Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to clear out clutter, refresh and energize for the summer months. Your own health and lifestyle are great places to start your reset and refresh. Use these tips to create a kitchen and pantry that creates a healthy, positive, and supportive environment.
WHAT TO TOSS
Keeping your goals in mind, and avoiding mental negotiations that don’t align with your goals, it’s time to start ridding your refrigerator, pantry, shelves, drawers, and any hiding spots of foods and beverages that don’t serve you.
- Spices expire about 3 months after being opened.
- Check expiration dates of cans, boxes, sauces, condiments, dressings, etc.
- Freezer food expiration varies from 2 to 6 months. Throw out any questionable foods and those that are freezer burned.
- How long is the shelf life of your packaged foods? If it has a long shelf life, review the ingredients. Many shelf-stable foods are high in sodium, trans fat, or other artificial and harmful ingredients.
- Foods high in sodium
- Foods high in sugar
- Boxed foods
- Any food that contains trans fat (anything ‘hydrogenated” or “partially-hydrogenated”)
- What foods do you have trouble eating in moderation? For example, if ice cream or chips call your name from another room, toss them. This most likely doesn’t align with your health goals.
- Identify your triggers foods and ban them from your kitchen. Give yourself an opportunity to thrive by eliminating temptations that don’t serve you.
Now that you have purged, restock that kitchen with foods that will support your goals. Create an atmosphere that is simple, unique to your needs, and filled with opportunities to support your health and wellness.
Post-purge is an excellent time to clean, reorganize, or even redecorate. What does the ideal kitchen makeover look like to you? Take this time to think about how you can streamline efficiency- maybe your cups and mugs should switch cabinets with your bowls and plates? Are appliances you use/plan on using frequently (blender, sautee pan, baking sheets, whisk, knives, cutting boards, etc.) easy to get to? Set yourself up for success!
Tips to Begin With:
- Create a meal plan. Rather than wandering the grocery store grabbing foods, think in terms of meals and snacks: What grains, proteins, fats, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices will you need for each meal? Start by making a list like the one below for each day of the week. Fill it out with your planned meals, then create your grocery shopping list accordingly.
- Create a grocery list from your meal plan.
- What kitchen items will you need for your fresh foods?
- Be sure to have the appropriate storage items for storing your fresh foods.
- Glass, microwave-safe containers. Avoid plastic storage for reheating.
- Ice pack
- Water bottle
- Permanent marker
- Be sure to have kitchen equipment for new recipes or new cooking routines.
For example, if one of your goals is to cook quick meals at home, an instant pot might be a valuable investment. Or if you plan on doing big meal prep on Sunday to prep your breakfast and lunch for the week… do you have the right storage containers and enough of them? Will you sort out each meal individually for a VERY easy grab-n-go? Or will you store everything in bulk and have time to pick out what you want from each container and pack it up for the day? Think ahead and you’ll be surprised at how easy eating healthy at home can be!