Kitchen Habits 101
A Healthy Diet Starts in the Kitchen
Do you fancy yourself a cook? A foodie? A health enthusiast? A loco-vore?
According to habit change expert, James Clear, every action you take casts a vote for the person you believe you are.
Do you go for burgers or go for beets? Do you opt for pop tarts or for parsnips? Do you meal plan or do you default to take out?
When you change your habits, you change your identity. The actions you take daily, weekly, and seasonally in your kitchen cast big votes for the type of body you have now and the kind of body you are going to have in 3 months and in 3 years.
I call myself a cook, a foodie, a health enthusiast and a loco-vore. It probably started in my teens when I would turn my mom's kitchen upside down experimenting with recipes and food ideas. This identity was solidified in my college years when I worked at the vegetarian collective restaurant name the Ché Cafe on the campus of UC San Diego. I cooked the weekly Indian lunch special; I worked the early morning sandwich shift; and I served food for the Wednesday night All You Can Eat special. People who know me know I love to cook and prepare healthy, local food.
If you want to eat a healthier diet, start to ask yourself, what would a healthy person do in the kitchen?
Practice Kitchen Sadhana
In this post, I share with you a lot of ideas and habits on how to make the most out of your time in the kitchen each day, each week, and each season. I call this kitchen sadhana. Sadhana is a word from the yoga tradition that translates as a practice aimed at evolution. The habits I do in my kitchen cast votes from my future health and wellbeing. What I put into my body eventually becomes my tissues, my thoughts and my actions.
I define Kitchen Sadhana as:
- Consciousness in action in my kitchen.
- The practice of food preparation and nourishment.
- Daily, weekly and seasonal tasks that up-level my diet, kitchen environment and even my vibration.
- Clear intentions around my food preparation.
- Investment in my future body and consciousness.
A weekly Kitchen Sadhana will help you:
- Save time during the week.
- Eat better.
- Save money.
- Be seasonal.
- Be more relaxed.
- Have a healthier, more vibrant body.
Weekly Kitchen Tasks
These are weekly tasks to prepare for good nourishment for the week ahead. These ideas are customizable depending on the season and what you like to eat.
- Explore new recipes for the coming week.
- See what foods need to be eaten in your refrigerator and freezer.
- Create a meal plan for the week. Here is a weekly meal planner (PDF)
- Make a shopping list and go shopping.
- Restock your kitchen staples.
- Harvest food from your garden if you have one.
- Arrange fresh produce where you will be enticed to use it.
- Clean greens and veggies for easy meal prep.
- Make mason jar salads for lunches away from home.
- Prepare vegetarian soup stock or bone broth.
- Sprout seeds.
- Make granola.
- Make salad dressings and sauces
- Make almond milk or coconut milk from scratch.
- Start a batch of sauerkraut.
- Make hummus or other bean dips.
Kitchen Tasks for the Evening
- Get your family involved in planning and prepping tomorrow's food.
- Check your meal plan for the following day. Adjust if necessary.
- Soak any legumes or grains you might be cooking for the next day.
- Chop and prep ingredients for tomorrow's meal.
- Get out lunch containers that you'll need for tomorrow's work lunch.
Seasonal Kitchen Tasks
These are tasks to do about every three months.
- Purge your fridge and cupboards of anything that is old and devoid of life force (prana).
- Arrange your refrigerator and cupboards like you would rooms in your house! Arrange them neatly and nicely for your satisfaction, pleasure and ease. Design your refrigerator and cabinets to emphasize what you want to put into your body.
- Organize your food bins and jars.
- Organize your compost container.
- Organize your spices.
- Stock your kitchen for the current season.
- Assess your kitchen tools. Upgrade if necessary.
- Blend spice mixes for the season.
- Freeze or can food to eat later in the year.
- Prepare herbal tea blends, superfood blends, etc.
- Plant a garden or get a CSA subscription.
- Install a compost bin.
More suggestions for Kitchen Sadhana success:
- Invest in your body. Give your body the best food you can.
- Follow the prana (life force).
- Enjoy your time in the kitchen!
- Make kitchen a place that encourages your health and wellbeing.
Want to learn more about healthy habits and how get started? Check out the Vibrant Living Habits course.