Updated: Jun 5, 2020
I've noticed many things during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since people have been staying home, the amount spent on groceries has gone up which says time spent in the kitchen has gone up as well. I've noticed it in my own household. We've taught ourselves to eat when we're bored and that's not an easy habit to break. For that reason I put together a Kitchen Clean Up Guide. Once you read through everything, feel free to download the PDF here. Here's a rundown of the guide with my insight behind each step:
Step 1 - Eliminate Packaged Products
This may be the most difficult step. I don't like tossing food out for any reason, but this step is necessary! You'd go through your fridge, pantry, cabinets or wherever you store food and remove all of the packaged and processed foods to make room for whole foods. If you have non-perishable food items stored for emergency purposes, by all means keep that stuff!! The purpose behind step one is to take away any tempting foods that'll hinder your progress.
Step 2 - Replace With Whole Foods
It's easy for me to sit and eat half a quart of Breyers ice cream. For that reason I buy sugar free jello or Halo Top ice cream. In other words: You're looking to trade soda, power bars, chips and cereal for water (or other drinks not loaded with sugar), fruits & veggies, nuts and seeds. You can buy whole foods just about anywhere including Farmer's Markets which is a great place to go shopping.
Step 3 - Kitchen Essentials
If you like shopping whether it be online or in-store, this may be fun or even your favorite part. For this step you're ensuring that you have the tools to prepare your meals.
Here are my recommendations for kitchen essentials:
Good pots and pans are a must. For bulk prepping, a large pan is perfect for stove-top cooking. One knife or a set of sharp knives are needed especially for cutting tougher veggies like celery. Measuring cups/spoons, spatulas, cutting board and even a potato peeler. I personally use a potato peeler on apples and cucumbers since I don't like the texture of the skin. Slow cookers are great too especially for bulk prepping.
I highly recommend a decent blender too. Here's a tip: If you don't like many veggies, you can toss some in the blender with your fruits. Strong flavored veggies like celery can be tasted through almost anything you mix with it in the blender. Don't know what brand to get? Get yourself a Ninja! As far as food containers, glass is usually better. If you have young children or you break dishes often, you may want to consider plastic containers instead.