Five Foolproof Ways to Ensure a Healthier 2022
2022 has arrived, and if New Year’s resolutions are on your mind, you’re not alone. Two of the most common resolutions people make this time of year have to do with improving their diet and getting more organized. But what if you could accomplish both of these goals, just by revamping your kitchen? Here, we’re sharing five simple strategies to make your kitchen a healthy haven in the months to come.
1. Clear out your refrigerator, pantry, and cabinets.
First, it’s important to do a deep-clean of your kitchen in order to toss unwanted items and make room for new ones. Working one appliance or area at a time, take everything out and divide into three piles: keep, donate, and throw away. Expired food should definitely be thrown out, while kitchen tools that you aren’t using regularly – like that spiralizer you got in 2016 – are better suited for donation. You may also want to rid yourself of any food that doesn’t align with your nutrition goals.
2. Give everything a home.
When organizing your refrigerator and pantry, you want to be able to see everything that’s inside. Investing in some storage solutions, such as containers, lazy susans, and risers, will help you maximize space and keep stock of what you have on hand. Clear containers, preferably glass, are best for their visibility; these can be used for storing everything from pasta and grains to protein bars and coffee. What’s more, utilizing containers is a great way to organize bulk items – such as legumes, nuts, and seeds – which are not only good for you, but your wallet as well.
3. Keep healthy foods visible.
How many times have you purchased a bag of salad greens with good intentions, only to find it two weeks later at the back of your crisper drawer? This is where the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” really rings true. To avoid future casualties, store your produce and other healthy foods at eye level (or the middle shelf), both in your refrigerator and your pantry. Always in sight, you’ll be reminded to use up these foods before they go bad, and they’ll be the most convenient choice when you’re in search of something to eat. Similarly, keep the chips, candy, or any other tempting treats in harder-to-reach locales, such as the top shelf in a cabinet.
4. Prep, prep, prep.
There’s no question that a little prep work goes a long way in making your life easier in the kitchen. After you return home from a grocery run, portion out your meat and freeze any that you won’t be using that week. You should also take the time to wash and dry your produce, then chop or slice if necessary before storing. This way, you’ll always have a nutritious snack on hand, and when you’re ready to cook dinner each night, half of the work is already completed. If you have a sweet tooth, prepping a few healthy snacks – energy balls and homemade trail mix are great options – can help keep you satisfied and satiated.
5. Have the right tools.
There are a few essential tools that every home chef needs to be successful. These include a cutting board, chef’s knife, cookware set, mixing bowl, spatula, high-quality blender, and measuring cups and spoons. With these basic tools, you can try most recipes and develop your cooking skills over time. You also need to consider what gadgets will help you stick to your nutrition goals. If an air fryer makes the difference between veggies that get eaten and those that go bad in the refrigerator, then it’s likely a worthy investment! Store the tools you use on a regular basis in easy reach for easy access.
A well-stocked, organized kitchen ultimately leads to a more enjoyable cooking experience and helps you develop better eating habits. With these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier new year.