Kitchen Makeover Time

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Let's Give Your Kitchen a Healthy Kitchen Makeover!

What are some items you should have, shouldn't have, and what are some tips/tricks you can do to help YOU have a healthier kitchen at home?

One of the easiest ways to start eating better at home is to give your kitchen a makeover.  If you have "trigger foods" then it's best not to keep those in the house.  Here are some of my personal suggestions for foods and beverages that you should say "bye-bye" to, and ones that you should welcome in with open arms...

Get them out of the house:

1.) Soda and/or other sugary beverages (have you checked the sugar content in those juices, too?).  Start adding more and more water into your liquid intake, your body will thank you.
2.) Sugary snacks/desserts (cookies, doughnuts, muffins, ice cream, cake etc.)
3.) White bread and/or other white flour based baked items
4.) Sugary cereals
5.) Crunchy/salty/greasy snacks (i.e. potato chips, cheese puffs, etc.)
6.) Alcohol

These are those "feel good" foods.  The ones that you crave that may make you feel good while munching away, but leave you feeling guilty and bloated afterward (not to mention that they zap your energy away).  If you KNOW you are going to binge on a certain food, then why put it in front of your face?  Get it out of the house, now... toss it!  Say "bye-bye"!

So, what SHOULD you keep around the house?  Keep reading for some of my suggestions and more tips...

Some of MY must have staples:
1.) Eggs/Egg whites
2.) Vegetables (to keep cost down, buy what is in season or on sale...
fresh is best, but frozen works too!)
3.) Fresh fruit (I always tend to keep frozen fruit around too)
4.) Whole grain crackers
5.) 100% whole wheat bread
6.) Natural peanut butter
7.) Nuts (usually almonds for me)
8.) Oatmeal
9.) Chicken breast (usually frozen, but fresh is good if you plan on
cooking it soon)
10.) Spinach
11.) Milk (I keep Almond milk around, but Soy Milk and Skim Milk are
good choices too)
12.) Beans/Legumes
13.) Soup (ones that are not packed with too much sodium)
14.) Low fat cheese
15.) Hummus
16.) High fiber/low-sugar cereal

Check out this list of Pantry Staples from Body+Soul Magazine, too:
http://www.wholeliving.com/photogallery/natural-pantry-staples

It's all about keeping the healthiest things right there in front of
you.  A lot of the time we eat out of boredom, so make sure that the
healthiest foods are available to you when that urge hits.

Here are a few extra tips for you...

Pre-portion!
Get little Zip Lock baggies and pre-portion out snack foods (i.e. things
like crackers, popcorn, etc.).  When you buy any snack food the first
thing you should do when you get home is to open it up, count out a
serving, and put those servings into individual baggies.  That way, when
you are hungry and grabbing for a snack, you have a better chance at
limiting yourself to a single serving.

Use those measuring cups/spoons/scales
If you really want to make sure you are staying within serving sizes
it's time to dust off those measuring utensils.  They can, and should, be
used for more than just baking recipes ;-)

Keep healthy foods at eye level
When that "boredom eating" bug strikes you want to make sure that the
first things you see are healthy options.  Place veggies and fruit right
in the front of your fridge so that they are the first things you'll
grab for.

Keep treats as TREATS, not daily diet staples
I know that if you have a family you might get some whining and
resistance from this sort of kitchen makeover.  Sometimes it's hard to
set new rules into place, but it's not impossible.  Make treats a
special time... something to do with the whole family.  So, if your kids
want cookies, then bake them together (and only make enough that can be
eaten that night, without binging, so that there are no left-overs). 
Plus, when you bake you can better alter recipes and know exactly what
is going into what you and your family are going to be eating.
Ice cream?  Go out to get it.  Keeping stuff like that around the house
is just trouble waiting to happen.  So, make ice cream a once per month
treat and take the family out to get it... it makes it much more special
and gives you a lot more to look forward to (and you won't have the
guilt afterward, because you won't be eating it all the time anymore).

Those are just a few tips from my own viewpoint... this topic could be widely expanded upon!
Do you have a tip that you'd like to share?
Leave it in the comments for all to see! :-)

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