After spending the last four years helping people transition their diets for weight loss, improved wellbeing or somewhere in between, one thing has become clear – for some people, the biggest barrier to their success is a cluttered kitchen environment that promotes doing the least.
As opposed to doing the most.
But honestly, this clarity didn’t really hit home for me until I found myself in need of a major lifestyle change.
You've heard of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis right? You know that autoimmune condition when your immune system attacks your thyroid?
Having this condition means I am prone to having flares (of increased inflammation) when I consume certain foods.
*Whispering in your ear: foods that are known to cause inflammation in the body.
Receiving this diagnosis last year meant, not only did I need to get a (whole) grip on the foods that I ate, but that I also needed to begin eating foods that would make feel better.
In laymen’s terms:
I needed to get my shit together.
So instead of going the usual route of running out and buying a bunch of “healthy/anti-inflammatory food”, the first step I took was a long hard look at my kitchen.
I opened the cabinets, the drawers and everything in-between.
The amount of clutter, junk and chaos that was my kitchen, was kind of shocking.
Like why was I still using my beat up, partially melted plastic cutting boards? Oh, because I never stopped to consider that I could just replace them?
It's so weird when you take a moment to look at the way you've become accustomed to living.
My kitchen was the place where I prepared my meals, stored take-out leftovers and opened bottles of wine while socializing with friends.
It was also the place where I would devour late night take-out after a long day at the boutique gym I used to own.
Taking that moment that day, to see (and reflect) on my years of neglect (and nasty little habits, let's keep it 100) was eye opening.
All the years of cooking for my daughter, for my husband, for family and friends< I couldn't help but think...
"why did I treat the only space that housed the food that nourished my body (spirit and soul) - like it didn't matter?"
That's when I figured if I was going to elevate my dietary lifestyle habits, I was going to elevate my kitchen habits too, because I deserved better.
Getting my kitchen all the way together was the best self-care flex I could have made for my health and elevated-living, realness.
I'm here to tell you:
Changing your eating habits is the same as changing your lifestyle.
The first step on your journey is to determine your dietary lifestyle.
When you're transitioning from a more processed lifestyle to a cleaner lifestyle, knowing which foods to buy isn't always so easy.
Having some kind of dietary focal point gives the term "eating healthy" context; an actual roadmap that you can follow to set your journey off on the right path.
(Do you know which dietary lifestyle is the right one for you? Take the quiz)
And let me tell you, "healthy eating"means different things to different people especially when we consider one's health, goals, food sensitivities, allergies and good ol' fashioned preferences chiiile!
Like a wise man once said, 'What you eat, don't make me shit' - Jay Z, Where's the Love
While some people thrive on veggie-focused lifestyles, some people thrive on a combination of meat and vegetables.
There's no right or wrong choice here. Food is bio-individual and extremely personal.
What works for you, may actually be harmful to someone else.
Step #2 - transform your pantry to support your new dietary lifestyle.
The most impactful step you can take when you're changing your eating pattern is to remove the food from your home that will sabotage your plans.
As a rule of thumb, the items in your pantry/kitchen cabinets should reflect the road ahead.
At the end of the day, kick-starting a new dietary lifestyle in an un-healthy food environment is so 80's, and we're not doing 80's in these 2022 streets.
Removing the food clutter from your pantry is about making room, gaining clarity and gaining control.
(Watch me gain control of my pantry situation below!)
Step #3 - Make your most used areas easy to use
The kitchen junk drawer shouldn't also be where you store your cooking tools and utensils. I'm speaking from personal experience, lol.
In my kitchen one of my "new additions" was a cook’s drawer, aka the drawer closest to my meal preparation area.
Up until I elevated my kitchen, I had about 3 junk drawers and watch how I snatched it in the video below!
Step #4 - An Organized Fridge is Some 'Super Bossy' isht
We're not playing by the rules when it comes to fridge organization.
The refrigerator has the potential to become a cold-storage refuge for anything we don’t have the time to deal with, if we let it.
Whatever has expired, changed color or has taken on a look that you no longer recognize is exactly the clutter you no longer need.
Everyone eats and stores their food differently, so you have to organize your fridge according to what works for you.
Let’s take veggies for example, and get into my fridge below.
Most refrigerators come with crispers or vegetable drawers that are usually located at the bottom of the fridge.
If you’re vegan, vegetarian, plant-based - or just someone who eats a lot of vegetables, they're not going to be in your fridge for long.
Why not store them where they can be see and admired?
Chaos and clutter can’t survive in an organized kitchen, just as you my sis, can’t thrive in a kitchen surrounded by clutter and chaos.
My name is Nicole Orisich
I'm a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), an AIP Certified Coach (Autoimmune Paleo) and the "IT Girl" at Keep it Cute Kitchen (K.I.C.K.) If you have questions or content requests, click here, and follow me on YouTube and Instagram.
Thanks for pulling up!
Do you know which dietary lifestyle is the right one for you?