We all know that weight loss and fitness top the New Year’s resolution charts every year. A close runner-up is usually the desire to get organized. In recent weeks, I’ve been contemplating the idea that we may all have this backwards. Maybe we each need to take a closer look at our organization skills and consider the domino effect of positive lifestyle changes (like weight loss) that may result if we could all just “tidy up a bit.” For the next few weeks I hope you will join me as I review a few areas of our lives that, when left messy, could sabotage our attempts for better health in 2017.
Let’s begin with the place where all the magic happens…THE KITCHEN
Get started by addressing one (or all) of these trouble spots:
- Decorate! If your space is drab consider adding a new coat of paint, hanging a piece of art that speaks to you, or just a colorful rug. If you dine at a table in your kitchen, remove the clutter and make it pretty, this could be particularly important to encourage mindful eating.
- Accessibility matters. Don’t hide useful cookware deep in a cabinet where you will forget it exists. Pull that crock-pot or spiralizer out front-and-center so you will be encouraged to use it!
COLD + DRY STORAGE
- Produce should be eye-level. Keep temptation at-bay by putting beautiful fruits and veggies on display and making treats harder to find. It is easier to make a good decision in moments of weakness if you see the apples before the cookies!
- Monitor your inventory and rotate. Using the FIFO method is a great way to use foods in a timely fashion and avoid waste. Meal plan each week based on what needs to be used first.
- Group “like with like”. Use a bin system and create designated spaces for grab-and-go produce, snacks, lunches, etc. Check out this organized refrigerator for inspiration. You can do the same in your pantry or freezer.
- Portion-control is key. If you regularly eat snacks straight out of the box, purchase some measuring cups and snack containers/bags. Pre-portion foods such as nuts, cereal or popcorn as soon as you get home from the store.
COOKBOOKS + RECIPES
- Create a binder with page protectors where you can store your printed recipes and paper copies of those that your grandmother wrote. Sort by meal type or ingredient – whatever works for you!
- Dust off those cookbooks and bookmark recipes that inspire you. Make a copy for your recipe binder or jot notes in your day-planner for when you would like to cook a certain dish and what page it can be found on.
- Consider making a virtual recipe bank through applications like Plan to Eat, Pinterest, or MyRecipes, to name a few.