Pieday Friday ~ My plans for a healthy start to the New Year

I’m taking a different approach this Pieday Friday and instead of sharing another naughty recipe to tempt you away from your new year health-kick I’m going to discuss ways that you can make your healthy-eating resolutions even easier. You may remember that last week I shared ways in which you can declutter your home and reorganise your wardrobe for a more productive, efficient and relaxed new year and today, I’m focusing on a similar overhaul for your kitchen – more specifically, your refrigerator. Many of us have made a new year’s resolutions to be more healthy, eat better and take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. These are all excellent ideas in order to make 2014 happier and healthier year for you, but there are already things in your life that will stop you from getting stuck into that new healthy eating regime – so I’m having a clear out of my kitchen cupboards in order to stay on track and stick to my good intentions throughout the year. 

Festive leftoversIt’s the start of January and it’s inevitable that we’ve all still got tempting snacks, family-sized packs of crisps and those boxes of chocolates we received as a gift still hanging around our homes after the festivities of the previous month. Just because it’s January doesn’t mean that we have suddenly become wasteful, but just because the leftovers are there, it doesn’t mean you have to eat them up to clear them way. It’s your choice whether you eat that box of biscuits before kicking off your healthy start, but you don’t have to – there may be other members of your family who will enjoy them or you can give them away to friends. Or maybe you could have one big ‘finishing up’ party, where everyone you know brings over the odds and ends of their festive food shop and you all finish it off together. Or hold on to them and hide them out of sight, so that when you’re bursting for just one Lindt chocolate, you’ll be able to treat yourself and satisfy that craving without going out to buy a whole box of chocs and end up scoffing the lot. But in the end what you want is a fridge that is clear of all those cheeses and pots of cream and to start afresh with clear cupboards and empty tubs. This will make way for all the healthy options you’re going to treat yourself to during your next trip to the supermarket. If you know you’ve got room in your refrigerator, you might be more keen to snap up saintly salads, fruits and fat free yoghurts. Good on you!

Cupboard clearing – Ok, admit it, how many of you have stacks of old foods at the back of your cupboards? I found some unopened crackers from 2012 in my cupboard only a couple of days ago while I was clearing out for the new year. These are the kinds of foods that you’re probably not going to eat so can easily clear out.  Let’s face it, if it has a use-by date of 2010 and you’ve not yet eaten it, you probably won’t ever eat it – especially now that it might be a health hazard! The biggest culprits are dried ingredients, old tinned food, and pots of spices. It’s time to check all the items in the back of your cupboards and make sure they are in-date and haven’t been opened then left to go stale. It’s a good idea at this stage to make a note of what you’re putting back into the cupboards and keep similar foodstuffs together, so that you can organise meals which will use up these items – that’s like having free food if you’re using up something you’d forgotten all about, and it will certainly save you money by reducing the chance of it quietly going mouldy in the dark recesses of a cupboard and being wasted altogether. In the cupboard space that you have after clearing out all of the old food, load it up with healthy choices to snack on such as my favourite Ryvita crackers and plain popcorn, then add pots of lovely herbs, spices and condiments to add flavour to your healthy cooking throughout the year.

I hope these tips will help you to stick to your goals for achieving a healthier you in 2014 and will also save you money in the long-run!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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