5 Steps to a Healthier Kitchen & Healthier Life.
We’ve all heard of face makeovers, home makeovers and clothing makeovers,
but a kitchen makeover?? You got it!! Spring is the best time to start anew,
clean our cupboards, clean our bodies & clean our closets…so let’s start in
the kitchen and jump-start your health and wellness for a fabulous feel-good
summer!! First step is to open your kitchen cupboards. Are they loaded with
primarily processed, canned and boxed food? Most of this food is void of any
nutritional value and is not good for us. Yet we’ve become so attached to
our favorite cereal or favorite loaf of bread that we have a difficult time
giving it up. The good news is that there are many alternatives available
today to create a healthier, more nutritious way of eating. Below are some
steps to help you makeover your kitchen into a smorgasbord of healthy, tasty
1. Whole Grain Products – Ditch those white flour products and look for
breads, pastas & even cookies made from whole wheat, whole grain or even
better, sprouted grain flours. Make sure your labels say, “whole wheat” and
not “enriched wheat” or “wheat flour” which are both just “fancy” names for
white flour. White flour is void of nutritional content and fiber. It causes
an extreme rush of insulin in the body, which in turn results in the well
familiar afternoon slump. The complex carbohydrates & fiber in sprouted &
whole grain flours will give you staying power and an even flow of energy
throughout the day. Your cravings for sugar will begin to wane and you will
have more energy!
1. Vegetables – Do you get your daily servings of veggies out of a can or a
box that comes in the freezer section of your grocery store?? Most canned
vegetables are void of their nutritional value due to over processing. If
you are unable to buy fresh veggies, go with frozen over canned. Fresh and
organic is the best choice, but frozen will do. Stock up on plenty of dark
leafy greens, which are rich in minerals, micronutrients, vitamins & iron.
Try out some curly leaf kale or sauté up some Swiss chard with garlic and
olive oil. Your taste buds and your body will thank you!
1. Dairy Alternatives - Look for cheeses made from Sheep or Goat milk,
which are easier to digest than Cow’s milk cheese. Even people who claim to
be lactose intolerant can usually handle these types of cheeses. Goat’s milk
Feta adds a zesty tang to salads and whole grain pasta dishes! Remember to
use cheese in moderation, as it is high in saturated fat. For all you milk
lovers, try these tasty alternatives available at most grocery stores in the
specialty foods section: rice milk, almond milk & even hemp milk which is
great on whole grain cereal with some freshly sliced strawberries!
1. Complex Carbohydrates (Grains & Vegetables) – Ban the white rice and
indulge in brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa and the many other
grains available today. Eat plenty of beans (preferably freshly cooked from
dried beans), grains & vegetables together to give you a well-rounded
spectrum of complex carbs & protein. Sweet potatoes with Black beans are a
great source for this and they’re yummy too! Top with a little organic
butter or some cinnamon & nutmeg for a dessert like side dish.
1. Healthy Fats – Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Peanut Oil & Almond Oil are a few
examples of healthy fats that are fantastic for the body in moderate
amounts. All of these oils are good to cook with and are stable under high
heat. Get rid of those highly processed margarines, shortening or any other
product containing trans-fatty acids.
Remember that taking small steps toward your health is better than no steps
at all. Start by clearing out the white flour & sugar products and replace
them with the healthier whole grain alternatives. Try these alternatives for
a couple weeks and feel the difference they make in your energy, well-being
and mood. Makeovers are sometimes hard to maintain, but if you take baby
steps, you will learn to change your eating habits into a healthier eating
lifestyle that will stay with you for a long time to come.