Control your kitchen environment? What’s that mean? Let’s face it…we’re a result of our environment in just about every aspect of our lives. If we’re around negative people, we tend to become more negative. When there’s a bag of cookies laying on the counter, we’re going to eat them. On the flip side, if you’re around others that are positive it can lift your spirits.
Simply being aware of your environment is the first step towards changing it to serve you. I’m going to focus on nutrition but this can certainly translate into all areas of your life. Let’s look at a couple of steps to get you started:
If you’re truly committed to cleaning up your daily nutrition then you have to start in the kitchen. Go through and throw out everything that isn’t going to be conducive to your success.
Now…I hear two “objections” all the time…
1). I don’t want to deprive my kids AND
2). It all costs money so it’s wasteful.
Let’s have a chat about both of these.
Depriving Our Kids
Let me address objection #1 first. While I certainly understand not wanting to “deprive” your children of fun foods, I challenge you to take a different perspective.
What is the nutritional value of the cookies, crackers, chips, ice cream, mac n cheese, pizza, cereals, etc. that we as a society are so bent on feeding our children? Most of them are LOADED with artificial flavors, colors, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), trans fats, MSG, and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).
Don’t we want the best for our kids? Don’t we want the foods we feed them to help them in their development?
The reality is that generally speaking, we buy “food-like” products and not actual food. Ever bought a fruit drink or rollup and then discover there’s no actual fruit in it?
The packaged foods of today are made in a lab. With that in mind is there any surprise that obesity is becoming an epidemic? Type II diabetes used to be called “Adult Onset Diabetes”, but now we’re seeing it in young children. It’s frightening and we need to take control back of our kid’s health.
Many parents will say that their kids don’t eat that much junk but the reality is that we as a society grossly underestimate the number of poor foods we eat.
What about when parents say “my child won’t eat x-y-z”? I suggest becoming creative about how you approach food with them. If it’s possible for you and your family, grow some of your food at home…could be some herbs, tomatoes, or a full-fledged garden. Obviously I realize that not everyone has the ability to do this but if you can, your kids can see the “circle of life” as it pertains to food….seed to plate.
Another option could be to give them two healthy choices and have them pick one that they’ll eat. Be creative but here’s the bottom line (I’m going to be blunt here), you’re the parent and you’re ultimately responsible for the well-being of your child.
If nothing seems to work then you may have to “kick it old school”. You put food on their plate and either they eat it or they don’t get anything else. Again…as a parent you’re in control of their health and safety and should approach it as such.
It’s Wasteful to Throw It Out
Now…onto objection #2. I fully understand that over the course of time we accumulate various groceries, canned goods, frozen treats, etc. Additionally, I understand that these all cost money. However, I suggest you look at purging the junk as an investment in your health.
Yes, you may have spent $50, $100, $200+ for your stockpile, but is it going to help you reclaim control of your health or continue to contribute to being overweight, sick, depressed, lethargic, etc.?
Get rid of the garbage and start replacing it with healthier items. Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that you go 100% organic in the course of a day, simply look for healthier options. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind and get you started:
- Close to the Source – purchase foods that have come from a field, ocean, or tree. If your great-grandmother could identify it you’re probably good to go (she probably won’t know what a ding-dong or cheese nip was).
- Shop Along the Perimeter – this tip is one that many are familiar with and it goes along with the one above. When you go to the grocery store, shop along the outside of the store. There you’ll find your produce, dairy, meats, and seafood. Most of the center isles are processed garbage.
- Marketing Hype – if you’re looking to replace a packaged item with something healthier…avoid the marketing hype. There are many loopholes that manufactures can use to claim their foods are healthy but your BEST defense is to READ LABELS! Make sure you can identify what’s on the label and the fewer ingredients the better.
Don’t look at the process of clearing out bad foods as negative. This is an OPPORTUNITY for a fresh and new beginning. You’re taking ACTION on your quest for improved health and wellness for you and your family. This is an amazing gift that you’re giving and is going to payout enormously.
You’re Empowered…Now Take Action!
Stay the course and you will be successful.