How to set up a healthy kitchen

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Setting up Your Healthy Kitchen

  1. Getting Started – Patience, Commitment, and Baby Steps
  2. 7 Simple Steps for a Healthy Kitchen
  3. Step into Action
  4. The Resources for a Healthy Kitchen 

Why start with your own healthy kitchen?

As a former junk food junkie, chubby mom and yo-yo dieter, it is my mission to educate people on the benefits of eating a diet filled with high fat, nutritious, flavorful foods. I am committed to helping people change their bad yo-yo dieting habits to feel better through a consistent diet of low carb and keto-friendly whole foods. By reading this guide you have taken your first step toward creating your own “Healthy Kitchen” and a whole new way of life ~ Congratulations!

RELATED ARTICLE: THE DIET THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

Your Healthy Kitchen is one that is well thought out and stocked with whole, healthy, organic foods that are nutritious and delicious. These foods are of superior value for exceptional health & wellness. It is a LIFESTYLE, a commitment to your health, wellbeing and the environment.

Jars of colorful veg
Colorful Jars of Veg

Remember, having a Healthy Kitchen is an investment in your body, your happiness and your life. The cleaner you eat, the better you feel and the happier you are. You will have a spring in your step and sunshine in your smile. A better diet filled with healthy fats and void of sugars means more energy, vitality and feeling younger. You will lose weight naturally and have fun doing it! You will reap many rewards and benefits…your skin will be clear, your smile will be brighter and your body will love you!

Eating healthfully & consciously is the key to a longer and more fulfilling life. If you are exercising consistently, but not achieving the desired results then a Healthy Kitchen is the key component that may be missing in your life! These two things go hand in hand. One does not work without the other!

Just a reminder that eating a healthy low carb whole foods diet does not have to cost you a lot of money. Yes, some organic and healthy food items may be more expensive than their less nutritious counterparts, but you must decide if you are WORTH the investment.  

RELATED ARTICLE: MY 80-20 RULE

Buying in-season produce can help defray the expense.  Subscribing to a high quality meat delivery service like Butcher Box ensures you’re always getting grass-fed and organic animal products at a discount, too. We are all worth it!

I know this transition can feel overwhelming, so I have made it easy by giving you these simple steps to follow to help give you a kick-start!

Lastly, a Healthy Kitchen isn’t just about the food that’s in it, it’s also about being conscious of all our surroundings.  I like to say, “keep your head on a swivel”.   Being mindful of what is present in our lives brings awareness and therefore is the first step in making a change.  It’s about making mindful choices about everything that  surrounds you to help keep yourself our planet & our environment healthy, happy and toxic free. 

I’ll go over how to take inventory of your pantry, clean up your fridge, read labels, spice up your spice rack, must have kitchen gadgets, shopping for healthy whole foods, and having a little fun and creative time with your food.

Chopped Veg

Remember that good health doesn’t just happen. Your healthy habits and fitness level needs to be cultivated to create a lasting healthy lifestyle. Remember every time in the past that you decided to go into Nazi-dieter mode just to quickly fall back into old unhealthy eating habits? Taking one positive step per day toward health and wellness means you ARE DOING IT!  You are getting healthier, happier and more vibrant!

Getting Started – Patience, Commitment, and Baby Steps

Think of how you are such a great friend to others. Now it’s time you start being the BEST friend to yourself.

Asphalt Road with Start and arrow
Get Started!

Remember to focus on PROGRESS not PERFECTION! If you are looking for perfection, you will set yourself up for failure. Be gentle on yourself and if you falter, tell yourself it’s OK and get back on the healthy wagon! Just like you would if you missed a day of exercise.

Take ONE step per week, so that you do not feel overwhelmed…..or go for it with gusto and do it all at once… Remember, this is a lifestyle change and it will take a lot of commitment, patience and persistence. You will begin to feel better with every single step.  

Read on to find the 7 STEPS TO YOUR HEALTHY KITCHEN that will get you on the road to your optimal health!

7 Simple Steps for a Healthy Kitchen

STEP 1:

Take Inventory & Read Labels ~ Go Through Your Cupboards & Refrigerator/Freezer:

I like to clear the entire area so that it’s free to visualize what kind of space we are dealing with. Throw away any food items from your cupboard or refrigerator that have been in there for over a year, even sauces and condiments. Donate or give away items that contain the ingredients white flour, high fructose corn syrup,  saturated fats and white sugar or are laden with chemicals, fillers & other things you can’t pronounce. These foods usually come in a box, bag or some other packaging and are known are processed foods. 

Read the LABEL!
Read the LABEL!

Rae Casto of LiveStrong.com defined it this way, “Food preservation methods [Processed foods]….remove soluble fiber and other natural nutrients from raw foods and add ingredients that are, potentially, harmful to your health and well-being”.  Examples are cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, pre-made sauces, frozen dinners, etc.  If you can’t pronounce the ingredients or don’t know what they are, don’t put the food in your mouth. These foods will keep you from succeeding on your path to healthy living. I know that this may sound a bit extreme, but know that this step is very important in creating health & happiness in your daily life.

STEP 2:

Reorganize Your Cabinets and Drawers ~ Get the proper utensils and cookware:

A clean, organized & well-stocked kitchen makes for easier & more enjoyable food preparation, cooking and clean up.  

An organizer kitchen makes finding stuff easier

Remember that your internal world needs to match the external world for success. If you want to clean up your physical body, then your physical space needs to be cleaned up too! Donate or give away any broken appliances or kitchen items and replace with new or upgraded versions.  Throw away all expired food items or those that are filled with so many preservatives they could sit there another 20+ years.  Donate any food items that don’t suit your needs. Buy simple yet pleasing storage containers for nuts,  coconut, sugar alternatives, etc.  Label them for organization & ease.  

An organized kitchen…ahhhhhhhh

An organized kitchen brings order and calm to the whole process of planning, cooking and storing your food items. It saves time and money, too! For a complete list of necessary kitchen tools, cookware & appliances and where to purchase them to make your cooking experience more enjoyable, see the Resource list at this end of this guide.

STEP 3:

Spice Up Your Spice Rack~Spices are the key to tantalizing your taste buds when cooking any vegetarian dish. Be sure to keep an array of fresh, organic spices on hand at all times and discard of any spices in your spice rack that are over a year old. Spices tend to become stale and lose their potency over extended periods of time. 

Spice it up and give it some flavor

Store your spices in a dark cabinet away from heat for longevity. Use spices generously and be creative. Did you know a teaspoon of Cinnamon will keep your blood sugar stable all day long?  In a study published in The Journal of Diabetic Medicine, research subjects given cinnamon supplements experienced greater improvement in blood sugar levels than those who received standard diabetes drugs.

Your creativity & experimentation with your spice rack will be the key to delicious & exciting flavors in your meals and benefit your health in ways you didn’t even know! 

STEP 4:

Go, Go Gadget~Kitchen gadgets can make all the difference when it comes to efficient food preparation and clean up.  Sharp knives of high quality and a sturdy cutting board are essential to your Healthy Kitchen.  Two must have knives are the 8” chef’s knife and a paring knife.  Any more than two would be considered extra and a luxury to have for a guest sous chef….but truth be told I have several in my kitchen and they all have become favorites. 

Most gadgets will dazzle you in their shiny packaging and are fun to use now and again, but you can really do the bulk of your food prep with those two knives I mentioned above.  

The other essential gadget/item needed in your kitchen is a great pair of dish gloves for washing up at the end of your meals.  You can’t just rely on the dishwashing machine…someone as to wash the pots and pans.  I like the water hot and sudsy while I’m scrapping the dishes clean and getting ready for the next meal.  There are other kitchen tools that are fun to have and make kitchen life much more efficient…..I have listed below in my resource guide for you to decide which to buy.

STEP 5:

Water, water everywhere and lots of it to drink.  The supermarket shelves are packed with so many things to drink it could make your head spin.  Most of our options are flavored and colored in one way or another.  But what about just crystal clear and refreshing water?  Nad how about a little fizz without the additives?

Crystal clear water

The Mayo Clinic states that “water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight.   Every system in your body depends on water.   For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.  Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired”.  Picking a beverage filled with sugars, chemical flavoring and dyes can defeat the purpose of drinking for mere hydration.  I like carbonated waters as it adds a little pizzazz to my drink.

Drinking water hydrates your organs, aids in digestion and plumps up your skin from the inside out…no wrinkles here, baby!  So the tip here is to stock your fridge with plain and refreshing water AND unsweetened seltzer water (La Croix Pamplemousse is my fav)…add a slice of citrus for flavor if you must, but know this….your liver and skin will thank you.

STEP 6: 

Stock up on Healthy Whole Foods~This is the most important step to help you complete your Healthy Kitchen. When I say healthy whole foods, I am talking about minimally processed foods in their most natural form. These types of foods consist of healthy fats, vegetables, nuts, grass fed animals proteins and lots of herbs, spices and condiments.  

RELATED: LOW CARB GROCERY LIST

Highly processed foods are made in a factory with additives, preservatives and chemical dyes with the goal of producing a product that can withstand the test of time of a shelf.  Highly processed foods are to be avoided as much as possible.

Look for foods that are closest to their original form. Whole grains and sweeteners such as Agave Nectar, Brown Rice Syrup, Barley Malt or Molasses may seem “All Natural”, but don’t be fooled..these items are highly processed and will spike your blood sugar through the roof…  “White flour, white sugar and other highly processed ingredients could create an acidic environment in your body, which can lead to illness and disease” says Mark Hyman, MD. These ingredients are considered slow poisons, and they can make you sick over time causing heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, dementia and Alzheimers Disease.

STEP 7:

Party in the kitchen~Have a little fun in this newly cleaned and organized room.  You are the master of your kitchen-own it and be proud to command this ship.  Being and cooking in your kitchen should bring up calm and relaxed feelings.  This is a time to be creative and open to new flavors.  It’s okay if you flop a recipe or if you find a rotting forgotten vegetable in the bottom drawer.  There have been many a time when I have held my breath as I put something new and different in front of Peter, Piper, Holland or my guests.  Sometimes it works and other times we just have to chalk it up to a learning experience.  You must be willing to completely bomb a meal.  You never know…..you may come across a real gem of a recipe. Step into Action

Now that you have the 7 Simple Steps to Your Healthy Kitchen you can take the first steps towards a healthy new you.  Your commitment to a healthy eating lifestyle is going to help you feel better, look better and live longer. You have taken the first and most difficult step by downloading this guide, so pat yourself on the back and take it “One Day at a Time”. 

You will come across hurdles from time to time and that’s ok. Just get back in the saddle and keep moving forward. Use friends and family as a support system. Tell them what you are up to and ask for their encouragement, patience and understanding. This is a commitment you are making to YOU and there is no one more important!

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming Cook Book, Summer in The Kellie Kitchen. This Cook Book will give you wonderful, flavorful and satisfying Low Carb meals. and information you need to continue with your Healthy Eating Lifestyle, as well as more in-depth facts on processed foods, slow poisons and other diet-related illnesses. It will contain some of my most favorite  recipes along with new ones never seen before on my blog that are simple and delicious!

Here’s to YOU and YOUR HEALTH!!

The Kellie Kitchen Resources

APPLIANCES 

Vita Mix® High Powered Blender: You can make soup, almond butter and more in this amazing blender that is engineered to last for years. You can also buy refurbished models online. See “Where to Buy” section listed below. 

Cuisinart® Food Processor: Go for the larger cup capacity (14 cups) to save you time when making dips & spreads. Easy to clean and comes with several attachments to chop, grate and shred. 

Hand Mixer: This is an inexpensive and versatile tool for whipping cream and mixing cheesecake batter.

Cuisinart® Smart Stick Hand Blender: to puree soups, baby food, sauces, etc.  Use to whip heavy cream into a myriad of great things. Also GREAT for your Bullet Proof Coffee.

Hand Chopper/Large Garlic press: for chopping garlic, onions, shallots quickly & easily.

Coffee Grinder: for grinding spices, coffee beans and granulated sugars into powder.

Keurig Coffee Maker:  This is my preference for a quick cup of black brew.

Instant Pot: An All-In-One MUST HAVE appliance. This machine first sautes and then pressure cooks entire meals in the fraction of the time.

 ORGANIZATION

Glass Jars or Canisters: for storing nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, Lily’s chocolate chips, etc 

Spice Jars

Glass storage containers: best to use for leftovers and great for reheating leftovers. Nothing fancy and these jars have been around since before grandma started cooking.

Glass Mason Jars

Spice Rack or Lazy Susan: get something simple yet pleasing to store all your varied spices. 

Drawer organizers: organize cooking utensils in your drawers so they are easy to find.  

COOKWARE AND BAKEWARE

I suggest that you use stainless steel or cast iron cookware to ensure your health. Lids are great for keeping food warm and ease of storing leftovers. And a great non-stick skillet is a must have when making a Bomblette or Coconut Flour Tortillas.

Casserole dishes are versatile and are useful in every aspect of the kitchen. Great for baking, roasting, serving and storage. AND…they last forever! Some of my casserole dishes are over 20 years old. Buy them as a one time investment and they will last forever. They are the unsung hero of a kitchen so invest wisely. You may have to buy one at a time, but it’s worth it.

Recommended Brands: All-Clad®, Cuisinart®, Emeril®, Le Creuset®, Pyrex®  

What To Buy: 

Cookware

  1. Cast Iron Skillets
  2. Saucepans with lids
  3. 8 qt. stockpot with lid 12 qt. stockpot with lid
  4. Wok with Lid (optional)
  5. Crockpot
  6. Glass casserole dishes: loaf pan, baking dishes (9×13 and 8×8)
  7. Instant Pot

KNIVES

As I said above, these will be the most important tools in your kitchen, so make an investment in a good set of knives that will last a lifetime.  Recommended Brands: Henckles®,  Wusthof®, Cuisinart®, Rachael Ray®

What To Get: (remember…8”chef and pairing are the most essential)

  1. 3 1/4″ paring knife: for peeling vegetables
  2. Kitchen Scissors
  3. 8″ slicer knife
  4. 8″ serrated edge
  5. 8″ chef’s knife
  6. 6″ chef’s knife
  7. 7″ Santoku: Japanese chef’s knife made for slicing, dicing & chopping ~Ideal for precision cutting

WHERE TO BUY?

Amazon: find an array of specialty food items, cookware, appliances and more. 

VitaMix®: Purchase the best high-powered blender out there that will last a lifetime. Visit www.vitamix.com  

Sur La Table: Specialty Kitchen items, cookware and utensils for the budding chef. They also hold cooking classes there. www.surlatable.com

To find everything in one place you can check out my products page at www.The KellieKitchen.com/products to find links to this stuff and more! 

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