigerator decluttering.
The bowl of chocolate, candy, or leftover cake that you have sitting out on the counter or in the middle of the table is a sure fire way to mindlessly snack and make the task of building new healthy habits - harder. Instead of relying solely on willpower not to graze on the things on the countertop everytime you walk in the kitchen, make it easy by putting things away. Treats that would normally sit on the counter can now be tucked away in the pantry or back of the refrigerator. Soda that sits out where everyone can easily grab it can now be tucked away in the extra storage closet in the basement!
With these 3 tips you’ll notice that nothing is completely gone if you don’t want it to be! This is all about learning how to build healthy habits in a way that fits your lifestyle and making the healthier choices easier.
You can still have a treat when you want it. But by tucking it away, you’ll truly only grab it when you want it. Not just because it’s there.
For more tips, head over to @Practical.Nutritionist on Instagram or LivingWithLeena.com. Find healthier recipes like these Funfetti Cupcakes!!