As you are considering changes to your fitness and health goals, you’ll want to evaluate your environment.
You want to gather as much support as possible to help you get to those goals. Support can mean many things…people, resources, knowledge, skills and your environment.
The more you can align these support systems, the better off you’ll be when obstacles and challenges arise.
Today we are going to tackle the kitchen. We spend a ton of time in the kitchen preparing food, conversing with family and celebrating with friends.
The kitchen should be a safe place setup with healthy food and the tools you need to plan and prep for your busy weeks.
Red, Yellow and Green Light Foods
The concept of traffic light eating helps place food into categories. Foods may be in different categories for different people.
Think about what you consider healthy and unhealthy for you.
Red light foods are ‘no go’ foods. These are trigger foods that make you sick or that cause you to over indulge. They are the unhealthy choices for you.
Yellow light foods are ‘approach with caution’ foods. These food are may be good sometimes, and not so good at other times. You may eat them fine while dining out with friends, but they are a challenge then you are home alone.
Green light foods are ‘go’ foods meaning you can eat them without concerns. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein and legumes fall into this category. These foods help you feel good mentally and physically.
A good example of variability in categories is ice cream. For me, this is a yellow light food. I can eat it slowly and only on rare occasions. Others may eat half gallon at one time if it’s in the house.
Drinks may also need to be categorized. High sugar and calorie beverages can be triggers for some people.
Having healthier food in the house is great, but making it easy to prep and to eat is even better.
Having the appropriate tools to prep the food for the week will help make things readily available if you need a quick lunch or snack to take on the go.
You’ll want to make sure you have adequate containers to store the prepped foods.
A crockpot is a great tool to prep a large amount of protein for the week. Crockpot chicken recipes are super easy and the chicken can be spiced up or sauced up based on your taste preferences.
The others in your household, at a minimum, need to know what your doing and why you are doing it. Ideally they are on board and you can work these changes together as a household.
If they are not, you may need to establish some boundaries to keep your healthier options separate from other food in the house.
Maybe you have separate shelves in cupboards and the refrigerator.
Ultimately you want other people as a part of your support structure, but for a kitchen makeover it’s important to share this information with the rest of the people you live with.
What To Do
There are a couple of ways to address the food in the kitchen now that you know what categories your food choices fall in.
You can go extreme and get rid of all of the trigger foods. Grab a garbage bag and toss it.
You can replace food items as you finish them. For some, this may be a better option financially.
You may also need to find alternatives as a compromise for the household. Maybe you keep a few ‘treats’ in the house that aren’t triggers, but not the healthiest choices.
As you get rid of unhealthy options, you can add new healthy options. Experiment and try new foods that can provide variety to the meals for you and your family.
Do what makes sense for you.
Dr. John Berardi, Co-Founder of Precision Nutrition, helps put the importance of your kitchen in perspective.
Berardi’s First Law states:
“If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it.”
The corollary of Berardi’s First Law is:
“If a healthy food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it.”
When you bring healthy food into the house, you make that decision one time. When you bring unhealthy food into the house, you make a decision multiple times until that food is gone.
Let us know if you’d like help with your kitchen makeover.