Last week we touched on 4 essential habits for a healthy lifestyle: Breath Awareness, Hydration, Exercise, and Nourishment. I hope you had a chance yesterday to set some honest and achievable goals for the next few weeks! Having a practical direction to head in will really help you focus on what is important to you and decide which actions and choices serve your well being and which ones don’t. Keep up your dedication!
Today, let’s take a look at your environment and see how it can better supports the goals you have set! When you eliminate the unhealthy options it makes it so much easier to choose healthy ones on a daily basis! We’ll focus on the kitchen.
Begin with the breath…What effects the clean air you breathe? It’s an old habit to store cleaning chemicals under the sink. Check what actually needs to be there. Move any highly toxic products or ones you rarely use somewhere else. Try the garage, basement, or the garbage! I’m not a fan of these, most cleaning can be done with vinegar and water, borax, or a little bit of dish soap. Try to find biodegradable, non-phosphate soaps and you’ll help save the lake from late summer algal blooms! While you’re here, be sure you aren’t storing any food products or containers in the same place as cleaning chemicals!
Next, hydration…What beverage options do you have in the fridge and pantry? Do they support your goals? Grab an empty box, or use an empty shelf or cabinet that is out of reach. This is going to be your “Treat Box.” More on that later! Place all the beverages that don’t support your hydration goals there. These are drinks like soda, sugary juices, alcohol, caffeinated beverages like coffee, black teas, etc. If you’re ready, throw them out or offer them to a neighbor. The goal is to get them out of sight. If you are living with someone who is still drinking these things, let them know where you’ve placed them. Maybe they will want to join you! Bring all the drinks that are on track with your goals to the front at eye level. Try blending up 4-5 servings of a smoothie or juice or infusing water with fruit and herbs. I love soaking chia seeds over night then squeezing in lemon or infusing cucumbers for hydration & mineral packed infusion.
The big one is nourishment…What foods do you have that don’t support your wellbeing goals? Place it the dry goods in the “Treat box” and the refrigerated foods on the bottom shelf. At the beginning, it can be hard to transition to making choices that support your health. It takes a little while to convert our old habits into ones that give us the results we want. But hey, you’ve made those same old choices for years now! Now you get to try something fresh and new that feels good! Bring all the delicious, nutrient packed, nourishing foods to the front and on shelves that are eye level. Make your healthy choices easy for you! When your craving something and need a snack your healthy choices are right in front of you. If the Cheetos are in a box and the Blue Corn Chips are right in front of you, you’ll probably just grab the chips. Prewash your favorite fresh fruits and place them in a bowl on the counter for an easy, go-to snack.
Now, that “Treat box” may be overflowing…scan through it. Is there anything that you don’t really need? Think about it…is it worth the space in your life to store something that leads you astray from your goals? Keep the foods that provide some nutritional value and that are your favorite splurges. We saved our favorite Girl Scout cookies, bleached-flour pasta and Rice-a-Roni, but we tossed anything expired, dented and non BPA-free cans, marshmallows, and artificial sweeteners. Once you’ve paired it down, label it “Treats,” and place it on a bottom shelf or top cabinet. The idea is to tuck it away so you don’t see it all the time and it isn’t easily accessible. You can take it one step further and set a max on how many times a week you can dive into your Treat Box.
I know this may seem like a lot. Take it one step at a time or invite a friend over to help! You can also stretch it out over a few days to do a really thorough job. Know that you are really doing yourself a HUGE favor by making it exponentially easier to choose wellness! This is what our Klean Shelf and Treat Box look like: