Sticking with a healthy diet can be hard, but it can be especially difficult when your kitchen is a mess and your cupboards are so cluttered you can’t find any ingredients. Don’t let an unorganized or cluttered kitchen deter you from your healthy eating goals. Instead, set up your kitchen so that it works with your goals not against them. Here are several ways to design your kitchen so that it can support rather than hinder your healthy eating goals.
Clear the Cupboards
Cluttered cabinets make nearly every aspect of creating an environment to foster healthy eating habits difficult. Everything from finding ingredients to making a shopping list can be frustrating if you are digging through expired, empty, or unnecessary items. To prevent frustration and make healthy cooking easier you should clean out your cupboards. Remove every last item from your cupboards and pantry so that it is completely empty. While your cupboards are empty you can wipe them down and remove any lingering dust, dirt, or residue. To ensure that you can see all of the items in your cupboards you should install slide out kitchen cabinet shelves and a dedicated spice rack on the inside of your cabinet door.
Now it’s time to organize. Group your spices together as well as your baking items such as flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc. Keep them grouped together in separate containers that are clearly labeled. The same is true of other foods such as cereal, bread, and fruits and vegetables that do not need to be stored in the refrigerator.
Invest in Smart Technology
When you are preparing to cook a healthy meal, the last thing you want to do is search through websites, recipe cards, or even worse try to remember the exact measurements needed. Make cooking a healthy meal easier by investing in smart technology for your kitchen. Invest in a smart refrigerator that not only lets you see through the refrigerator door, but provides a screen where you can display recipes, shopping lists, or digital pinboard. Another beneficial smart technology feature for the kitchen is a smart oven hood. Smart oven hoods turn on and off the ventilation system when a specific level of heat, vapor, or grease is detected. The hood also allows for video chat, access to stored recipes, music, movies, and social media. A final tech-enabled kitchen appliance to check out is a smart food scale. Essentially all of these scales provide you with your recipe, you measure out the ingredients and then the scale walks you through the recipe which you can then bake, broil, saute, or serve according to the directions. Most of these smart scales will link up with a food logging platform such as MyFitnessPal, making it possible for you to easily log your calories and macronutrients. Of course all of the smart appliances are capable of voice and smartphone commands. Not only are these appliances smart, they are Energy Star certified and highly valued by home buyers.
A kitchen with clearly designated meal prep and eating areas will benefit those that are looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle. There are three essential zones for any kitchen. The first zone is centered around the stove. This is the area where the majority of baking, sauteing, and boiling will occur. Items such as pots, pans, cooking oils, and seasonings should be close by. The second zone is for food storage and includes the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. This is where the large items will be stored that you will need to cook with. Keep these areas free of clutter and neatly organized so you can easily find ingredients. The final zone is the meal-prep area. This is most likely going to be near the kitchen sink where you can wash and cut fruits and vegetables. Keep your cutting boards, compost pail, and knives near this area.
Finding anything in a dimly lit room can be frustrating. Brighten up your kitchen with a few well placed lights to make it easier to find ingredients, prepare food, and eat. A large central ceiling light is great for brightening the entire kitchen, but it can cast shadows around the corners of your kitchen, making the room feel small and gloomy. Light up the corners of the kitchen by adding LED strip lights underneath your cupboards. These will create an appealing glow when you are cutting and preparing foods. Also, add puck lights to your kitchen pantry and make sure you have adequate overhead spot lighting for tasks such as washing dishes or cooking on the stove.
Display Healthy Foods/Hide Unhealthy Foods
If you are trying to eat more carrots and less cookies, you aren’t going to make your task any easier if you display a big bag of chocolate chip cookies front and center in your pantry. Instead, move unhealthy processed foods up higher and further out of sight. Cookies, chips, soda, sugary drinks, etc. These can all be put in the back of the pantry or refrigerator and far out of sight. Clearly display healthy fruits and vegetables throughout your kitchen. A bowl of apples and bananas on the kitchen counter, celery and carrots cut, prepared, and clearly visible in the refrigerator, and healthy snacks such as light popcorn and almonds in the front of the pantry or cupboard. Keeping healthy food readily available and clearly visible will make reaching for a healthy alternative to unhealthy foods much easier.
Choose Colors Wisely
It may seem strange to consider your wall color when designing a kitchen to prompt healthy eating, but there is a bit of evidence that shows the color of your kitchen can affect your eating habits. For instance, red, which is known as the color of passion, has a tendency to boost your appetite and bring out a passion for food. On the opposite end of the color spectrum, blue is the color of tranquility. It promotes calm and reduces the desire to frantically consume food. Finally, green, the ultimate color of all things health related will help curb your appetite and promote a connection with the food you are consuming. Not only is green a color that connects us to nature, it is also a trending wall color according to many real estate agents.
With a clutter-free and organized kitchen you can set off on your healthy eating journey.