Your Kitchen: Friend or Foe?

As most of you know both Hannah & I are very close to our family.  My Dad in particular is such a great source of strength & encouragement.  He has such a way of putting things into perspective.    He is also on a weightloss journey…almost down 100 lbs!!  Woohoo!!! Yesterday, I was having one of my many catch up sessions with him on the phone.  During the conversation he said something that really struck a chord with me.  He said he had been thinking about the idea of your kitchen being your enemy.  For so many of us we have made food the enemy and the battlefield the kitchen.  I mean Ben & Jerry live in there for goodness sake!!  Don’t get me wrong those boys are a GOOD time until it’s time to put on your pants! Right!?

After all this time I realized that I still view my kitchen as the enemy.  I began fleshing out the idea of transforming your kitchen to be your friend.  I’ll admit most of that idea is mental…it’s all I how you look at things.  That being said I think there are some practical ideas that can add to this transition.  First, clean out your kitchen off all the bad stuff (or the good stuff you shouldn’t have). It’s ok to indulge now & again…even when you are trying to lose weight….but no one needs twinkies in the pantry.  Now, I think this is the portion of the blog where the moms might grab their pitchforks.  Get the “kids” junk out of the house.  My suggestion is this…maybe instead of keeping ice cream bars in the house you actually take your kids out for ice cream.  Not only do your kids get to have a treat, but it’s a way to show them you want to treat them & spend time with them.  Let’s face it…ice cream and other treats kept around for the kids gets eaten just as much by the adults.  I know there will be lots of complaining and moaning by everyone in your house, but childhood obesity is on the rise and what a better way to start teaching our kids about healthy eating.  Get them involved.  Ask them to help you “clean out” the kitchen.  If they are old enough have them research healthy recipes online…maybe have them pick a few and have a house vote on which healthy meal is for dinner!  For those of us without kids it really is a no brainer.  Just throw it out or donate the unopened food to your local food bank. Revamping the kitchen with my ideas alone was indeed a delightful experience. Everything from cabin colors to the sleek knives that I came across on was my choice and no intervention was involved, which I must say was as liberating as breaking the shackles to fly again.

Second, get thee to the nearest grocery store STAT!  Make a list of all the essentials that you will need to make healthy meals & snacks.  A stocked pantry is your best friend.  It takes the guess work out of “what’s for dinner”.  When you have lean protein & veggies at your fingertips the options are endless.  Shop local…Farmer’s Markets can be so cost effective and a great way to support your community. If you need a great source of protein, you may also consider taking protein powder.

Lastly, rekindle the romance with your kitchen.  Spend some time in there!  The more time you spend “getting to know each other” the better.  Don’t just run in and mindlessly throw something together.  Don’t get me wrong…some nights a chicken breast and veggies are all the effort I can muster up…and that’s ok!  Now that the seasons are changing get creative…how about curried turkey chili with root vegetables!  Toss some dried currents & toasted pumpkin seeds in your usual salad and BOOM: a delicious fall meal that feels anything but ordinary!  If you get overwhelmed thinking about inventing recipes never fear.  Just one click to Pinterest will provide more recipes than you could cook in your lifetime.  Or, make a trip to your local bookstore and check out the cookbook section….there are tons of options for healthy cooking.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have treated my kitchen like a Foe, but I’m determined to change that.  Let’s face it…we have to live with food everyday…three meals a day and a snack. I’m ready to embrace my kitchen and get BFF necklaces. 🙂

Is your kitchen a friend or foe?  What are your tips to rekindle the romance with your kitchen?  Let me know in the comments!!  Let’s chat…it’s been too long. 🙂

Health & Happiness,
Olivia xxxooo

19 replies on “Your Kitchen: Friend or Foe?”

Yeah…you had me until you said throw out the ice cream. I get what you’re saying though. I have given up the other junk but I refuse to give up the ice cream. I have compromised though. I make it myself now and use almond milk. I know what’s in it, and because I have to make it…it’s not as easy to just sit down and pig out on it. And believe me, that is huge. But other than that…my tiny little kitchen is a friend =)

Love this post. I actually just got back into the kitchen today and made some really good soup, perfect for fall time.. and actually enjoyed spending the time! And I agree 100% about clearing out the junk. If it’s there, it WILL get eaten in a moment of weakness. Definitely a great idea to go out for a treat instead. Awesome tips! Thanks! Praying for you girls.

I had never realized it, but yes, the kitchen has been my enemy in so many ways. I am going to make the change to make the kitchen my friend. GREAT idea!!! Your Dad is a great thinker!

Hi O! missed ya girl! Thanks for this post!!

I actually LOVE my kitchen! Since I changed my eating habits I love tryin out new recipes and stuff… there are sooo many healthy recipes out there to try.. although I never really have much time to experiment…
And you got me by the ice cream part.. I try not to have any kind of junk in my house at all.. but Ice cream,, man o man its my addiction.. I try not to have it to often but when I need it I just cant resist.. that is my weakness.. BTW if and when you do eat ice cream which do you find healthiest?
UGH! I wish I can win some skype or meet n greet session with you! I have loads of questions!!

O and guess what??? I got to talk to Jillian on her podcast a couple of weeks ago it was sooo crazy awesome!!! wish I get another chance..
Anyways.. so long..
wish ya all the best…
love you forever!!!

Liba – The crazy purple ninja fan

Olivia, this is a great post. The more time that I’ve spent in the kitchen learning how to cook, the less intimidating it has become. Growing up, neither of my parents cooked, so it’s taken me a long time to learn, but I’m proud of my skills now! I’m also a big fan of using Pinterest to find new recipes and meals. It’s so much easier to imagine how the food tastes with the great pictures that people post!

Love this! I am not great at cooking, but have found that keeping a clean and organized kitchen makes it easier for me to prep food for the day/week! I love good decor as well–it should be a peaceful and inviting space!

Olivia missed you girlie girl!!! So glad for a new post. Throwing it out is a melt down waiting to happen in my home but a much needed event! I would also like to switch the candy isle at the checkout of the supermarket to healthy dried fruit or alternative options because it seem like every time I take my kids to the store I have to answer at least 3 times with a no. I understand it’s marketing but sometimes I just want to cry because I am attempting to change my own sugar addiction and the frustration that comes from parenting can be overwhelming at the checkout. Thanks for encouragement in this area!! It’s time to get r done!!

I find that keeping the bad stuff out works best for me. I’m not going to make the effort to drive to the gas station or grocery store for an unhealthy meal or snack but if it’s there in the kitchen I’ll probably eat it. I keep the pantry and fridge stocked with good options that we both enjoy and can easily make meals from.

I tend to eat the same thing over and over, so it is good for me to step outside my box. I just finished 10 days of Gluten/Dairy Free Challenge and it pushed me to try new things. But you are right, the kitchen can tend to be an enemy. I want to make trying new things more of a habit and love cooking again!

Hi Olivia. I love this post! I’ve been living my parents’ basement for the past six months and will be moving back out in November. I need to start working on strategies for smart food choices when I’m no longer sharing space. Two ideas came to mind as I read this: first of all, I think it’s easier to be friends with your kitchen when it’s a cute and/or cozy space (or whatever aesthetic you go after), because it fits with the life you want to live. Does that make sense? I don’t know if I articulated it all that well. And then, secondly, I think your kitchen can be your friend when you share it with friends. Like, cooking is more fun when you’re planning to share meals. You know what I mean?

(Also, this morning I was jogging with friends — one of whom is in the very challenging learning-to-run space — and I was thinking about how I got from super-overweight-to-pretty-healthy-and-totally-awesome-at-running and I realized that I started working out regularly when you and Hannah ran the December challenge last year. I’ve lost 38lbs since then and I’ve run both a 5K and a 10K since then! Thanks for doing that. And maybe you should do another challenge this December!)

Hi. I’m watching season 11 on Netflix again, because it helped me lose weight last year, and I have to get back on track. As a woman around the same age of the women in season 11, it was inspiring to hear some of the same issues you all tackled and conquered.

I just recently browsed online to see how some of the cast are doing. I’m not sure if you’ve heard. Unfortunately, I found out Rulon just filed for bankruptcy a couple days ago. It’s sad to hear.

My food prep areas –kitchen I wish!– are friends. To rekindle the romance with a kitchen, cease to replenish the bad stuff. Like a tea bag, we never know how strong we are till we’re in hot water, in this case meaning needing to work to prepare a meal because of the absense of the unhealthy shortcuts. We just might work diligently enough to do things right.

Olivia, I love this post. I think i’m actually becoming in love with my kitchen! I have a few new gadgets (for measuring and such) that I never owned before (it was always a pinch of this, a few shakes of that…), I have my BL cookbook which gets opened quite frequently as I am now starting to try new recipes, and although I will admit we do have ice cream in the fridge (not mine) most of the things we have are healthy or healthier now!!! I am still learning what goes with what and what is better than what and what is less calories than what, but I am having fun experimenting and trying new things and maybe one day when I grow up I will understand all of this and get it, but until then, something is working and i’m liking it and my next step is a weight scale for the kitchen and new pots and pans!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

Olivia – I agree with your post completely. My husband and I took that step a while back and cleaned out the pantry and fridge. We often find ourselves wandering into the kitchen for no good reason just to get a “snack.” Snacks are fine – but its the type of snack you get that really matters. We have a huge fruit basket on the counter with different types of fruit. That way when we want a snack we have no excuse!!

I may find this interesting for different reasons than some others. To be honest I am pretty ashamed to say that at 27 years old, I am only just learning to cook! Its shameful, BUT having people cook for me is what got me to 285lbs!

In recent months, I have been on a weight loss journey and decided that in order to do this, I needed to get a hold of what I eat and how its prepared. So I have started to get to grips with the kitchen. Olivia and Hannah, you will know that it is me that is always asking for other ideas in the kitchen from your YouTube channel as I am learning to cook things that are healthy and thought why not learn off my 2 favourite BL contestants!

I do everything by the book, weigh/measure etc etc and it tastes great. I have learnt to eat vegetables(sound about 3 yrs old!), and mainly, enjoy eating them too as lets face it, its a BIG part if you want to lose weight!

So although I have just lost my kitchen virginity, we have started off well and hope to keep improving in order to keep losing the weight and get to my goal of 190lbs (currently 232lbs, 53lbs lost)

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep doing what you are doing. The UnleashTheChamp looked fantastic and although I am from the UK I will really try to make the next one! Places like this are great for someone who is a 27 year old male who’s friends are all in good shape who’s only meeting place is in a pub(bar) drinking beers. So thank you and keep it up

I keep checking daily to see if you haveosted any more cooking ideas……need help for lunch and dinner. Omlette is amazing thanks for sharing!

Me too Kim! That has become part of my morning routine. Get up – check. Shower – check. Brush teeth – check. Look to see if new post is up – check. Lol…sad, I know!

Maybe they are posting only monthly? I just know she mentioned in the last one she was going to post lunch/dinner stuff in a couple of days:(. In fact I got excited when I saw there was a reply thought it was them. Too bad they cant twitter this stuff…..seems like they are able to stay on top of that:)

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