The first rule of every plan to eat healthier is this: set yourself up for success.
What exactly do I mean by this? All of the kitchen adjustments listed below are for creating the "ideal" environment for eating real, unprocessed food. It helps to surround yourself with the ingredients you need to cook healthy meals. But often, the downfall of well intentioned changes is that people try to make HUGE changes to EVERYTHING and find themselves overwhelmed.
Read through the ideas, choose 1 or 2 that seem like simple, sustainable changes. You can do two things, right? Maybe that's all you can do right now or maybe it's just one thing. But commit to making that change and following through. Maybe in a week or two, maybe a month--you'll be ready to make a few more changes. Keep at it!
You are not running a 50 yard dash. You are in a marathon. Keep moving in the right direction. Day by day, you will find that making healthier choices will get easier. Keep visiting Choices, a place where you can always find an encouraging word and healthy inspiration.
You can do this!
Time to Make Room For the Real Food
Look in your pantry and refrigerator…what needs to go? Time to use all of our real food revolution tips to create a real food kitchen!
Breakfast Cereals: Too much sugar. Not enough fiber. Kick those to the curb.
Pasta, Flour, Rice, Bread: If it’s white—it’s history
Boxed meals: More than 5 ingredients, you can do better!
Refined Oils: processed, likely from genetically modified crops—healthy, less processed options are out there!
Soda: SUGAR AND EMPTY CALORIES! Dump it!
Yogurt, salad dressings, condiments: Hidden sugars and long lists of unpronounceable ingredients violate the real food attributes.
Lunchmeat and hot dogs—processed meats filled with salt and preservatives…so long!
Real Food Swaps...The New Normal
Here are the simple swaps that will make your real food kitchen a no-brainer. If you remove the less healthy options and replace them with better ingredients, you will have no choice but to prepare healthier food.
Whole grain products: Whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa
Whole grain cereal: raw oats for oatmeal, homemade granola, low sugar/high fiber cereal
Baking supplies: Whole wheat or white whole wheat flour, honey, spices
Olive oil and/or coconut oil
Dried or canned beans
Onions, garlic, potatoes
Milk, cheese, plain yogurt (organic preferred)
Pure maple syrup
Fresh or frozen fruits (no sugar added)
Fresh or frozen vegetables (no salt or sauces)
Humanely raised, grass fed meats (local preferred)
Eggs (preferably local from humanely raised chickens)
Need some ideas for organizing your pantry? Check out the video from Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food: "A Behind the Scenes Real Food Pantry Tour."
Moving to the refrigerator, I like how she uses glass or clear plastic containers so you can actually see what you need to use up, whether it's leftovers, salad, or veggies that you prepped earlier in the week.
You might also appreciate her "Real Food Freezer Tour." It will give you an idea of how your freezer can be especially helpful as you transition to a real food kitchen.