10 Ways to Prep Your Kitchen For Clean Eating Success
Is it possible to eat food that not only tastes as delicious as the foods you’re used to, but also provides your body with everything it needs to function perfectly, have more energy, heal itself from the inside out, get fit automatically, feel amazing and burn fat all day long? The answer is YES.
A big part of that is setting you up for success by creating lifestyle habits to achieve balance, de-stress and succeed. If you fail to plan, you can most certainly plan to fail when it comes to eating cleaner, because there more preparation and awareness involved.
Here are 10 of my favorite ‘Fit Foodie Filosophies’ – fit lifestyle approaches that will help you get ready for clean eating success:
- Rehab your fridge and purge your pantry: To eat cleaner and get leaner, start with cleaning out your fridge and pantry to make way for the good stuff. Here are the items to purge: If it’s bleached, contains high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, the word ‘artificial’ in front of anything, ‘trans fats, 8 syllable words or anything on my ‘Steer Clear’ list, it’s time to say buh-bye. Also be aware of sodium and sugar, keeping your added sugar intake to less than 50 grams a day (for kids it’s 25 grams) and sodium to less than 2200 mg per day. Focus on transforming your fridge into a salad bar, with a variety of fresh produce washed with Eat Cleaner® to extend shelf life and wash away bacteria, pesticide residue and wax, along with good sources of protein, complex carbohydrates and high quality fats.
- Learn the language of Labelese: You may not be fluent in another language but learning how to read ‘labelese’ or the language of labels can help you navigate the grocery store aisles to save your health. There are over 14,000 additives used in commercially prepared foods today. Some are far more complicated and potentially dangerous. Ones to make note of are the artificial preservatives and flavors that have been linked to cancer, toxicity to the nervous system and other ill side effects. These include BHA, BHT, EDTA, sodium benzoate, nitrates, nitrites and monosodium glutamate, among others.
- Ditch the diet mentality: The key to a balanced diet is not to diet. Why would we ever be motivated to stick to something that begins with DIE? Diet comes from a place of deprivation and restriction. Being too restrictive, not eating enough of the right foods and eating too little can all sabotage your efforts to get healthy and maintain the proper weight and body fat levels. I created a macronutrient-proportioned meal plan that helps people balance their food intake called the Eat Cleaner Meal Prep Program for that reason. When you eat cleaner, you are focusing on fresh and living sustainably to feed your body to the core – and that just feels good.
4. Join the hydration nation – Ahhh, water. You can live for weeks without food, but without water, your body will shut down in just a few days. It’s that important. Every metabolic function your cells perform requires hydration, including digestion, so strive to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. Keep clean water available sustainably in your kitchen at all times by using a water filter on your sink or refrigerator, a filtered pitcher or a water delivery service instead and fill your own reusable bottles to help cut down on plastic.
- Get the right tools for the job – Just like an artist or mechanic, being equipped with the ‘right stuff’ in the kitchen will make your preparation much easier and more efficient. These picks will also help enable you to control portions and keep your cooking cleaner and leaner. Some of my favorite essential tools include: Measuring cups and spoons; BPA-free reusable containers to store food in various sizes; insulated cooler bag to transport meals, large colander to wash produce; set of cutting boards – 1 for produce, 1 for meats, 1 for fish and 1 for everything else; a powerful blender for smoothies, soups and sauces; a good food processor for nut butters, spreads and dips; a set of chopping and paring knives; handheld spiralizer for making veggie pasta; immersion blender for purees; crock pot for slow cooked meals; baking dishes with lids in various sizes; and assorted cooking pans that are Teflon and chemical-free, please!
- Shop smart, save green: If you’re shopping at 5 different stores, think again. Streamline your purchases to help save time and money. Club stores offer products in bulk so you can purchase more efficiently, especially if you’re getting the same types of items every week. Look to Farmer’s markets for locally grown produce, eggs, meats, seafood and specialty items to support growers in your area. You can also consider an online delivery service that will ship all your fresh and packaged groceries directly to your doorstep. Make a master grocery list and check off what you need weekly so that you’re stocked up on the weekend and ready for the week.
- Prepare for Food 911’s: It’s inevitable. Someone is hungry RIGHT NOW and can’t wait one more minute for mealtime. Having a few ready-to-eat snacks will help save everyone’s sanity. At home, keep a bowl filled with fresh fruit and Eat Cleaner® Biodegradable Fruit + Vegetable Wipes for easy cleaning. Also, keep a container of hummus or salsa with cut-up veggies available for a quick bite. I also recommend keeping a bag of shelf-stable, clean snacks you can take on the go so that don’t get lured by the flashing lights of the drive-thru. Items like beef jerky (pick preservative-free types), high-protein bars, low sugar trail mix and mixed nuts are all good choices, along with plenty of water.
- Meal prep for success: Pick a day, like Sunday, and dedicate an hour to getting ready for the week by prepping a few staples; pre-wash and chop fruit and veggies; grill chicken, salmon and other lean proteins; make a nutritious dip for veggies like hummus, white bean dip or salsa; make a pot of quinoa, brown rice or farro. With these essentials, you’ve got ingredients to mix and match into tasty salads, wraps, bowls and other quick meals to carry you through the week.
- Waste less, eat more: If someone took $150 and flushed it down the toilet you might think they were nuts. But if you’re dumping fresh produce out every month, you’re basically doing the same thing. I created Eat Cleaner® to not only help you eat cleaner, safer produce but to help it last longer. It’s not like water. You can wash your produce ahead! So here’s what I suggest: bring your produce home, wash it with Eat Cleaner Fruit and Veggie Wash and put it back into a sealed container – and just watch how much longer it lasts and how much more your family eats. You’ve now made your produce more convenient to eat, without spending a lot of money on all the pre-washed produce that’s usually just cleaned with chlorinated water, anyway.
- Grow a family of fit foodies: It may seem easier to keep your kids out of the kitchen during dinnertime prep, but there’s no better way to cultivate a good palate. Studies show that children who are involved in the process are 80% more likely to try new things – like spinach, kale, and all the other green things you’ve been trying to get them to eat. Give your children simple tasks like washing veggies, mixing ingredients or pressing the ‘start’ button on the blender. They will take pride in their accomplishments and soon enough, they’ll be making the same smart choices you’ve demonstrated in your own actions.
Lastly, the immune system is the body’s natural reaction or response to “foreign invasion.” In healthy people, a properly functioning immune system readily fights off harmful bacteria and other pathogens that cause infection. However, the immune systems of people with certain illnesses are often weakened from the disease process and/or the side effects of some treatments, making them susceptible to many types of infections — like those that can be brought on by harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. We created Eat Cleaner to help you take food safety into your own hands.