How To Make The Kitchen Your Favorite Restaurant!

Having your kitchen set up properly is the first thing you need to do in order to be successful! Here are some simple setup tips and must-have items that will make cooking at home fast and fun! Learn more.

Article Summary:
  • Restaurants are fun and easy, but too much happens out of sight.
  • A clean organized kitchen makes cooking easy and motivating.
  • Buying in bulk is great as long as your food has a good shelf life.
  • There is no denying that dining out has its perks - it's fun, easy and takes the guesswork out of what's for dinner but if you are on a mission to achieve and maintain a world-class physique, you will soon learn that restaurants are your biggest "frenemies".

    While most restaurants claim to have become more health conscious over the past few years by offering a low-calorie menu, their definition of "low calorie" may not always coincide with yours.

    Most Restaurants Claim To Be Health Conscious, But Their Definition Doesn't Always Match Yours.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Most Restaurants Claim To Be Health Conscious,
    But Their Definition Doesn't Always Match Yours.

    To begin - fast-food or chain restaurants have no nutritional liability to the American public under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. Therefore they are not required to provide calorie, fat, or sodium information.

    The only way that can describe these low-fat alternatives are as "low-sodium" or "low-fat" - so much for calorie counting!

    Sure, if you befriend your server they can be accommodating by taking special requests like "dressing on the side" and "chicken-grilled with no grease", but you never know what goes on "behind-the-scenes" when your food is prepared. Quite simply there is no substitution for a home-cooked meal made in your very own healthy kitchen!

    So, it's time to get psyched about cooking at home - not only will you save time and money, but there is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes along with knowing exactly what's going into your body.

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    Having your kitchen set up properly is the first thing you need to do in order to be successful! Here are some simple setup tips and must-have items that will make cooking at home fast and fun - and the best part is that you can rest assured knowing what went into making your meals!


    A Healthy Kitchen's Atmosphere Should Be...


    Vibrant And Beautiful:

      Don't you love the feeling you get when you walk into the produce section of your grocery store? It's so fresh, clean and organized that you just feel healthier shopping there! That's the same ambience you want to achieve in your home kitchen. It takes a little bit of planning and strategy to make your kitchen both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

    It's So Fresh, Clean And Organized That You Just Feel Healthier Shopping There!
    + Click To Enlarge.
    It's So Fresh, Clean And Organized That
    You Just Feel Healthier Shopping There!

      To capture that quality, make sure your kitchen is well-lit, organized and un-cluttered. The only things that you should have displayed are things that will be conducive to a healthy cooking environment!


    Neat & Clean:

      It's true what they say - "Cleanliness is next to Godliness".

      A reason that people may stray from dining out too often is because they dread the condition of the restaurant's kitchen. So, take it upon yourself to make your home kitchen as immaculate as possible - so clean that you can eat off the floor (not recommended).

    BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: CLEANLINESS
    Whatever Happened To Cleanliness Is Next To...(P.C.)?
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    Whatever Happened To Cleanliness Is Next To...(P.C.)?
    over the years i have noticed that there are a LOT of people that live in filth! I am not talking about the elderly that have a hard time with mobility to properly clean but just plain old slobs of all ages.
    Started By:
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      Make sure to put extra emphasis of the condition of your refrigerator and that you take a few minutes to go through its contents every other day if not every day.

      You should have one designated shelf for your uncooked poultry and a specific refrigerator drawer to keep your raw veggies (like broccoli and romaine lettuce) cool and crisp and uncontaminated. Make sure to wipe down your counters, stovetop and cooking area after every use so that you have no chance of being infected with e-coli or any other strange bacteria that may be lurking.


    Motivational:

      Only you know what your motivation is so make sure to surround yourself with things that will keep you strong and fully motivated to eat healthy! Put a photo of your favorite fitness model on the refrigerator or create a motivational collage of phrases and photos to hang it on the kitchen bulletin board. Believe it or not, these visuals may help deter you from overeating or eating the wrong thing!

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    Organized & Inventoried:

      Organize your kitchen so that there is a method to the madness.

      Start by keeping all of your unprocessed foods together and away from any processed junk foods that the rest of your family might be buying. (Basically keep your Ezekiel bread far away from your son's Oreos!)

    Keep Your Ezekiel Bread Far Away From The Oreos!
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Keep Your Ezekiel Bread Far Away From The Oreos!

      Keep a large bowl filled with fresh fruits next to your blender for your morning protein smoothies. Store your Tupperware containers in same cupboard; keep all of your nutritional supplements and protein powder stored on the same shelf.

      Pour your grains and other measurable foods into pretty clear jars that can be displayed on the countertop. Imagine how inviting it will be to see your steel-cut oats, whole wheat pasta and brown rice waiting to be measured and prepared?

      If you're like me and love choosing from a variety of flavors of protein powder, but hate the bulky containers it comes in, get creative! Try using pretty clear kitchen jars for easy storage. Imagine an array of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry protein powders on your kitchen counter - it's almost like a healthy candy store!

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      Keep accurate inventory of the food that you have in store so that you can plan your weekly meals using what you already have and not overspend at the market. If you are super-organized you can even chart out your weekly meals on a small dry-erase calendar. Visually seeing your meals mapped out on this board will certainly help you form better eating and food shopping habits.


    Top 5 Healthy Kitchen Devices

    Here are the Top 5 Healthy Kitchen Devices that motivate me to cook at home, and most importantly save time!


    1. Rice Cooker:

      When I first purchased mine I literally walked into my kitchen and introduced it to a couple of people as my "new best friend". As an avid multi-tasker, having a rice cooker has saved me so much time and frustration - all I do is fill it with water, add a cup of rice and press a button and in less than 15 minutes I have perfect fluffy rice that I can eat right then or store for later in the day! Love it!

    BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: RICE COOKER
    Thinking About Buying A Rice Cooker.
    [ Click To Join The Thread. ]
    Thinking About Buying A Rice Cooker.
    I feel like I have been cooking my rice in a pan for far too long and now since rice is a staple in my daily diet and I have a littlel extra money that its time to make my life easier by purchasing a rice cooker.
    Started By:
    Bigdank


    2. Steamer:

      This appliance ranks second place in my book. It's perfect for steamed vegetables - I just chop them up and pop them in and if I'm running low on time, I simply pour in some frozen veggies that I keep handy in my freezer (surprisingly there is not that much of a nutritional difference between fresh and frozen veggies according to some sources).


    3. Blender:

      Not much explanation needed for these one; blenders are essential for grinding, chopping and pureeing foods and beverages. There is also an appliance called the " Magic Bullet" which is versatile, easy to clean and highly portable! Protein shakes with fruit always taste better when you make them in the blender with a little ice.

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    4. Quality Cookware:

      Don't be thrifty when it comes to your food or the items you use to prepare it. Invest in a set of quality cookware and take care of it. After all, "you are what you eat" and that saying applies to both the quality of your food and the conditions in which it is prepared!


    5. Storage Containers:

      There are so many kinds of Tupperware and storage containers out on the market - it can be mind boggling! I recommend having a variety of sizes readily available for your storage needs. Having different sizes will encourage you to prepare food in bulk and store it for the week ahead. If you plan on purchasing food in bulk, I would recommend investing in a food saver.

      These are essential to any healthy kitchen.

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    Bulk Food Shopping

    Have you ever gone shopping at a wholesale club only to come home with huge quantities of products you would have never normally purchased at your neighborhood market? Or even worse, have you bought things that just take up space in your pantry or refrigerator, or even worse - things that you don't consume and go bad?

    Buying in bulk can be costly and wasteful if you are not careful. Here are some functional foods you can buy in bulk that I guarantee your family will use:


    Chicken Breast

      With so many ways you can cook and flavor chicken, this is a basic staple. Buy frozen chicken breasts and separate them into freezer-safe zip lock bags or by using your food saver. You will be surprised at how quickly you will go through chicken or fish when you buy it at the regular market.

    You'll Be Surprised How Quickly You Go Through Chicken.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    You'll Be Surprised How Quickly You Go Through Chicken.


    Grains And Legumes


    Frozen Vegetables

      As I mentioned earlier in this article, frozen veggies can come in handy when you don't have time to chop and mince. (Who does these days?) Since these vegetables are flash frozen right after they are picked, most of the vitamins and minerals are preserved making them a great choice to steam for a quick side dish or to add to your favorite salad.

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    Healthy Snacks

      Figure out a few things that you enjoy eating on a daily basis and stock up! Dried fruit, nuts, granola, protein bars make great snacks and chances are you will want to eat them!


    Conclusion

    Embrace lean protein (chicken breast), complex carbohydrates (brown rice and sweet potatoes) and don't forget fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. So, don't be afraid to "Taste the Rainbow" - and I don't mean Skittles!

    Don't Be Afraid To 'Taste The Rainbow.' No This Doesn't Mean Skittles!
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Don't Be Afraid To 'Taste The Rainbow.'
    No This Doesn't Mean Skittles!

    Avoid foods with nitrates (hot dogs, pre-packaged meats), high fructose corn syrup (don't be fooled - it's not the same as sugar), and anything made with hydrogenated oils. Remember, as easy as it may seem to buy something pre-packaged for the sake of saving time, remember that there are consequences as these foods tag on hidden calories and preservatives.

    Visit www.angeliquemillis.com and www.bikinimodelprogram.com for more tips on how to make your kitchen your favorite restaurant and learn how to eat like a Bikini Model!