Cluttered kitchens do more than add stress. Brian Wansink of Cornell University recent completed a study that linked messy, disorganized kitchens to over-snacking on sweets. Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota had similar findings in her experiment with clutter and food. Turn your kitchen into a healthy place.
Make Healthy Foods Visible: Tackle the cupboards first. Toss unhealthy food or put it way in the back, and trash all expired items. Group like items, and store packages with labels and nutritional facts facing toward you (think servings sizes, calorie counts).
Take Control of the Fridge: Home organization extends to your fridge. Vegetables, fruit, nonfat diary, and fresh herbs should be front and center. Place ready-to-eat healthy snacks in clear containers. Put the ice cream/junk food items in hard-to-reach places.
Make Cooking Easy: Motivate yourself to prepare healthy meals. Keep your favorite cookware and utensils handy and organized and get rid of the rarely used ones. Put the garlic press, veggie steamers, and wok within easy reach. Store the waffle iron and donut maker in rarely visited areas.
Have Spices/Healthy Oils Near: A well-appointed, organized spice rack will encourage use of nutritional seasonings, not salt and butter, to flavor food.
Showcase the Good Stuff: Fresh fruit and vegetables make nice art. Fill a pretty bowl or platter with mouth-watering pears, tomatoes, avocados, and more.
Trick Your Brain: Smaller dishes help control portion size, so full-size dinner plates go on the top shelf. Do the same with glassware. Why not drink wine from a juice glass? Did you know that bite size also matters? A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that using a large fork (not smaller!) helps you eat less.
Keep Recipes Handy: Put your frequently used recipes accessible. Store-bought salad dressings are fattening and unhealthy. Keep that 4-ingredient vinaigrette recipe close!
Remove the TV: Watching TV while eating is a recipe for disaster. Replace the kitchen television with a radio or docking station, and cook while listening to your favorite music.
Shop Smart: Buy fresh, healthy, wholesome foods.
De-clutter: Get rid of countertop mess and the stress that causes over-eating. Sort through your junk drawer and use small containers for twist ties, rubber bands, etc.
The kitchen is used more often than most other rooms. Dining at home is your healthiest, and cheapest, option. Make your kitchen conducive to smart eating, and turn it into a nice gathering place for family and friends.