A Key To Keeping Your New Year’s Diet Resolutions

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We know that many homeowners in the Upper Valley enter the new year with the resolve to eat healthier and/or lose weight. But did you know that keeping your resolution becomes easier if you organize your kitchen and eliminate unnecessary clutter? It’s true, according to Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and star of the Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. A study by the journal of Environment and Behavior found when women walked into a messy kitchen they consumed more calories than they did when they entered a clean kitchen. The reason: studies have found that clean kitchens reduce stress and help individuals to avoid unhealthy choices.

When clients in the Upper Valley come to our showroom to design the kitchen of their dreams, one of the first things that we advise is to assess what currently exists in their kitchen. We recommend that our clients inventory cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, storage containers, cutlery, knives, utensils, gadgets and countertop appliances and estimate frequency of use. We encourage our clients to purge items that they never use. Infrequently used items (e.g., the large roaster for Thanksgiving turkey) can be relegated to upper cabinets or to other rooms in the home to open up prime real estate for the most frequently used utensils and equipment.

Don’t ignore the pantry. Pull out each item and ask, “how does this item make me feel?” If the response is not positive, either toss the item in the trash bin or donate it to a food bank. When you restock the pantry, replace items in a logical order. Put all canned goods together. Have a separate area for baking ingredients, spices, grains, nuts, etc. Organizing your pantry by category not only will help you to eat healthier, but it will also save time for meal preparation and cooking.

Next, curate the contents of your refrigerator. In the same vein as curating the pantry, take everything out and assess what you want to keep. Does it bring you joy, or is it unnecessary? The latter may include foodstuffs that have expired or are unhealthy. Reorganize your refrigerator in the same way that you reorganized your pantry. Place foods by category, and put the items you use most often in the most accessible areas. Do the same with your freezer. Toss anything that has been in there for more than a year.

Your countertops should be clutter-free. When you place a blender or toaster in a cabinet, you help to eliminate temptation. The only exception could be a bowl of fruit. A study in Health Education and Behavior examined the eating habits of hundreds of households. Those who left chips, candy and cookies on their countertops weighed significantly more than people who only had a bowl of fruit on display. Having clean countertops also prompts individuals to cook more because messy countertops increase stress.

The last areas to curate are your cabinets and drawers, eliminating rarely used or unneeded items.

Finally, you can eat healthier if you have a set routine for meals and snacks. Marie Kondo advises eating everything at a table and avoiding the temptation to eat in front of a TV or standing up. A routine forces you to be more thoughtful about how and what you eat.

If you would like additional guidance for organizing your kitchen to help you and your family eat healthier and happier, give us a call at 603-448-9700 or visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

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