Healthy habits aren’t all about your body. I fully woke up to the link between environment and well-being two years ago, when my husband and I downsized from our house to a condo. Amid the chaos of half-unpacked boxes, I realized just how important an uncluttered and organized living space is. Our habits suffered because groceries were sparse, pots were MIA, dishes were still packed and our supplements were out of sight. We tripped into bed at night over piles of clothes and folded linens. And during the day, we felt worn out from the constant mental chatter of our to-do lists, and because we were simply unsettled.
In The Hormone Boost, I wrote about the “TurnTash Method”—my silly spin on the popular KonMari Method, which offers a way to declutter your life and bring joy. Embracing this level of organization will make more time for you, and enable you to live the Hormone Boost lifestyle. Consider the following benefits:
- You will be more successful and lose more weight. Organization heightens your ability to be mindful about what you put into your body. My own experience tells me that success begins with thoughts or ideas, takes shape with planning, organization and preparation, and comes to fruition with motivation and commitment to follow through.
- You will make Hormone Boost–friendly food choices. Incredibly, a study from Psychological Science (December 2012) found that people who worked in a neat space for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar than those who worked in a messy office for the same amount of time. Clutter at work or home is stressful for the brain, which makes you more likely to resort (consciously or unconsciously) to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating. Plus, kitchen decluttering, “detoxing” of hormone disruptors and organization of foods and meals (i.e., stocking up on nutritious foods, preparing protein-rich meal-on-the-go options and smoothies, prepping fruits and vegetables) will only help to ensure that you make Hormone Boost eating your reality.
Convinced now? I certainly hope so. It’s obvious that paying attention to your surroundings pays off big time. Various chemicals and hormone disruptors are lurking in your environment and they can interfere with your boost. Therefore, our first step is to get rid of those nasty things, and the logical place to start is—no surprise—the kitchen.
The Kitchen Boost
When it comes to starting any new personal health regimen, the kitchen is surely target number one. So many bad habits are formed—and fed—in this important spot in your home. It’s vital that you spend a bit of time in the kitchen, making sure there’s nothing standing in the way of your success.
Let’s start with a list of foods you should never eat; in fact, I recommend that you remove them from your kitchen immediately to prevent further hormonal disruption.
- Products containing artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc.)
- Products containing high-fructose corn syrup
- Vegetable oil, shortening, margarine, cottonseed oil; anything containing partially hydrogenated oils and products containing trans fats
- Processed and packaged foods that contain lots of preservatives, loads of sodium and few nutrients (e.g., prepared pasta or rice side dishes)
Once you’ve got a handle on your cupboards and fridge, the next step of your kitchen boost is to get rid of your plastic food storage containers and replace them with glass.
In part two we explore the essential tools any Hormone Boost-ready kitchen must have. By being proactive and prepared you’ll ensure success and minimize frustration.