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Transitioning Your Kitchen
Transitioning Your Kitchen
Happy New You! We’ve decided to put in a little teaser for our upcoming classes with Dr. Kerrie! This one’s a gem – helping us make transitioning to upgraded food choices simple and delicious!
Did you know there is a growing body of international diet and disease research showing that choosing foods that are nutrient dense, high fiber, low fat, and low to no cholesterol can actually help prevent or reverse many chronic diseases? Chronic disease processes like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, gout, acid reflux, and many others can respond dramatically to a healthier food intake. But, we know that deciding to upgrade from the Standard American Diet (SAD – ironic acronym!) can seem exhilarating and daunting at the same time.
The decision to upgrade thoughts, behaviors, and what we put in and on our bodies has to be seen as part of an overall change, not a short term fix for a lifelong problem. Rather, experience it more as putting yourself on the right road, realizing the journey itself might be more fun than any destination we imagine.
Let’s begin by looking for foods that fit your own unique balance of fun and familiarity. Keep in mind that food chemistry does change your body and brain chemistry, so try for foods that give more benefits than barriers to good health. Some of my favorite reliable recipes and convenient shopping lists are found at no cost, at www.NutritionMD.org, Let’s dig in a little bit to the ‘how’!
Items to consider for transitioning your kitchen include a draining/rinsing bowl, a freezer-safe bowl set, and a good vegetable cutting knife. A new, easy-to-clean cutting board is essential to help protect your plant foods (frequently eaten raw or barely steamed) from cross-contamination with animal products if you eat them. Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E.Coli are no laughing matter in the kitchen! You may also consider an optional blender/juicer/food processor, as well.
As you sort the boxes, cans, and bottles in your existing pantry, get rid of any item that is expired or does not fit well with your new lifestyle choices. Try to eliminate boxes and cans containing foods that contain excess sodium, fat, refined flour, refined sugar and non-natural sweeteners. Most experts say to eliminate spices and herbs over 6 months old, and eliminate anything you’d call ‘questionable’, like take-out containers in the fridge from restaurants you can’t even recall! Make a decision right then on each item, whether to donate it to those in need (some food is better than no food), or pass it on to a family member or friend as you tell them about the changes coming with your new lifestyle!
Speaking of your social network, you might want to look at the landscape of the key people in your life. Assess whether each person is supportive, neutral, or even argumentative and uncomfortable to be around. Try to spend the bulk of your time in the supportive or neutral environments. The other situations may need to be avoided in the short or long term, if they are not conducive to your health. The idea here is to help you identify support systems – you’ll probably find pockets of support for your new lifestyle in previously untapped areas, like maybe hobby groups, the workplace cafeteria, or at your place of worship.
Feel free to upgrade that familiar favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich by switching various types of mixed whole grain breads, 100% fruit jams, and non-hydrogenated peanut butters alternated with almond, cashew, or hazelnut butter. With each new food choice, your body is getting a better variety of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and enzymes, contributing to optimized health.
So, whether your goal is to lose bodyfat, increase muscle, help prevent disease, increase dietary fiber, or fine tune your essential fatty acid status, the ultimate goal is to get on that right road, and make sure you enjoy the journey!
Get more fabulous tips and tricks by joining our Double Dare Challenge!