What if I told you cooking didn’t need to feel like a chore, and your nutritional habits could be improved through organizing at little to no cost.
Kitchen design and its effect on eating habits stems from environmental psychology, where psychologists investigate atmospheres and how behavior is influenced.
In this blog I hope to share meaningful insights on how to build a space that redefines your relationship with your kitchen, and nutritious eating.
Take a Step Back
Try jotting down what behaviors are causing you to not align with your lifestyle and nutrition goals
- Do you work a 9-5 job that makes you utterly exhausted to cook after your shift?
- Are you overwhelmed with the endless choices of ingredients and recipes?
- Do you have a general understanding of Portioning, Well-Balanced Meals & Nutrition?
Whichever reason, nutritious eating can be encouraged through organizing techniques that are quick, affordable, functional, and visually engaging.
Place your Pantry Ingredients (where applicable) in Jars
If it isn’t clearly accessible, it’s clearly missed - placing ingredients in clear containers will create space & visibility in your pantry - making ideal choices easy-to-access.
If your ingredients are hidden in the back of the pantry, or stacked on top of one another, dialing for a pizza or microwaving quick-foods will become a lot more convenient, more consistently. And who can blame you for that!
I bought my containers from our local dollar store, but you can easily use whatever is laying around the house.
Pair Complimentary Ingredients Together
Placing each container beside complimentary ingredients encourages effortless recipe building (and lots of time saved).
- Quick Rolled Oats, Chia & Flax Seeds, and Dried Fruits & Nuts (Oat bowls & Trail Mix, Snacks)
- Spices and Grains, Legumes
- Flour, Yeast & Sugar (I find transferring baking ingredients to wide mouth containers has made it much cleaner than constantly opening a bag of flour that explodes in my face)
Out of Sight Out of Mind
In Food Psychology – placing perceived ’Trigger foods’ (i.e., processed, high sugar load, trans-fat) in visible areas - are more likely to be eaten.
By eliminating trigger foods in visibility zones like eye-level pantry shelves, counter tops, or the kitchen table, you are less inclined to being queued.
Instead, try placing these items in non-visible zones, or in opaque storage containers to eliminate the quick reach and eat impulse that takes away from preparing a well-balanced meal.
It can also be a great way to be creative – I bought these cute storage containers from the dollar store (as always) and place my chips in there. Invisible and a subtle décor technique.
If you have young children this can also be a great way to eliminate the exposure of these ingredients and not get them hooked at a young age.
Set up your Fridge for Success
A well-designed fridge is organized, functional & vibrant –encouraging nutritious eating, and thereby eliminating food waste.
- Prepare your Meat & Produce: Wash, and where applicable, slice your food in advance (this will save you money and time when building recipes).
- Treat Your Produce like Your Outfit: Showcase it in ways that you find attractive i.e., your favorite bowls, glass containers, beeswax wraps.
- Remember: Your Produce, Meat & Dairy are organized to work in synergy with your pantry items.
Make Snack Bowls
If the typical fruit bowl isn’t favorable to your satiety. Get creative with Snack Bowels (or premixes) that you can keep in the pantry, or counter alongside fruit.
- Trail mix with Cacao Nib (Grab & Go) (Pantry)
- Dried Fruits (Grab & Go) (Pantry)
- Oat & Granola Bars (Grab & Go)(Pantry)
- Premix your favorite Waffle & Pancakes Recipe and store it in the pantry (Pantry)
Organizing your Cupboards
A kitchen is a space for food preparation, so eliminating jargon that distracts you can make a large impact on your nutritional bottom line.
- Shelf Racks: Additional Shelf Racks can utilize negative space. Investing in ones to keep your Pots & Pans upright will expedite the prep and cook procedure.
- Store away your Extras: If you have extra-space in the house, neatly tuck away the items you consider occasional – including cutlery, glassware, plates, pans and electronic items.
Less clutter = more clarity.
Make a List of your Favorite Recipes, Measuring Equivalents & Portion Recommendations
This one might sound like farfetched, but it works.
- Measuring Equivalents: You can Print or order from Amazon a list of Measuring Equivalents. It’s nice to have on hand when working with unfamiliar measuring metrics.
- Portion Sizes: Understanding Portion Sizes can drastically improve your health, and weight-loss goals. Printing a copy from an accredited site / health care professional, and having it in posted in the Pantry Cupboard or on a clip board for quick access can act as a resource when creating a well-balanced meal.
- Glycemic Load & Index: Glycemic stems from Glycogen – meaning Sugar. Understanding high load Sugar Foods, and its alternatives can encourage informed decisions about dietary choices and its impact on your body.
- Print your Favorite Recipes: You can also write these down. I find printing is much more practical - tidy and easier to pinpoint. You can still add any notes by hand. Recipes with under 7 ingredients are typically less overwhelming and realistic to find in your pantry.
Thanks for reading!