1: It All Starts With Attitude
“Eating healthy is expensive, and that’s why I’m stuck where I am, no matter how much I exercise or try to change course.”
You’ve probably heard a summation or permutation of this quote a hundred times by now, whether it be from personal friends, family members, or various people in the media space. It would seem to ring true, if you’ve ever wandered around a Whole Foods or other “natural” grocery store. The food may be natural, be the prices seem out of this world!
Fortunately, eating healthy is not an expensive activity in the slightest, as evidenced by the numerous amount of wealthy/famous people that fail to eat healthy combined with average people that are extraordinarily fit and disease-free. Eating healthy is more of a mindset and education rather than a wallet mode, and once you know the basics of how to get yourself on the right track (and transform your kitchen in your residential property) you’ll be a free-wheeling health foodie in no time.
If you think that healthy eating is a bunch of baloney, think again. The CDC, an official department of the U.S. Government that routinely issues reports regarding disease and health, has estimated that if Americans were to stick to healthier diets the country could save $87 billion a year in healthcare costs. Unless you’re one of those odd ducks that like visiting an urgent care center, when an authority such as the CDC is issuing these guidelines it should be more than enough proof to look at how to transform your kitchen into a healthier space for you, your family or whoever enters your food dojo.
In this article we’re going to go through ten steps that can help anyone, regardless of life situation or education, transform your kitchen into a space that’s fit for an organic health food king (or queen). We’ll talk about remodeling your kitchen, fixing your home to lower stress levels and encourage eating in, basic nutritional advice, and how to not lose your mind when residential electrical services tell you that you may have to install a special outlet to operate that smoothie blender you’ve always wanted. Have no fear, as you’ve already gotten through the first step: it’s all about perspective, how you look at organizing your life and food.
2: Start With Practical Steps
If you’re like the normal American, your kitchen has been relatively stagnant since you’ve bought your home. That’s fine, since it’s a well-known fact that kitchen remodelers can be all over the place in price: whether they want an arm and a leg or just a couple thousand dollars depends on the upgrades you need and how soon. As long as you’re not plating anything in gold, you can expect relatively reasonable prices with quality service from a well-reviewed contractor team. But what to choose?
When you’re looking to transform your kitchen, it can be tempting to be caught up in aesthetics instead of practicality. Your aesthetics are your business, but if thinking about the logistics of kitchen planning has you calling up lawyers to inquire about the legality of importing Brazilian zebra wood, you’re doing it wrong. Start by focusing on your kitchen cabinets (where the food/ingredients are stored), then your countertops (where the food is prepared) before moving onto appliances and other non-essential features of your kitchen. When you focus on the practical, you’ll transform your kitchen into a truly workable space.
3: Cabinets Above All
Kitchen cabinets just hang on the wall and seemingly do nothing. Yet, behind their peaceful doors lies the materials and tools you need to run your kitchen like a well-oiled machine that it has the potential to be. Don’t neglect your cabinets by letting them turn into dust: research the newest models available and see what you can improve within your budget. Some even have anti-microbial handles and coatings so that moldy food won’t spoil the rest of your stash. Cabinets made out of wood seem to be the classic choice, with plastic and other materials coming in later.
Cabinets can be bought in all sorts of configurations and styles, so try to get ones that help you stay organized and “productive” when it comes to food. If you love bananas, but neglect having a place to put them, then a cabinet with a banana hook becomes less of a silly option and more of a practical addition. Splurge on the items that will help you organize food into categories or options for making healthier choices.
4: Lay It Out On the Countertops
Custom kitchen countertops may seem like something that is only available to those who showcase their home on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” or other reality shows, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Granite countertops are known as the standard for the modern home, but countertops today are made out of a variety of materials. From plastic to aluminum, your countertops should reflect your style that you want to stare at. After all, they will be laid bare for everyone to see who enters your kitchen to see and gaze upon when eating. Transform your kitchen by getting the right countertops for you by shopping around and looking at samples before you commit to installing them yourself or having a team bring the wrecking ball in.
Countertops are the prime place for you to cut pieces of fresh meat, dice vegetables and separate fruit from seeds. When you lay fresh ingredients on a countertop and try to imagine them assembled together in a meal, you will appreciate the value of having fresh and healthy foods in front of you in a way that isn’t possible with microwaved or fast food meals. Combined with a cookbook or YouTube video on how to prepare them, you’ll be off to the races with your newfound food freedom.
5: Look At Your Water (Pipes and All)
A common element that you might neglect when looking to transform your kitchen is your water supply. Whether you receive water from a well, city pipes, or something else, it’s worth looking to inspect whether the water that is coming into your kitchen is as fresh and pure as possible. That means getting a water report from whoever is providing the water, testing it yourself or consulting different plumbing services on whether they can provide you with an adequate filter system for fresh, pure water.
Having fresh water is not only important for using in food preparation and as an essential ingredient, but it’s literally the healthiest beverage you can drink. Our bodies are composed mostly of water and need it for all sorts of essential functions, so getting the cleanest water you can only benefit you in the long run. There are many options for making your water cleaner and tasting better, from using a Brita filter pitcher to reverse osmosis systems. If you’re planning on replacing your refrigerator when you transform your kitchen, consider getting one with a water dispensing system that has easy-to-replace filters. You can substitute sugary drinks and unhealthy beverages for fresh, clean water at a moment’s notice.
6: Appliances and Accessories for Health
After you’ve completed all the mainstays to your kitchen, you might be wondering if there are accessories or appliances that you should be looking at to compliment all your hard work. From blenders to panini makers, there are many to choose from. Food processors can help you blend and add healthy food to recipes with ease, while quality knives can make preparing sandwiches and veggies a breeze. Depending on your food goals and the type of food you’re preparing you’ll be considering many different ones (and colors and sizes), but there is an accessory for the kitchen that almost everyone neglects: air conditioning.
Making sure that your air conditioning is in top order by getting a quality ac repair mechanic at your house will ensure that no matter how hot your kitchen gets, you’ll stay cool and collected. This can be important if you’re cooking multiple dishes at once, having a dinner party, or simply cooking on one of those sweltering summer days. Don’t let the old expression “if it’s too hot, get out of the kitchen” become your everyday cooking experience.
7: Pick Fresh When Possible
If you have the option available to you, try to pick the freshest food available. Ideally, when you transform your kitchen you’d also magically transform your yard to have fruit trees and a vegetable garden out back so that every day you could pick yourself a fresh salad and dessert all in one go. Unfortunately, life doesn’t usually work that way, and even if you received those trees they would take some years to reach maturity and bear fruit, so consider it a blessing in disguise.
Luckily for us in modern society, we have access to fresh food at a variety of places at affordable prices. From common vegetables and fruits to exotic ingredients at specialty markets, all you have to do is put in the work to go get them. No harvesting or growing required, making it easier on your wallet and food timeline. Fresh food usually retains more nutritional content than processed food, and cooking does activate many vitamins and enzymes. But at the end of the day, it just plain tastes better. Transform your palette the same way you aim to transform your kitchen by choosing fresh food whenever possible.
8: Know the Source
If possible, try to know the source of your food. Many communities don’t have farmer’s markets or community gardens available, so this can be tough, but’s not impossible in today’s world. There are symbols on food, such as “Fair Trade,” “USDA Organic,” and more than can help you discern where your food has come from. If you don’t trust the source, don’t eat it! There are plenty of options available. This can also help you avoid food from certain processors or countries that are known to be lackluster in their regulations or management. The more you know about the source of your food, the better.
9: Eat With a Purpose
Many people get themselves into a frenzy by trying to count calories, optimize food for nutrition, or take dietary supplement after supplement to try to improve a lackluster diet. You’re certainly allowed to drive yourself crazy, but do you really want to? If you’re struggling to eat correctly and want a simple motto that you can recite to yourself whenever food starts giving you anxiety, trying to remember this: “Eat With a Purpose.”
You may rightly be asking, but isn’t the purpose for everyone eating differently? It certainly can be. If you’re a diabetic or allergic to gluten, you may be eating with a different purpose than a person with less health issues. But in a way, all of us are eating for a similar purpose: to be nourished and uplifted by our food. Not in just the bare bones of vitamins, minerals, and other various nutrients that are present, but also by the comfort and feeling of satisfaction that our food provides us. It can be complex, so let us explain.
There’s nothing wrong with eating macaroni and cheese or fried chicken, as these foods are routinely called “comfort foods” for a reason. They provide nourishment for sure, and have a great mouth-feel, but eaten too often they lack the essential nutrients and components that we need to remain vigorous and healthy. So our “purpose” for eating them would be occasional enjoyment or social cohesion, not as a way of life. Even unhealthy foods have their time and place for being eaten, as long as it isn’t part of a regular routine. In this way, you can transform your attitude about all types of food just like you transform your kitchen.
10: Relax, Tomorrow is Another Day
As we finally draw to the edge of this article about how to transform your kitchen and improve your health, we come to the closing claims that any doctor, nutritionist or spiritual advisor might also make: if you make mistakes in trying to eat healthily or craft the perfect kitchen, don’t fret about it. Tomorrow is another day, and with your improved education and resolve you will have many more opportunities to “get it right” on your own terms. No one else can tell you how to live your life or what’s best for your kitchen, so try to keep that in mind as you dash from one goal to the next.
Hopefully, this article has been a beacon in an otherwise muddled sea of tips and tricks articles, advice columns, and erroneous information. Being able to relax and make decisions on the fly is half skill, half practice. But anybody can do it by always trying to tap into their best selves and not beat themselves up for everyday failures. We hope that by learning to transform your kitchen, you will be taking another step towards transforming your life into what you want it to be, with all the fullness and richness that is possible to accompany it. After all, you’ve only got one. Go live it!