Are You Putting Lipstick On A Pig?
Have you ever tackled a kitchen renovation? Or do you dream of one? Though the results can be stunning, the exterior beautifications are just a cover-up if we forget about what lives in our kitchen's interior.
I love renovations. All kinds. I’ve survived two kitchen makeovers of my own. The dusty, dirty, washed-dishes-in-my-bathtub kind. Though the results were beautiful, the exterior transformation pales next to the slower, more deliberate, internal renovation.
I’ve spent 8 years making over the inside of my kitchen... cupboards, pantry, fridge, and freezer. It wasn’t a one and done, toss everything in the garbage kind of process for me, though that works for some. Instead, it's been a slower, one-by-one elimination of things that no longer meet our family’s evolving health values. Some things were more challenging to part with (soda, ice cream, cereal) than others (margarine, frozen dinners, iceberg lettuce).
Know what I’ve learned?
It’s not as difficult a task as you imagine. You can do it, too. Maybe you just need a little guidance or encouragement.
Here are 4 tips for making over your kitchen:
- Just Start. Nike might say, Just Do It! Choose one thing to toss. Pick something that isn’t going to benefit you nutritionally and throw it out. Chances are, you’ll find some expired cans in that pantry or frost-bitten boxes in your freezer. Get rid of them.
- Find Swaps. You don’t have to go from what you have now to the ideal food. Rather than giving up peanut butter forever (I can’t even imagine that!), find a replacement if your jar is more than just nuts and salt (my favorite is Teddie All Natural Peanut Butter). Instead of tossing the Bisquick pancake batter, consider a switch to a whole-grain option like Kodiak Cakes.
- Fly Under the Radar. Afraid the kids (or a spouse) will revolt? Rather than announcing all the things that are no longer going to be in your kitchen and making it a big deal, let the unwanted items just run out. And then don’t replace them. Someone may notice. But they may not. And they’ll adjust to not having the missing food-like-substance faster than you’d think!
- Call a Team Meeting. Once your kitchen is more to your liking, in a casual conversation over dinner find out what your kids (or spouse) like to eat. Have them share with you three fruits and vegetables they like. Find out what foods they think are important to have in a healthy house (avoid using the words “good” and “bad” foods). Maybe they’ll surprise you and announce, like my niece Sydney, that they’re ready to go “all organic”!
Our kitchen environment is directly related to our ability to maintain or lose weight. But more importantly, it has direct impact on our health.
Our kitchen sets us up for progress or setbacks to our health. Whether it’s the cans and boxes in our pantry, the perishables in our fridge, or the tools in our drawers, our kitchen determines whether we take a step closer to or further away from our health goals.
Hear me when I say it's not about perfection! It's not about removing all the sweet or salty treats from your home. Those can be a (sometimes) essential part of your food plan, too. But we can make our kitchen environment just a little bit better than it may be today.
So, take a step today! Just one.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with doing all, so you end up doing nothing. Choose one tip from the list above and take action. Commit to making that change in the next 24 hours.
After all, lipstick doesn’t look very good on a pig.