This morning, I heard an advert on the radio: “I’m changing my diet; the crisps bag is now on the left, not the right of the computer.” That’s one way to change your diet, but I believe when people talk about dietary changes, they have something different in mind.
When I changed my diet over 15 years ago, I was in the situation many women find themselves in today: balancing a career and children, the day always needs to be well organised. It’s a demanding time for a woman. You need a good dose of motivation and discipline to change your diet during such a phase of life. Change means giving up old habits and developing new routines. For me, everything had to be quick and easy to implement. It was a time when I functioned more than lived.
Step by Step The biggest hurdle for me in changing my diet was that all the preparations, the “special” shopping, seemed too cumbersome. I decided to get inspired by attending a workshop. After the weekend, I went home and started emptying my kitchen cabinets and changed my diet overnight – radical Feng Shui. Nowadays, I advise my clients to make the change step by step, as each small step is like a domino that triggers a chain of new ones…
Making small changes can be very satisfying. Besides saving time, it also increases mental fitness, as a new “train of thought” forms in the mind. kitchen sink tidy
6 Practical Tips for Organising Your Kitchen During Your Dietary Change My most effective small steps:
- Without a Plan, You Have No Plan Create a daily to-do list and add the next shopping list. I always have a list in the kitchen, and as soon as I need to buy something, I write it down. You can also keep the list on your stopwatch or phone – whatever suits you best. I’ve been doing this for many years, and it has become a routine that helps me keep track. It’s very practical because I don’t forget anything (shopping list on the kitchen table😊) and save myself unnecessary trips and wrong purchases.
- Soak Grains, Seeds, Legumes, or Dried Fruit Overnight This is a very important point in a healthy whole-food kitchen and essential for most of today’s recipes with real foods. Depending on what I plan to cook the next day, soaking helps ease the digestion of these ingredients and reduce cooking time. The soaking water is always discarded (!) and the soaked foods are cooked in fresh water.
For example, you can soak whole grain rice and chickpeas or barley from Saturday to Sunday. Cook them on Sunday for several days of the week and store them in the fridge. This saves you time during the week when you need to prepare a healthy meal quickly. I also soak chia seeds in the evening for the next day’s porridge. This gives these tiny grains a gelatinous consistency, making them soft and blendable. The gel is extremely digestion-friendly for your gut.
- Process Market Purchases Immediately Vegetables bought from the market are washed, cleaned, and stored in portion bags in the fridge for the next 2-3 days’ meals. There is the option to buy pre-washed salads or vegetables, but I would only do this as a last resort, as it creates unnecessary plastic waste. I also don’t buy more than can be consumed in 3-4 days to prevent spoilage. The exception here is storage vegetables like potatoes and onions, but also cabbage.
- Stock Up If your fridge is empty and your pantry offers nothing more than an open box of cornflakes, you can’t prepare a healthy meal. By supplies, I don’t mean chocolate bars, but staple foods from which you can make quick dishes. For example, pseudo-cereals – quinoa, amaranth, rice – and legumes. I always have dried chickpeas, dried broad beans, and red or yellow lentils at home. I also always stock a selection of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. These foods have a long shelf life and can therefore be stored in larger quantities.
- Spices and Herbs Healthy meals thrive on a rich variety of spices and herbs. That’s why I have a basic assortment: sea or rock salt, pepper, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, paprika, cinnamon, and vanilla always in stock. Fresh herbs like parsley, chives, basil, or Thai basil can be planted in the garden or on the balcony in summer and in a pot on the kitchen window sill in winter.
Many spices and herbs are used in Chinese nutritional science to promote digestion and improve the absorption of nutrients. Ginger, fennel, and cardamom are examples of spices that can aid digestion. Spices and herbs are thus important not only for flavour but also for wellbeing.
- Grain or Nut Milk Grain or nut milk can be easily made at home. Currently, I mainly make almond milk. I always make my almond milk (technically it should be called almond drink) for a few days. One litre lasts for a few days. How much you prepare depends on the number of people in your household and consumption. You can also prepare 2 or 3 litres at a time. Preparation is quick and takes about 10 minutes per litre. This way, you can also make rice, hemp, or oat milk. I’ll be happy to show you how in one of my next posts. … By the way, I make my grain or nut milk myself because then I know what’s in it and it’s much cheaper than the bought versions.
In Summary: Write a shopping list regularly – simple but important!
Prepare as much as possible before you start the actual cooking: clear your work surfaces, get all the pots, pans, ingredients, and spices ready that you will need. Prepare onions, vegetables, and legumes so that you can just put them into the pan or pot afterwards. This is what every top chef does, it’s called “Mise en Place”.