Thinking about cleaning up your diet, but not sure how you’ll manage the extra cooking, food prep, and new eating rules in your kitchen?
Don’t let the details stop you before you get started!
I went to culinary school and worked in a world renowned restaurant in Italy, yet I keep most of my meals super simple. And keeping meals simple and tasty means I’ll continue to feed myself the best foods possible, even when I’m taking on a reset, detox or cleanse.
Here are my basic strategies for keeping my kitchen cleanse-ready, streamlined and inviting:
1. Pack the pantry.
A pantry filled with quick-meal basics is the best way to make sure you’ll eat healthy all week. If your cupboard contains little more than old herbs and spices, flavored vinegars, and random bags of flour, cooking up a fast meal won’t happen. But if you have quinoa, dried apricots, and organic chicken or vegetable broth, you can whip up a simple Moroccan-style tagine.
You can still use some packaged foods like gluten-free pastas, BPA-free canned beans or soups for dinners, just be sure to check the labels so you’re sure to avoid any hidden names for gluten, soy, corn, dairy, caffeine or sugar.
2. Organize your kitchen.
Clear clutter from countertops and clean out the dark corners of your cupboards. If you don’t use something daily or at least several times a week, put it in a drawer or cabinet for more counter space.
Organize drawers and get rid of useless gadgets. Keep knives sharpened and within reach. A garbage bowl on the countertop is a good idea while your cooking: it makes cleanup even faster when you can dump out one bowl of scraps rather than constant cleaning.
As you start cooking, get out all the ingredients you’ll need and have them on the counter. There’s less chance that you’ll forget an ingredient or end up scrambling for something in the fridge during a critical step.
3. Get ahead whenever possible.
Be a weekend warrior! Cook ahead and prep on your days off so during your busy work days you have easy, healthy bites to grab.
Chop vegetables to store in air-tight containers in the fridge.
Cook up recipes that keep well (soups, stews, whole grains, beans), and refrigerate or freeze; you can reheat them or steam them during the week for a meal in minutes.
Pre-prep your smoothie ingredients! Wash, dry and tear leafy greens and combine with berries or other ingredients in air-tight containers or plastic baggies. This makes the morning easier when you can just dump the ingredients into the blender.
Boil some whole grains or beans on the weekend, and keep in the fridge. Freeze extra portions in portion-sized bags and you can make a meal for one easily.
4. Go simple.
Make your meals radically simple.
Re-steam some cooked brown rice and lentils, cut up red bell pepper and scoop out some hummus, wrap leftover wild salmon in romaine leaves with mustard and raw sauerkraut.
And don’t forget eggs! A dinner of scrambled free-range eggs, tossed greens with sliced avocado and cut up raw carrots is perfectly acceptable, yummy, and fast.