Eating healthily is so important for our overall health.
To make sure you are inspired to eat healthily it’s important to set up a healthy kitchen.
Having a healthy kitchen layout can inspire better eating habits and keep you on the right track to a healthful life inside and out.
Here are lots of tips and tricks to make sure you have a healthy kitchen and eat the best you can.
Have herbs and spices to hand
If you have some windowsills with plenty of natural light then grow some fresh herbs and spices to use in your cooking.
Not only will they bring your kitchen to life with bright natural greens, but they’ll stop you using unhealthy flavourings and condiments like salt, butter and oil in your cooking.
Having a well-stocked dried herb bar is fine too. You don’t need a collection of too many herbs and spices in order to flavour your meals yourself and skip expensive readymade sauces or spice packs that can be loaded with salt and sugar.
Here’s a list of cheap and readily available dried herbs and spices to get you started. These can easily be used in so many meals:
- Mixed herbs
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Chilli powder
- Chilli flakes
The herbs can easily flavour Italian meals such as pasta dishes and homemade pizza. The spices are great for creating delicious fajita mixes, spicing soups, stir-fries, chillies and curries.
We keep our herbs and spices in a storage basket with easy access so we can whip it out when cooking and see everything we have available whilst cooking.
Organic fruit and vegetables on subscription
To ensure you always have fresh vegetables to cook with each week, sign up to an organic vegetable box subscription. Make sure you order a box large enough to last the whole week so you have plenty to use without running out and being tempted by convenience foods.
Having lots of fresh vegetables directly from local organic farmers will help you get excited about cooking healthy meals from scratch. Many of these subscriptions offer recipe inspiration and ideas, or you can use your imagination.
Organic food sourced locally often tastes much more flavoursome than non-organic veg that has travelled far, so if you don’t usually enjoy vegetables as they are tasteless you can start really seeing how vegetables should taste!
Having an organic fruit delivery will make sure you have fresh fruit to hand to snack on when you fancy something sweet instead of biscuits or sugar-filled chocolate!
Create a kitchen design you love
You’re more likely to cook healthy meals from scratch in a kitchen you enjoy spending time in.
If you detest your kitchen décor or design then it’s likely you’ll want to spend as little time as possible in this room, opting to cook the quickest, most convenient meals possible. Fast food and ready-prepared food is often much unhealthier than meals you prepare yourself with fresh ingredients.
Make sure you spend time creating a new kitchen you love. It’s a worthwhile investment as beautiful kitchens sell houses so you could be adding extra value to your home. It’s also an investment in your health if it encourages you to cook healthier meals and change your eating habits for the better.
Perhaps creating an entirely new kitchen is not within your budget, so change what you can to suit your budget. A lick of fresh paint, a new oven splashback, new kitchen cabinet doors, or simply a big declutter if your kitchen is overflowing with things, are all more affordable ways of updating your kitchen.
Keep a colourful fruit bowl
As mentioned above, keeping fresh fruit on hand will stop you from reaching for naughty snacks.
Make sure you display your fresh fruit in a bowl on the side of the kitchen for easy access and so you are tempted by all the wonderful rainbow colours of the fresh fruit.
Store bananas separately, on a banana hanger or separate bowl, as they can rot quicker if placed in a mixed fruit bowl.
Create a herbal tea station
If you can’t resist a salty or sugary evening snack then create yourself a herbal tea addiction instead!
I’m definitely one who craves a snack a couple of hours after dinner, but often a herbal tea will totally satisfy the craving and is so much healthier.
Make sure you have a hot drink station that’s easy to access in the kitchen. Keep the kettle, tea bags and mugs in the same vicinity so you can easily grab a hot cuppa when those pesky cravings begin.
Many fruity and herbal teas are naturally caffeine free and hit the sweet spot. Keep a variety of different flavour herbal teas in your collection to suit whatever mood you might be in.
Declutter your kitchen
If you’ve no space to create delicious homemade food in your kitchen then you really won’t be motivated to do so.
If your kitchen is messy or full of stuff everywhere then start your healthy eating journey by having a good sort out and tidy.
Declutter, tidy and clean your kitchen. Create a space you are able to easily prepare food in.
Make it a habit to put things away after using them and to stay on top of the washing up.
Ensure worktops stay clutter free so you can easily begin to prepare food at every mealtime without the stress of having to tidy away a lot of things first.
Invest in the right equipment
If your knives aren’t sharp enough to cut through hard vegetables, or food keeps sticking to your old pans, then perhaps it’s time to invest in some new and improved kitchen equipment.
Cooking shouldn’t be a chore or frustrating and there are lots of products out there to make it easy.
You’ll be more inspired to cook healthy food from scratch if you have kitchen utensils and tools that do their job with ease.
You can even make cooking super healthy and eco-friendly by choosing companies that make eco-friendly, plant-based, non-stick pans. Yes these do exist!
Grow your own
One of the best and most rewarding ways to eat healthily is to grow your own produce. If you have some outdoor space then you can easily grow your own fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs.
You don’t always need a vegetable patch in the garden. A balcony or patio is suitable for growing many foods in containers. It’s even possible to grow many veggies and fruits vertically if space is an issue.
There’s nothing more inspiring to eat healthily than eating vegetables you have grown yourself, fresh from the garden.
It’s also a great way to connect with nature and appreciate healthy food even more.
Let there be light
Set up your kitchen so as much natural light can flood in during the daytime as possible. Natural light is a great mood booster and more inspiring to spend time in than a dingy poorly lit room.
As an example, we had a tall fridge-freezer combo that was blocking the natural light from an end of kitchen window from filling the room. When we redesigned part of the kitchen we switched this for a separate under counter fridge and freezer which not only increased our available worktop space, but allowed the light to flood in and make the room so much brighter.
For dark evenings and mornings make sure you have plenty of lights to brighten the kitchen so you can easily see what you’re doing and continue to enjoy cooking in the winter months.
Dim lighting can even make us more likely to want some bad food like unhealthy dessert. “Soft lighting calms us and makes us more comfortable and disinhibited… we linger long enough to consider an unplanned dessert or an extra drink.” Explains Brian Wansink, Ph.D. in the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.
Create a weekly meal planner
Before shopping for food and on a weekly basis, create a meal planner to plan every dinner you will eat each week.
A meal planner can help to keep you on track with your healthy eating goals as you have pre-decided what meals to cook and shop for. This will stop you wasting money on food you don’t eat or buy too much of usually.
Knowing the healthy meals you are going to eat in advance will also prevent you randomly choosing unhealthy meals on a whim. You have a plan. It’s set. You have the ingredients and are in the mind-set already.
Put unhealthy snacks out of sight
Out of sight, out of mind.
Put unhealthy junk food snacks on a high to reach shelf in a cupboard. Make them less accessible and ensure healthier choices such as fresh fruit and even dried fruit, nuts and seeds are easily available, at eyesight level and ready to snack on.
You’ll be far less tempted by the unhealthy snacks if you’re not staring at them all the time!
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