Just because we know what’s healthy, we don’t necessarily change our eating behavior, but it ends up our environment can. With these five simple shifts in your kitchen, you can make the good-for-you choice your go-to choice:
1. IT ALL STARTS WITH SHOPPING
We know kale is better for us than candy bars, yet we still eat candy bars. After clearing kitchens of unhealthy foods, you should shop the perimeter of the store to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and whole-grain breads. Then swing by the center aisles for canned beans, lentils, nuts and nut butters. If you’re going to eat real foods, you need to stock up on them.
2. MAKE TEMPTATIONS AS DIFFICULT AS POSSIBLE
Most of us live with other people who may not have the same healthy-eating goals as us. Negotiate with them and see if they are willing to keep those foods in a separate cabinet and let them know what your goals are. If you can’t ban them from your kitchen completely, find ways to keep them out of sight. Store tempting frozen treats behind other foods, stash sugary jams in the back of the lower bottom shelf of the refrigerator and put enticing cookies and chips on a shelf that you need a ladder to reach.
3. WHAT’S ON YOUR COUNTER TOP IS WHAT’S TOP OF MIND
The first thing you see when you enter your kitchen makes it more likely that you’ll eat it. There is a big mindset shift change when you see beauty and freshness in the kitchen. Anyone who wants to eat healthy should keep a bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables, including bananas, lemons, apples, tomatoes and avocados, on the counter. These have the best flavor at room temperature, not refrigerated, so show them off and use them often. Keeping your blender and food processor on the counter will make you more likely to make produce-packed smoothies, soups, shakeology and sauces if the appliances you need are visible.
4. RETHINK YOUR REFRIGERATOR
Forget the crisper drawer for fruits and vegetables. Put them where you’ll see them every time you open the refrigerator. Wash and cut up fruits and vegetables and put them in clear, portion-sized containers as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Keep them front and center in the refrigerator so choosing the healthy option is easy. Store other wholesome foods like Greek yogurt, hummus, hard-boiled eggs and natural nut butters on the center shelves, too.
5. DOWNSIZE YOUR DINNERWARE
Big plates, bowls and glasses make us think that it’s “normal” to eat large portions. Studies found that larger dishes and glassware make us serve ourselves more, and therefore eat and drink more. It is recommended that you use 9- to 10-inch plates and bowls that hold less than 16 ounces. Glassware for any beverage except water should be tall and narrow.