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When it comes to New Year’s, most people will be making resolutions, whether it’s giving up a bad habit, eating healthier, losing weight or simply making a vow to get to the gym more often. But when it comes to resolutions, the hardest part is starting them. So before you set your goals, survey your surroundings. The way to succeed at any resolution is by first making positive changes at home — it starts in the kitchen.
There’s no reason to wait until spring to clean your pantry or your cupboards. Take the time now when it means the most for your well-being. Getting your kitchen in shape before you begin your new diet or health regimen is the first step in getting your resolutions off the ground. FN Dish has five important tips to help get you started.
Purge — Get rid of all the foods that have expired, foods that you know you’ll never eat, and all the foods that won’t do you any good in your new diet. Donate nonperishable foods that are unopened and still good. Getting rid of temptation is an important step — don’t leave a box of cookies on the back shelf to trip up your plan.
Restock — Take a trip to the supermarket or health-food store and buy those healthy foods you’ve been running away from for so long. If you’ve made a resolution to eat more vegetables, buy some. If you want to try a new whole grain — like quinoa, which everyone is talking about — buy a package. And if you don’t know what to buy, ask around. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try new things — you might actually like them.
Organize — It’s a very good idea to have your kitchen set up in zones. You probably already have your dinnerware in one section and your pots and pans in another, but you should do the same with your foods. Keep your new healthy foods in a designated area so you can access them often. It will save you a lot of time when you’re preparing a meal or just grabbing a power bar as you’re running out the door for work. Also, seeing those healthy foods in one place will hopefully encourage you to stay on course.
Keep It Clean — A messy or dirty kitchen will definitely discourage you from cooking, and might even lead you down a dark path to ordering takeout. Don’t let yourself get into that situation. Make a promise to keep as tidy as you can. Clean up during and soon after cooking. Always do the dishes every evening and keep your counter clear of clutter. You’ll find that a cleaner prep space will beckon you to cook more often than before.
Maintain — The second hardest part of any resolution is maintaining it throughout the year and beyond. Just as this applies to your diet and fitness, it also applies to your kitchen habits. So keep to the plan by sticking with it through thick and thin. Set goals, keep a schedule and come back to the cycle mentioned above.
Once you’ve accomplished your New Year’s kitchen resolution, you’ll be better set up to succeed at your personal resolutions. Check out Food Network’s Healthy Eating page for healthy recipes and ideas.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Leave a comment below.