|To stay healthy just put your best food forward||Jan. 13, 2008|
|Provided by: Sun Media|
|Written by: FRAN BERKOFF|
Well, here we are.
Well into the new year and, hopefully, the resolution to eat better that some of you made remains front and centre.
The healthier food choices are probably still in your mind, but sometimes it takes a bit more to make them happen. Part of that is making sure your environment supports healthy eating. And, much of the environment is right in your own home. So, a starting point is making sure your kitchen is part of the solution. Here are three steps to help healthy up your kitchen:
- Do some planning: Decide what foods you want to have readily available at all times and stock up on them.
Your pantry should hold some whole-grain, high-fibre cereals, whole-gain high-fibre crackers, whole wheat flour, flax, some dried fruit, beans of all kinds, canned or dry, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, some fruit (canned in water or its own juice), low-sodium soups, nuts and seeds, olive oil, an assortment of vinegars, canned tuna and salmon, whole wheat pasta, brown and white rice, a variety of different grains, popcorn and lots of herbs and spices.
Your freezer should hold frozen fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, lean meat, whole wheat bread, flour tortillas and/or pitas.
Your fridge should hold fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt, omega-3 eggs, low-fat mayonnaise, salsa or other condiments, butter and/or non-hydrogenated margarine.
Once you have a well-stocked kitchen, its easier to make quick, healthy meals, lunches to go or healthy snacks to have on hand.
- Make the good stuff accessible: Eating fruits and vegetables is made easier when they are easy to see. Put a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter or table so it's the first thing you see when you walk in the kitchen. Also, put the best choices at the front of the fridge so you'll see them whenever you open the door.
When you bring vegetables home from the store, clean and cut up some of them and then put them in plastic bags so they are convenient and ready-to-eat. Or, you can buy already cut up vegetables and/or fruit.
- Have some good kitchen tools and gadgets: The healthiest kitchen should have sharp cutting knives, a couple of non-stick pans, a grill pan, a cheese grater, a blender and/or processor, a coffee or spice grinder, a meat thermometer, a steamer, good cutting boards, an oil spray pump, a nutcracker, salad spinner and vegetable brush. If time is a factor, a slow cooker can be a good investment.
|MORE COLUMNS BY FRAN BERKOFF|