Updated: Jun 15, 2020
So, you want to make the change. Maybe you have already, but want to finetune things. Where on earth do you start? The seed has been planted in your soul (ie your mind) and you want to turn your temple (ie your body) into the best version of itself possible.
Maybe you do not have a kitchen and rely on eating out, or maybe you are on the road. The good thing is that fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit are everywhere and you can usually either buy them on the roadside, farms or in markets, anywhere in the world.
But how do you set up the epicentre of your healthy lifestyle? What is this relatively new word wellbeing and how does it plug into your life? It's a catchphrase intended to make you rethink life itself - you are a physical BEING, but are you WELL? And how do you reach WELLbeing?
My articles have spoken about the ABCs of healthy living with an extensive outline of all you can do to be healthy in the comfort of your own home. And how to wash away a lifetime of unhealthy living with detoxing and fasting - preparing the foundation for your healthy future. I have even given the rundown on how to sort out your diet by getting your pH perfect at 7.365. But what should your kitchen look like?
A HEALTHY KITCHEN SHOULD NEVER BE ABOUT HAVING THE MOST EXPENSIVE OF ANYTHING
This is a photo of the pantry in my kitchen.
It cost next to nothing, especially compared to some of the obsessive pantries doing the rounds on social media. It is not full of plastic or expensive storage options. I have collected glass for many years. Anything I buy in glass I save, and also look for in op shops (goodwill) as well as gumtree and marketplace. I have saved jars for decades.
I print up plain labels at home by making my own template based on the dimensions of the labels (or you can download them).
I buy dried bulk goods (mostly organic) from wholesalers online and at stores with a mind on sustainability and less waste.
There is more on this in the ABCs article.
Buying dried goods is not about junk or processed food - it is about WHOLE food.
YOU WILL NEED TO RETHINK EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF YOUR EATING HABITS
Breakfast is less cereal, toast and fried food, as it is smoothies and juices which contain more nutrients in one sitting than you would ordinarily consume in a week
Lunch is more raw with dips and dressings or wholefood soups
Night-time meal should always contain raw food (a side salad which you will marvel at and wonder how you did without it up until now) and a mix of vegetables prepared in various ways, with healthy condiments and dressings
Snacks are rarely needed due to the balanced blood sugar and higher nutrient content in your main meals
A meal will consist of wholefoods that have been soaked (activated) and steamed, baked or eaten raw
Prep is about less time at the stove and more time soaking and marinating and drying and leaving to develop natural flavours
Drinks are less sugary, dairy-loaded toxic rubbish and more water and herbal teas
As for food prep: a plain bamboo cutting board is vital and you can get them affordably at any Asian store or kitchen wholesaler. A good knife set. I prefer my cleaver over any other knife because if you do not have strong hands, it does the work for you by sharing the resistance of the surface area you are cutting. Again, it is NOT about expense. I have had the same knives for decades and some of them were passed down to me and sharpened as necessary - my old cleaver is OLD. I have a cheap grater and peeler - both of these have stood the test of time as opposed to so many gadgets I have tried out over the years. I also have a julienne peeler which makes tiny strips or noodles out of any firm vegetable or fruit. Each of these cost next to nothing. Always try to buy natural materials and not plastic. Walk lightly on this earth...
My most important kitchen gadgets aside from:
a teapot (for herbal teas)
dehydrator (to preserve foods and make my own organic antipastos, snacks oils)
food processor (rarely used as I don't like the cleaning process)
large kitchen mixer (large batches of crackers and vegan dog biscuits)
small kitchen mixer (lighter ingredients)
bread maker (organic breads and rolls and toaster for warming things up)
... are (drum roll) my BLENDERS! I am not joking when I say I have what amounts to an obsession with these amazing appliances. Okay, so I had to buy my biggest one on a payment plan and it turned out to be not such a favourite despite all the fanfare and publicity the brand gets. Selling it for far less than it cost me stung a little but lesson learned. Thankfully I have found a brand I love, that actually lives up to its name at a far better price.
I bought a cheapie bullet blender (or three) over the years and grew to love them even if they do not have a long shelf life. Then I inherited Dad's quality version and I can honestly say if you get nothing else, make sure you get one of these. While you will pay a little more, they last indefinitely and you wont have to keep adding to landfill. Small enough to take on holiday or travel with you anywhere, and powerful enough to grind nuts, ice, fruit and vegetables. They can make just about anything in a minute or two, including -
fresh fruit sorbets
If you click on the bullet style image at the top of the article you can read more on specs and prices and purposes. For the larger family you might need to upsize and I would recommend the jug version in the image above. Again, click on the image for more information.
JUICING MAY BE THE MOST BENEFICIAL THING YOU CAN DO IN THE KITCHEN
When we talk about juice most people think of some attractive artificially coloured offering in the supermarket, heated and preserved and full of additives, that we are somehow led to believe is good for us. When did we get lazy? People would rather queue at a juice bar and get a $10 shot of something that resembles juice and compared to other offerings is a little better, but made from plain old non organic fruit and vegetables and stored for who knows how long...
Did you know that many juicers cook what little nutrients are extracted? They get so hot that the end result is not much better than a store bought option. They also push through so much of the skin and pulp you miss out on as many nutrients as you get. Cold pressed juicing has long been considered the best option and sadly, most cold pressed juicers are s-l-o-w so they sit in the cupboard after an initial temporary health kick. In fact I ended up buying a second hand cheapie option and gave my original cold press juicer away. And then I found my dream juicer...