Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kitchen Makeover

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
foods!

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.

28 comments:

Rae said...

Sidenote with the rising grocery prices...surprisingly enough, I can pick up a loaf of sprouted whole grain goodness at Trader Joe's (I'm in NM, have mercy!) for cheaper than a loaf of "regular" bread at the run-of the mill grocery store. I also shoot for items with high fiber/protein content to keep the munchies away.

It's normally touted that eating clean/healthy/organic is far more expensive than not, which is not true anymore with the way the prices for the "normal/not good for you/processed" foods have skyrocketed. If you're going to pay around 3 dollars for a loaf of bread, get the good stuff, already!

Also, a huge item that has helped me are the "green bags" that help keep produce fresher for longer. As it's not feasible for me to hit the store every day/every other day to grab produce, I stock up, "green bag" it, and have my own little produce section for a week and a half or so. So that's no longer an excuse either. LOL.

You'll know you're eating clean when you slip up, have the piece of cake and pizza at the birthday party, and then feel like you got worked over by a steamroller. Kay-rumba!

Cheryl said...

I started buying bags of 10 grain flour in 25 lb bags plus fresh ground cornmeal and a 10 grain pancake mix. My granddaughter hates it but in time she will learn to like it. It is healthy. It is hard to cook and eat healthy but most days we do pretty good. My husband has finally realized that he feels better when he eats healthy.

Nick said...

Tony,

I believe you once said that you never needed to count a calorie in your life, which I think really puts a positive spin on this diet mystery thing. Every time I hear that ex-football player, Nutrisystem guy bellow out, "Real food for real guys," I just want to cringe! Promoting the idea that we can all eat the same old crap and lose weight and be healthier is simply misleading and wrong. As you so rightly state in your blog, it's not complicated. All we need to do is keep it simple: fruits, green, leafy vegetables, whole grains, unrefined flours and sugars, etc. If people actually knew how much better life can be on all levels, they would never go back to that depression- and obesity-causing garbage again! And guess what, folks?!? Your taste buds will adapt as you feel better and better...that's what they don't want you to know. A little effort goes a long way.

Get her done!

Nick

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony!

You have changed my life! I'm 37 and a half and have never been healthier. I'm in week eleven of
P90X. I am so grateful to you. Do you ever travel and speak across the country? I'd love to know if you'll ever be in the Cincinnati area. You are such an inspirational human being. Thank you for all you do and for changing my life for the better!:-)

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