Nutrition Articles

Is Your Kitchen Due for a Makeover?

Clean up your Kitchen to Straighten Your Diet


In With The Good, Out With The Bad
Food substitution and sifting is the name of the kitchen makeover game.

  • Throw out: Thick dressings, creamers, chips, dips, soda, pudding and just say no to Twinkies!
  • Keep: Vinaigrettes, spinach, nuts, tomatoes, oatmeal, carrots, salsa, yogurt, natural applesauce.
  • Take a close look at the calories on your condiment shelf. Mustard can be a low-calorie, tasty alternative to mayonnaise; barbecue is a nice substitute for sweet and sour; soy sauce and teriyaki sauce are loaded with sodium, an oyster sauce or some spicy mustards may be a better choice; hot sauces are usually low in calories and can spice up just about anything.
  • Pay particular attention to carbohydrates. Whenever you see refined products like white rice, white pasta, plain bagels or white bread, replace them with more natural choices, like whole grain (brown) rice, whole wheat pasta or whole grain bread.
  • Load up your kitchen with as many Super Foods as you possibly can. Click here to learn more about these nutrient-packed powerhouses.
  • Have a can of nonstick cooking spray on hand. Use instead of higher calorie oils or butter.
  • Load up on fresh produce. Canned and frozen varieties can keep well and be nearly as nutritious as fresh, if not packed in syrup. But they also often come with a lot of sodium, and anytime you eat fresh, you know you’re doing well.

Special Item Checklist
Beyond the fridge and the pantry, a healthy kitchen involves a number of other items and a lot of smart organization. See how many of these you have right now, and then see how you can slowly add more over time.

  • Picture of your goal on the fridge
  • Healthy cookbooks
  • Very visible grocery list
  • Coupon envelope or storage system
  • NO pizza coupons
  • Cutting board
  • Easy-to-read and categorized recipe box or book
  • Full set of measuring cups and spoons
  • NO television in the kitchen or eating area (distractions can cause overeating)
  • Usable kitchen table – free of clutter, bills, bookbags and projects
  • Spice rack and spices
  • Water bottles (preferably reusable ones) in the fridge
  • Water filter
  • Snack bowl on the counter, for all of those fresh fruits and healthy snacks you’ll have
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About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

Member Comments

    I do this periodically anyway. In the process once again cleaning, pitching and having a good time. when my kitchen is organized, I am happy happy:) - 5/14/2014 4:35:07 PM
  • Criticism: unrefined grain doesn't mean "unnatural grain." Should we start eating nuts in the shell? Eat avocados with the peel on? :)

    That said, many of the other suggestions in the article sound like good ways to motivate someone to stick to their calorie goals. And I really should clean my kitchen! - 3/20/2014 9:34:00 AM
  • That's funny to see this article today. This morning I just organized my pantry. Thanks for the validation it was a good thing to do. - 10/25/2013 9:42:14 AM
  • our kitchen is next on the list to "re-do". These are great suggetions.....I can't wait for an expanded kitc hen. - 10/25/2013 1:49:58 AM
    I've had my kitchen organized like this for years. (I have three drawers for utensils, most often used are right next to the stove). I also keep a "freezer inventory" list of meats on the door, so I know how many packages, and which cuts of chicken, beef, shrimp, etc. are inside. This helps when deciding what I need to buy, especially if there is a good sale. (Like, this week Harris-Teeter has chicken breasts BOGO). Also, when organizing the pantry and shelves, consider adding extra shelving to go UP. I have 3-tier riser shelves on two shelves of my pantry to store cans, spices, etc. and they are easier to see. Also, if your pantry has a regular door (not a bi-fold), you can get special door racks that will hold a LOT of items. - 10/3/2013 11:37:30 PM
  • I'll put up a fight over the TV. It makes meal prep for the week bearable. I'd never finish if it weren't for the TV. - 10/3/2013 10:40:22 PM
  • You're asking for the impossible in my house:( - 10/3/2013 8:36:43 PM
  • CHRISTASP I AGREE WITH YOU. - 10/3/2013 5:48:13 PM
    Jammed utensil drawer. LOL. Mine is horrible! - 10/3/2013 2:10:01 PM
    Nice article. How many years do we have to accomplish it all? - 10/3/2013 8:18:53 AM
  • I am so thankful that DH is a great cook and BUILT the kitchen to be easily organized and everything in view thanks to pull out pantry shelves and drawers for pots and pans, etc.

    There's one pull out shelf for baking items (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.) another for utensils (mixing bowls, measuring spoons, etc.) and 2 full shelves of seasoning, herbs, etc. with the names clearly visible on the jar lids.

    Yes, it does make all the difference in the world! - 10/2/2013 10:57:59 AM
    Great article, what a pity I don't have enough strenght to do so.
    l - 9/4/2013 4:06:18 AM
  • GOOD IDEA! I will do that next week when ready to shop. - 2/15/2013 8:48:24 AM
  • This will be my project for the week! Today I cleared most of my main working surface. Thus inspired I made a long-overdue next batch of my special cook-in sauce cum salad dressing, which I'd been putting off for at least a week after running out. I got out the ingredients and then did it in 5 minutes!
    Tomorrow I either tackle the smaller job of accumulated chaos in front of my gas hob, or start on the major task of my chaotic secondary working surface where nearly everything gets dumped. I have another working surface where I prepare the animals' meals, use my fish grill and pop corn, that is also cluttered. Ditto top of frig and top of another cupboard.
    I'm thinking of putting hooks on the cupboard doors for tools etc I use most often.
    That will take me into next week! Thank you for spurring me on to making life easier for myself! - 1/16/2013 8:27:44 AM
  • I have done all of the above. It's amazing how empty my refrig looks now. I did find a cheap coupon holder at the Dollar store. - 10/26/2012 6:24:57 PM

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