Transform Your Kitchen for Better Health
Outer clutter is often a sign of inner clutter, or emotional turmoil, and it may be preventing you from moving forward in your goal to attain a healthier lifestyle. In his book, The South Beach Wake-Up Call, Dr. Arthur Agatston explains how being organized in the kitchen is essential for preparing healthy meals and avoiding the temptations of fast food and processed junk food. If you’ve been following the South Beach Diet, your kitchen is probably already in good shape, but sometimes bad habits can creep back in. Here are some tips for reorganizing your kitchen for better health:
Clean out your refrigerator. Has your fridge become a burial ground for last week’s leftovers and half-used, expired bottles of condiments? Are the produce drawers filled with rotting vegetables? Have half-eaten cartons of takeout food replaced trips to the farmers' market? If your fridge looks like this, it’s time for a makeover. Dump anything past its prime, and all junk food including any sugary or starchy processed foods, that may have crept in. Fill the fridge back up with plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables (cut some up so they’re available for snacks), fruits (Phase 2), lean meats, poultry, and seafood, reduced-fat cheeses (including part-skim mozzarella sticks), fat-free or low-fat milk, sugar-free beverages, and other healthy foods.
Deep-clean your freezer. Do you need an ice pick to rescue the food that’s languishing in the tundra of your freezer? Take everything out and examine it, tossing anything that has expired (including food you froze yourself), anything with freezer burn, and any frozen entrées or desserts high in saturated fat, sodium, or added sugars. This will free up your freezer for storing lean meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits (Phase 2), homemade broth, and any meals you make in advance and want to have on hand for later in the week. When shopping, look for the best buys on protein (and frozen veggies) with your freezer in mind.
Restock the pantry and cupboards. Eliminate all white flour, packaged products made with white flour, any baked goods made with refined white flour or refined whole-wheat flour, all sugary cereals, white rice (except basmati), white pasta, any condiments, dressings, or seasonings that contain added sugars, any solid vegetable shortening or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, any oils that have become rancid, any musty dried herbs and spices, powdered soup mixes, candy, chips, and other junk food, and anything else unhealthy you spy tucked away. Replace these items with South Beach Diet–friendly options, including South Beach Diet Sweet Delights and 100-Calorie Snack Bars as well as our Protein Fit Cereal and Meal Bars.
Take back your kitchen. Make it known that your kitchen is not a dumping ground. If your kitchen is the place where you or your family end up tossing old magazines, newspapers, work papers, backpacks, toys, and everything else that no one knows what to do with, you’ve got to reclaim your kitchen and make it a pleasant and functional place for preparing healthy meals. Clear the counters for meal prep and provide bins or other containers in which everyone can put their “stuff.” Also be sure your kitchen table and/or dining room table are cleared off so you can enjoy meals together as a family.
To learn more about de-cluttering your kitchen and the rest of your home to create a healthier lifestyle, order Dr. Agatston’s book, The South Beach Wake-Up Call, which is available wherever books are sold.
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