Living Clean in a Functional Kitchen - By Ben Alexander of Accent Cabinets

About this time last year, I made a decision.  I was done being overweight and unhealthy.  Nearing 29, I knew it was my last shot to be happier and healthier by my 30th birthday. 

 

It’s funny, but when you start paying attention to all of the calories you put into your body, that 1000 calorie burger and fries from your local fast food joint can make you sick.  That being said, nobody can live off Subway sandwiches and McDonalds chicken salads forever, so I found myself in the kitchen…A LOT!

 

Spend enough time in the kitchen and you will learn some things about functional design.  Did you know that a good kitchen designer will design the flow of your kitchen depending on whether you are right or left-handed?  Did you know they will design your kitchen based on how you accomplish various tasks?  I was completely unaware of this.  The dishwasher in my kitchen is to the left of my sink, because as a right-handed person, I hold the dish with my left hand, scrub it with my right, and then put it in the dishwasher.  The storage for my dishes, cutlery, and glasses is all to the left of my dishwasher.  This is because I stand to the left of my dishwasher, reach in with my right hand, and then put the dishes in the cabinet directly in front of me.  When you have somebody who understands these concepts (like the designers at Accent Cabinets) help you configure your kitchen, it will make your kitchen a pleasure to work in.

 

In addition to how a well-designed kitchen will function, I’ve learned a lot about healthy eating and living on my journey as well.  At first, calorie counting was moderately difficult as well as time consuming.  After a while, however, I began to have a good idea of how many calories are in things, how to properly read labels, and I have an app on my smartphone that answers any nutritional questions I have in the blink of an eye.  As any health conscious person will tell you, you are going to spend a lot of time on the perimeter of your grocery store, and you will get into the habit of reading every label. 

 

Fruits, vegetables, and fresh lean proteins are going to be a big part of your diet.  With fruits and vegetables, comes peeling and chopping.  A little side note for my gardeners out there, all the peels and rinds and ends of these fruits and vegetables make an excellent addition to your compost heap.  I also recommend purchasing a vacuum sealer, because throughout the year most grocery stores have spectacular deals on certain kinds of fresh produce and meats that just aren’t available the rest of the year.  For instance, recently I noticed that my local grocer had a spectacular deal on blueberries, so I bought a good amount, froze them, and then vacuum sealed them.  I also came up with this delicious recipe to use some of these beautiful blueberries in a tasteful and artful way.  The recipe is as follows:

 

 

Blueberry – Pineapple Pico De Gallo

 

2 cups fresh pineapple diced

¼ red onion finely chopped

1 handful cilantro finely chopped

1 cup fresh tomato diced

1 cup whole blueberries

2 jalapenos seeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp olive oil

Tajin seasoning to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and season with Tajin to your own personal preference.  ENJOY!!!!

 Blueberry - Pineapple Pico De Gallo

Blueberry - Pineapple Pico De Gallo