Getting into the kitchen to cook from scratch is the best way to make sure you are eating healthy meals, most of the time.
But, if your kitchen is more like a bomb site, you may find you are severely lacking in motivation.
So, here are 5 tricks to help transform your kitchen into a place that actually encourages a healthy diet. 1. Keep the Kitchen Clean
For me, there’s little that kills my motivation to cook more than having to tackle a pile of dirty dishes before I start making dinner.
If your kitchen is often untidy, make a rule that no dirty dishes are left in the sink, and the counter tops and table must be kept clean. That way, you can get right into cooking when you get home, so there’s less chance you’ll feel like slacking off.
2. Make Cool Water Accessible
Research, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, demonstrated that drinking 500mls of water increased metabolic rate by 30 percent, within 10 minutes of drinking the water. These effects lasted for 30 to 40 minutes. They concluded that drinking 2 liters of water per day would increase energy expenditure by around 400kJ.
While this may seem like a relatively small increase, it is significant over time. Also, water has so many additional benefits in the body, so it’s worthwhile making an effort on this one.
Drinking more water each day can be as simple as placing a jug of water in your fridge — just make sure you reach for the water first, before you opt for another substitute.
3. Keep Emergency Meals in the Freezer
Having healthy meals in your freezer is a good fallback plan for those times when you get home late, or you forget to pick something up at the grocery store. And, it helps you to avoid eating unhealthy food, or opting for takeout.
When you run out of emergency meals, just make an extra batch of your next meal, and freeze the extra.
4. Use a Vegetable Steamer
Sometimes cooking vegetables can feel like a lot of hassle, so anything that helps with this is a bonus. Steaming is the healthiest way to cook vegetables, because it prevents nutrients being lost into the cooking water.
When I’m making brown rice, for example, I put the rice in the bottom of the rice cooker, then add my vegetables to the steamer basket on top after about 20 minutes of cooking.
Other options are steamer baskets which fit over a saucepan of water, or microwave steamers.
5. Get Rid of Junk Food
Ridding your kitchen of the junk will be a huge benefit to your whole family, encouraging everyone to make better choices overall.
If you can’t get rid of it completely, try placing healthy snacks, such as nuts, seeds and dried fruits right in the cupboard right next to the other snacks. That way, each time you reach for a snack, you are forced to make the decision “healthy” or “unhealthy.”
Also, keeping a colorful bowl of fresh fruit on your worktop, and some raw vegetables in the fridge is helpful, giving you lots of healthy options to choose from.
What are your tips for making the kitchen more diet-friendly?