Get Your Kitchen Fit!

If you’re like many of us who are stretching our food budget by eating more meals at home, or you just want to make a commitment to cleaner eating, you need to have a kitchen that’s in shape! A clean, well stocked kitchen is like a strong body core – it stabilizes your body to keep you strong. Keep healthy go to items on hand so you can put together meals in minutes and aren’t tempted (like me!) to fall back on takeout.

  • Invest in different sizes and shapes of storage containers to save leftovers. Refrigerate promptly, food should be stored within 2 hours of cooking. Eat or toss after 3-4 days.
  • Clean eating basics you should always have in stock: fresh fruit, veggies, herbs, salad mixes, low or nonfat dairy, egg whites/eggs, cooked lean meat, 100% juices, olive oil, condiments (mustard, lemon and lime juice, vinegars), pork tenderloin, chickn breasts,l whole grain breads and wraps, nut butters, whole wheat flour, canned beans, low sodium soups, water packed tuna and salmon.
  • Don’t store spices over the stove or on the windowsill. Store in cool dark places and always keep lids closed tightly. Crush the herb in your hand, if it lacks aroma or color it probably has lost most of its antioxidant capacity and flavor.
  • Use 2 cutting boards – one for raw meat and one for veggies, fruit, and cheese.
  • Keep countertops bacteria and germ free by washing with a mix of one teaspoon bleach to one quart of warm water.
  • Keep a firm scrub brush near the sink and use to wash carrots, cucumbers, and celery – no detergents needed.
  • Clean your sponges in the microwave for at least 1 minute or run through the dishwasher.
  • Don’t store eggs in plastic egg holders. They are safer in the original carton on a shelf where the temperature is cooler and more constant.
  • Check your freezer/fridge temps regularly. Fridge should not be beyond 40°F and freezer should be a steady 0°F.
  • Don’t rinse raw meat of chicken before cooking, it simply splatters bacteria around.
  • Organize the fridge and pantry so the healthiest foods are at eye level and easy to grab. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit front and center in the kitchen – and eat it!
  • Divide your fridge into “need to eat more often” and “eat less often” areas. Keep lots of water at eye level to remind yourself to drink more.
  • Keep treats like breakfast bars, snack crackers, 100 calorie packs, cookies, chocolate chips, and other sweets out of reach – it’s too easy to over indulge in them.
  • Invest in a salad spinner to clean greens. They are the best for separating dirt and soil from the plant leaves.
  • Rice cookers not only make great rice, but convenient for making steel cut oatmeal in the morning.

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