A few months ago my husband and I found out we were going to move to a new house and we decided to seize the opportunity to make a real change in our eating habits.
We’ve discovered that the best way for us to control our eating is to remove temptations – meaning not buying unhealthy food or the ingredients to make unhealthy food.
We’ve focused on eliminating foods and ingredients that we don’t want to put in our bodies and replacing them with things that we do, because the reality is if you don’t have it, then you won’t eat it.
Are you ready to eat healthier but aren’t sure how to get started?
Here are three things to eliminate from your kitchen that will help you start a healthier lifestyle:
1. Baking Ingredients: At first we thought, “Can we really get away with not buying a bag of sugar? Isn’t that something every kitchen is supposed to have?” If you are like me and are constantly tempted to bake sugary and fattening desserts, then make sure you don’t have all the ingredients to whip up a batch of cookies. I have been living in my new house for a month and I still have not purchased a bag of sugar or flour. And guess what, I’m alive! When those late night cookie cravings start creeping in, it’s a great deterrent to say, “Oh, too bad, we don’t have any sugar.”
2. Cereal – While there are plenty of nutritious cereals out there, most are filled with sugar and don’t provide as many nutrients as other breakfast choices. I find that when I do have a box of cereal lurking in my pantry, I can’t resist to choose the cereal over a healthier breakfast choice. Once again, the solution is simple: don’t buy it. When you don’t have the option of eating cereal you are free to blend up a delicious fruit and veggie smoothie or eat some fruit with a hot bowl of oatmeal. One of our favorite breakfasts is to scramble up some eggs with any kind of veggies – spinach, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini–anything works really.
3. A Microwave – I know, this is sounding blasphemous. But we are on a student budget right now and when we moved into our house we realized it didn’t have a microwave. We were wondering if we could save some money by not getting a microwave and decided we would experiment for a few weeks to see if it really would be a significant loss. I have barely noticed its absence. I have found that microwaves are primarily for heating up frozen meals like burritos and chicken potpies. Because I don’t have a microwave, when I walk past the pre-made frozen dinner section of the grocery store, I am not even tempted by greasy microwave pizzas because I don’t have a microwave! Then, when I am at home and needing a quick snack, my only options are things like nuts or fruits and vegetables because I don’t have access to unhealthy microwavable alternatives.
Start small, you can do it!
Eliminating these things may seem hard, and when you go to the grocery store for the first time you may think, “Well, if I can’t buy those things, then what I am supposed to buy?” There are so many good things to put in our bodies, but they often get pushed to the side by the convenience of unhealthy foods that are easy and quick to prepare, or by the allurement of addicting sugary snacks and desserts. As you begin filling your cart with fruits and veggies instead of frozen corn dogs, it may not seem as fun or appetizing, but you will feel so much healthier.
I wouldn’t suggest getting rid of these things all at once if you already have them in your kitchen. Let them run out and then the next time you have to go grocery shopping, replace an unhealthy item you usually buy with a healthy item. When your frozen dinner supply runs out, donate your microwave to charity, or put it in storage.
If the three things on this list seem too daunting at first, start out by picking one thing you want to eliminate from your everyday diet and DON’T BUY IT. Instead, replace it with something healthy.
As you begin the process of eliminating unhealthy foods and replacing them with healthy foods, you will be on the path to creating a wonderful healthy lifestyle.
Hannah Brown McKay
Hannah is a tall, red-headed, Arizona native who is currently adjusting to life on the East Coast while her husband attends medical school. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in political science and is working on developing her writing career. She loves inventing healthy recipes, visiting new places, and blogging about her unique way of life. You can visit her blog at hannahbrown3.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @HannahMcKay9.