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Spring Clean Your Kitchen — and Your Diet

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Spring cleaning typically consists of clearing out closets and the garage, along with scrubbing areas that have gone neglected during the cold winter months. But how often do you tackle the kitchen, an area that not only gets cluttered but might also be sabotaging your fitness goals?

In the book Core Performance Essentials, Mark Verstegen suggested taking a trashcan and going into the pantry. Toss away all those processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, snack chips, white pastas and rice, cake mixes, candy, creamy soups, sugary cereals, and soda. Open the refrigerator and discard beer, whole milk, creamy side dishes and casseroles, ice cream, fatty meats, white bread —anything that’s not fueling your performance.

You might be astonished at the volume of space you suddenly have. It might be enough to discard that extra freezer or refrigerator taking up space in the kitchen or garage and save on your energy bills.

Michelle Passoff, the author of Lighten Up! Free Yourself from Clutter, suggests a kitchen purging is helpful not just for keeping your nutrition program on track but also for establishing a mindset that you can get by with less. “You want to shift your attitude to where you realize, ‘I have everything I need. I’m not lacking.’ The last thing you should be hoarding is food. After all, the grocery store is only a couple miles down the road.”

Here are a few suggestions Passoff has to eat healthier, save money, and clear the clutter:

1. Eat what you have.

Many people don’t realize how much food they’ve accumulated because it’s buried behind other food, plastic containers, and other kitchen clutter. Once you clear that clutter and discard expired food, see how long you can live off the food you have. “I recently went three weeks eating completely out of my refrigerator and pantry,” Passoff says. “There were frozen foods and canned beans I had forgotten about. I was astonished at the meals that kept coming out of my own pantry. Put whatever you have with a fresh salad and you’re good to go. Think about taking that food to work instead of having to grab food on the go.”

2. Resist the lure of the warehouse.

Warehouse shopping clubs can offer great values, but sometimes require you to purchase huge quantities of food that will last for months, if not longer. Actually, warehouse clubs offer smaller portions of many products compared to a decade ago, but that’s still the case with some things. Either way, buying only what you need will keep you from overeating. It also will help you eat fresher food. “Buy less out of boxes and cans and more out of the produce aisles of the supermarket,” Passoff says. “Let Sam’s and Costco store the food, not you.”

3. Don’t buy foods that produce crumbs.

In the book Core Performance Women, Mark Verstegen suggested that eating cleaner can make your house cleaner if you follow this simple rule: the fewer crumbs the better. Everything that produces crumbs — cookies, crackers, chips, snack foods, doughnuts, bread, and nearly all cereals — has no place in a healthy nutrition program. With the exception of high-fiber, 100 percent whole-wheat products, forget about anything that produces crumbs. So not only will you experience the physical benefits of eating better, you’ll have a cleaner house as well.

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Health, Food, Home

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