Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clean Counters = Healthy Habits

Clean Counters = A Stress-Free Kitchen = Making Healthier Food Choices

Welcome to my kitchen. It's tiny, what you see here is pretty much all the counter space I have. No fancy island. No dish washer. Very little counter space. Very little storage. But here in the above picture, that counter space is actually clean & uncluttered (well, uncluttered for us!) The dishes are washed and put up. The counters have been spritzed & wiped with cleaner. I have my lunch for tomorrow prepped and waiting for the main ingredient to come out of the oven. This for me is a stress free and much healthier kitchen.

Crumbs gone. Food put away. A clean kitchen offers a lot of opportunities for creativity. It means I don't have to do dishes when I get home. It means I have to discipline myself every evening to take 20-30 minutes to wash the dishes, put them away. So far this week I've managed this 4 nights in a row. Seriously that's a record. I think I've managed doing this an entire week before... but it's never been a habit I've kept up. Normally my kitchen looks like this so my goal this week has been to keep my counters clean. Not only to wash the dishes, but put them up as well. Put things away. It's not that I'm a slob, or a really messy person... it's because life is busy and clean counters aren't always at the top of my priority list.

Yet it makes sense to me that keeping my counters clean will not only make life easier for me every day when I get home from work... but it gives me a clean, fresh space to cook when I get home. All my utensils are clean, I have plenty of room to work, so I really don't have a good excuse not to make a healthy meal.

More often than not, it's when the counters are dirty that we resort to going out to eat or ordering take out. When the counters are dirty, I look at my tiny kitchen and sigh. I don't feel creative. I just want to turn and run. Spaces that are stressful make me anxious, yet it's all too easy for me to fall into the habit of a not keeping up with my dishes.

Since I'm working on learning how to eat well, learning how to read my body/hunger signals (Am I really hungry? Am I satisfied? Do I really just need something to drink? See this post), I figured this was a good time to start practicing other healthy habits.

Michael gave me this "waving kitty" at Christmas for the kitchen and I love it. 
It matches nothing else in my kitchen and I'm perfectly okay with that!

What healthy habits would you like to start? How have you made healthy habits permanent in your life? Do you feel like having a clean kitchen makes a difference in cooking healthy meals? Share your thoughts!

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