Chef Amy's 10 Key Steps to a
Healthy Kitchen Makeover

There is a lot of confusion out there about what is healthy.

Low Fat? Low Carb? Vegetarian? Caveman? Blood Type? Organic? Seasonal? Local? Raw? Low Cholesterol? Gluten Free?
Dairy Free?Juice Fasting? Detoxing?

With so much information available, it’s no wonder why we get confused.

What program should I be following? Will this make me fat? Is this healthy?

The truth is, it is never ONE thing or ONE diet. It’s really as simple as getting back to nature. If there is ONE astonishingly consistent fact that I see proof of over and over and over again, it’s that nature knows best.

So, before you hit the superfoods extravaganza, invest in a juicer, throw out all your carbs, or order a spiralizer, read these 10 MOST IMPORTANT SIMPLE STEPS that you can take RIGHT NOW.

Becoming Healthier & Happier in the kitchen really is this easy.

Chef Amy’s 10 Key Steps to a Healthy Kitchen Makeover

1. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to eat WHOLE FOODS. This means real foods from the earth; foods that your great grandparents would have eaten. Ideally we should be avoiding any packaged foods, but if you can stick to the 80/20 rule, you will be taking great steps towards better eating practices.

2. Plan your meals for the week, before the week begins. Busy schedules and a lack of planning lead us to convenience foods, which are a poor choice in comparison to whole foods. Make extra quantities for dinner that can be used for lunches the next day.

3. Read Labels. When you do buy packaged foods, be sure to make smart choices. Don’t be fooled by marketing ploys and catchy words like “organic” or “healthy choice” or “rich with omega 3”. Go for foods with a small list of recognizable ingredients. Learn about our Label Reading Guidelines on one of my Healthy Shopping Safaris.

4. Avoid Sugar. Every now and then a delicious cupcake or ice cream sundae is okay, but for the most part, it is best to avoid sugar. It's addictive. Many processed, packaged and fast foods are packed with sugar. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, which is the worst. Remember, cane juice, honey, agave, maple syrup, cane syrup, sucanat and molasses are all processed by the body just like sugar.

5. Avoid Highly Processed Grains, such as white flour and white rice. They too act just like sugar in your body. When you do choose to enjoy a dish made with these foods, go for a good quality one. For example, artisan baked organic whole grain bread from the farmers market rather than cheap white bread from the grocery store. Homemade pasta at your local restaurant is something to be savoured. Basmati rice is a better choice than quick cooking parboiled versions.

6. Avoid ALL Artificial Sweeteners such as aspartame, and any other kinds, including any words that end in “ol”, like xylitol or sorbitol. These cause all sorts of disruptions to your body and brain chemistry, like making you hungry, slowing your metabolism and storing fat.

7. Avoid Highly Refined Cooking Oils like corn, vegetable, soy and canola. Instead go for cold pressed, organic oils like extra virgin olive (not for cooking), coconut oil, butter, ghee, grape seed oil and organic canola.

8. Avoid Bad Fats such as trans fats and hidden trans fats. Avoid all manufactured fats like margarines (even if olive oil based) and any products with the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.

9. Avoid Fake Foods that were created by a food scientist in a chemical lab. Avoid ingredients that you can’t recognize as a whole food. Avoid any foods with preservatives, additives, colouring / dyes, MSG and the words “natural flavourings”.

10. Get Back to Having Fun with Food and in the Kitchen! Value your time around the dinner table with one another. Discover a nearby farmers market and select a ‘never been tasted before’ fruit or vegetable to try. Encourage each other to experiment with new recipes. Divide and share the prep work. Involve your kids! Incorporate each other’s favourite meals into the month. Be patient and remember baby steps are key.

Choose ONE of these steps. Make that change this week.

Share this post with a friend. Make the change together. 

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Cheers, Chef Amy 

Food is our passion; we are excited to share it with you.