One of the most used and oftentimes most chaotic places in our homes can be the kitchen. It may serve as the hub of the house, a study room, a landing zone for those things no one knows what to do with, and then of course a place to make tasty,healthy food. Well that's the goal anyway.
If you're like me, then it's hard to even want to attempt the process of making ANY type of food when it feels more like a struggle to find things, grab plates and keep items in the pantry from falling over on one another. As both a health AND home coach I want to share a few handy lil' tips that'll help make your kitchen a place of joy to make that fabulous food.
First - it's always nice to know where your stuff is. Pretty basic right? Yet, as life happens sometimes we just simply have gotten too busy (who isn't these days?) and haven't found time to create a system in our Kitchen that screams "I've got my shit together!". Well girl, I'm here to say GO EASY ON YOU - Having an organized kitchen is not the poster child of having it all together necessarily but it's a great start!
OK without further ado below are a few basic tips to get started on your new kitchen!
It's all about the location
1. Place things close to where they will be used. If you prep your dinners next to the stove, keep spices, utensils and knives in that zone. It'll mean less zig zagging all over the kitchen in a haphazard manner and more fluid movements without the zig or zag resulting in less time, less effort and more calm. Simple enough right?
That pantry tho
OK this one here is a game changer. There is no better (well, almost) feeling than seeing an organized pantry IMO. That said, before you go buying all those pretty containers you gotta do the dirty work and go through your stuff.
For example; throw out what's expired, no longer used, damaged or what you're no longer committed to eating for the sake of your health. Now once you know what's left, organize it however makes sense to you; canned foods, baking stuff, and lunch stuff for example. Now you can see just how much space approximately you need for each "category".
Now go buy those pretty canisters, baskets and whatchamadiggies.
Give each part of your kitchen a "zone" and dedicate that space for that use.
Do the kiddos' use the bar for their homework after or before school thus accumulating pencils,paper, books and more paper? If they get their work done here and it works for your family then by all means keep it rolling!
Just integrate a little study center equipment to harbor all that stuff that keeps accumulating on the counter. Cute trays, pencil cup holders, a homework board on the wall is also good stuff.
Handy lil' gadgets
Remember when I mentioned keeping things in the pantry from falling over? That's where handy little gadgets like corner organizers with multiple tiered shelves help to separate and increase storage space.
There are dozens of styles when it comes to organizers for pantry shelves so I encourage you to find solutions that work for your shape and size of space. They are also wonderful options to use for cupboards if you want to create and/or separate space for plates, bowls and cups.
There you go! I hope these simple tips will help you find your way to a kitchen you love and love to cook nutritious healthy meals in.
Live with Intention,
I got "glutened" this weekend. I woke up Saturday morning with hives on my legs and arms. By Sunday night I had them on about 90% of my body. So needless to say the weekend was spent itchy, scratchy and downright miserable. So I thought I'd share a few foods that fly under our radar of what we tend to think of as glutenous so you don't end up like I did this weekend.
While I shy away from the obvious gluten culprits that come to mind to most of us; foods like bread, pasta and pastries, every once in awhile I'll let my guard down (hey, it happens, we're only human right?) and ingest certain drinks and foods that are culprits. My personal hive causing culprit? My realization was that a wine I used for making my Zucchini & Mushroom Cashew Alfredo Pasta Friday evening must've contained gluten! Aargh!
So on that note, whether you're just starting to remove gluten, or thinking about eliminating it, read on below for 5 surprising food finds that contain gluten.
Let's just start here, cause I'm pretty sure it caused my weekend bought of misery. Wine can be tricky! The majority of them do tend to be gluten free, but they also don't have an ingredients lists on labels and therefore makes it hard to know.
While wine may not naturally contain gluten, it can be added by winemakers in finishing the product. A scenario in which wine can contain gluten is if the barrel used to age the wine is sealed with wheat paste.
Good news is that most often this practice has been outdated and now wax based pastes are used to seal the barrels. Nonetheless, this information is important for those with Celiac disease. The best way to go about knowing your wine is gluten-free is to do your research and contact the winery direct.
Sadly yes, french fries are amongst today's surprising 5. While again naturally not glutenous, fries can commonly become cross contaminated in the frying process at most typical fast food and restaurant chains unless they have a dedicated fryer, which unfortunately most do not.
But alas some chains are in the know and do have gluten-free options. Chick-fil-A offers gluten free french fries (and buns!), as does Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger (Hello Cali!) and Sonic Drive-In.
Check ahead by calling your local chain to see if they participate in the offering. Or just make 'em at home, they're super easy!
I had NO IDEA for the longest time on this one. It comes as a big surprise to many who are starting their gluten free journey. Soy sauce contains wheat. Yep, wheat. It's a main ingredient in fact. That said never fear, there are gluten free alternatives and you won't even know the difference!
I personally use Bragg's Liquid Aminos. You can get it in almost any grocery store these days. Try it and let me know what you think!
Here's another sad report. Ice cream. While the flavor itself may not contain gluten, it could be cross-contaminated as it's processed on the same equipment that other gluten-containing products are.
Take a moment when shopping and check those labels. Haagen-Dazs has some great gluten-free options, as does So Delicious and Breyers to name just a few. You'll never notice the difference!
Love oatmeal and granola bars? By themselves oats do not have gluten. Often though they are grown in fields beside wheat, so again we have another case of cross-contamination.
So, when I buy oats, I make sure they are labeled as gluten-free. Same with my granola bars;if they're not labeled gluten free I'm not buying them. I'd rather make my own.
Moral of the story here guys is that cooking at home is the safest way to ensure you're not ingesting gluten. If you do go out to eat find out ahead of time if they offer gluten friendly options and when out shopping mind those labels or buy gluten-free substitutions as they tend to taste just as good as their gluten counter-parts.