Happy 2010! I am back from my vacation and ready for the new year with a fresh new look for my blog. A new year prompts us to start over, try new things, make a difference. For any new readers, this blog is about making changes that lead to better health, thus a better life. Sometimes I like to compare the human body with a car. You take care of your car, changing the oil, using the correct gasoline, airing the tires and giving it a wash now and then. If you don't take care of your car, it won't run well and you may find yourself stuck. Your body is the same way. If you don't take good care of yourself, bad things can happen. Please remember that your doctor can't fix everything and that fixing what you broke may cost more than you bargained for.
This blog is also about what the cardiologist's family does to stay healthy and take care of our bodies. We are not perfect, we don't always exercise as much as we should and we eat junk sometimes too. We aim to get it right most of the time. Hopefully, you will find some help and encouragement here.
You can't eat right if your refrigerator and pantry aren't well stocked. Use the new year to motivate yourself to clean out your pantry, refrigerator and freezer, getting rid anything out of date. I did this last fall as my sister found what she called "antique" food in my fridge. If you have any questions as to whether a food is safe to eat, check out stilltasty.com. This great website answers that question for any food you can imagine. Throw out the old stuff and wipe down the cabinets and shelves. Then organize what's left in a manner that helps you find what you need to cook more quickly. In my refrigerator, meats and cheeses have separate spaces, fruits and vegetables go in the bottom bins, milk on one side, juice on the other. The salad dressings, condiments and jellies are grouped together. The leftovers go on two main shelves. In my pantry, I group canned vegetables, fruits and soups separately. Dried foods like beans, pasta, rice and cereal are grouped together as well. My sister says I'm anal because my spices are alphabetized but I can find what I want without hunting for it. All this saves me cooking time in the kitchen and I can tell when I'm out of something more easily. As you know by now, my freezer is similarly organized. I can't emphasize enough that being organized saves time and stress in meal preparation.
I also took the time this fall to go through the rest of my kitchen cabinets. I got rid of old cooking utensils, pans and dishes that I no longer used, wiped everything out and reorganized a few things. A local man sharpened all my knives and scissors. I had more space when I was through, everything was clean and in good order.
It helps to have a notepad handy in the kitchen for everyone to list items as they are used up. Then, when you go shopping, you are less likely to forget something. You can also scan your newly organized shelves as you prepare your shopping list as you can see when something is missing. Thursday I will talk about some basic items every kitchen should have to prepare fast, healthy meals. We got home from our trip last night about 4:00 p.m. and I was able to prepare the chicken and pasta dish recipe from an earlier blog with things I already had on hand. No stress, no worries, a healthy dinner was ready in about 25 minutes.
I hope you feel inspired to do a little organizing and cleaning. Use the cold weather outside as further inspiration to stay inside and get something done. See you Thursday!