Your essential guide to a healthier kitchen

A healthy lifestyle starts in the kitchen. Without the right environment to facilitate your health and wellness goals, staying healthy and at your ideal weight becomes hard work. 

Just like giving your house a spring clean, I’ve put together a few simple steps to detox your kitchen so you can take control of the food you eat, which will support your overall health and quality of life. 

1. Ditch the cheap + nasty packaged goods

Remove all highly processed goods from your fridge and pantry, such as packaged cereals, crackers, sugary soft drinks + juices, bars and muffins. If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it. Focus on stocking your kitchen with honest and wholesome wholefood ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, quality proteins and wholegrains. Your pantry should be small, and the fridge should be full, which means you’re eating mostly fresh produce. 

2. Use a quality, high-speed blender

Breakfast can often be an unhealthy meal consisting of toast or cereal with a cup of coffee. But this is such a carbohydrate heavy meal which can leave you hungry before lunchtime. Instead, make delicious and healthy smoothies that take only minutes to make. I love blending a frozen banana, almond milk, Healthy Chef protein, ice and a handful of berries. It’s a meal in a glass that’s full of protein, fibre and antioxidants to keep me energised all morning. 

3. Get rid of bad plastics

Most plastic containers contain bisphenol A (BPA) which can disrupt our endocrine system, not to mention the environmental toll of plastics. Glass jars and bottles are great for storing your freshly made nut and seed milks, as well as an assortment of raw nuts, seeds, dressings and dips. I have an array of Kilner jars and bottles at HC Headquarters and at my home for this very purpose and they make wonderful vessels for smoothies and restorative salads. 

4. Keep delicious, simple recipes on hand

Knowing how to cook quick and healthy meals from scratch means you’re less likely to be getting take out or buying something convenient. I always have my cookbook Purely Delicious or Healthy Chef Recipe App in the kitchen because it has many 15-minute meals I can easily cook after work. You’re also less likely to crave junk food between meals because natural, wholefood meals keep your appetite satisfied for hours. 

5. Get your family involved

Let your kids experience how fun healthy cooking can be. They can help you make healthy lunch box snacks and meals like oatmeal muffins, vegetable soups or meatballs and pizza. Not only will they be learning a life skill, but they’ll also be spending quality time with you and they are more likely to enjoy their food. The International Journal of Obesity reports that the family environment is the main influence on what our children eat, and studies show that when parents eat fruit and vegetables regularly, so do their kids. So feed your family the right kinds of foods and combine this with regular exercise needed to build a strong healthy body. 

6. Keep it simple

Don’t get overwhelmed and confused by all the health jargon and advertising when buying ingredients for your pantry. All you need is a good quality extra virgin olive oil, classic aromatics such as sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic and vanilla, brown rice, rolled oats, sardines or tuna in olive oil, a few glass jars of crushed tomatoes for that impromptu bolognaise or weeknight dinner. Just by making a few simple changes to the ingredients you choose and how you cook them can make improvements to your health and wellbeing that last a lifetime. 

By Teresa Cutter – The Healthy ChefThis article is brought to you by TAL, in partnership with Healthy Chef aiming to inspire healthier, happier lives.

Disclaimer: The above health and medical information is general information only and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified medical or other health professional. If you are concerned about your child’s diet or if your child has special dietary needs, please speak with your GP or a qualified dietitian. 

First published: 1 October 2018