Getting Organized!
Forks Over Knives #3

Change in our lives is inevitable, yet many times we meet it with skepticism and a touch of fear.
I have made changes to my way of eating. Eating to live and fight disease has been a journey of embracing new foods while letting go of trying to follow any particular diet ‘perfectly.’ The Forks over Knives way of eating is honestly very simple. Eat real food; mostly fruits and vegetables, grains and beans.  However, since the Standard American Diet is based on animal products and processed foods, the simplicity can get lost. I encourage you to be curious and forgiving as you begin to think and eat differently. First step, think outside the box. Second step, get organized. My precious mother has said for years that I was born to organize. I LOVE to organize cabinets, drawers, schedules, calendars, etc. From my husband’s perspective, I am a professional “list maker!” I wear the tag proudly! In the Forks Over Knives cooking course, one of the first steps is to organize your kitchen and pantry into a prepared environment for a new approach to cooking. I loved this step. I started by removing things from my refrigerator and pantry that were not included in this plan of cooking (such as oil, eggs and dairy, all meat, and most processed and packaged foods.) Then I submitted pictures with descriptions of what I had completed.

Freezer Re-set: I removed frozen fruit and whatever had been in the freezer too long. I made some Magic Mineral Broth (that I use as a base for soups) and put in mason jars and froze. I made some vegan chili and detox vegetable soup and froze, as well. I then organized the drawers with frozen stir fry vegetables and individual vegetables and fruits. Refrigerator Re-set: My husband and I have been eating Whole Food Plant-Based since March 2019, so I did not have to change a lot in the refrigerator.  However, I did remove some things that have crept back in, such as butter, eggs, and a few condiments with sugar and other undesired ingredients.  I then purchased several ‘stackable’ containers, as well as labels to be used for “prepped’’ foods, fresh spices, left-overs, etc. I organized the shelves with the kimchi/probiotics on the top and fresh food, hummus and leafy greens on the next few shelves; top drawer with onions, garlic and radishes; second drawer with the starches and larger vegetables; and fruit in the bottom drawer. I also expanded my horizons with some Oat Milk, as well as Nut Milk that I’d already tried.

Pantry/Cupboard Re-set: This is a combination photo because I keep these items in three separate places for ease of storage and use during prep and cooking.
For the pantry: I removed chips, outdated canned foods, and canned foods packed with oil. I then stocked up on beans, lentils, quinoa (especially the tri-color which is one of our favorites), oats, soba noodles and brown rice. I added some organic, no salt added canned beans. I organized the canned goods on the top shelf; the grains on the second; then some seed crackers and other like products on the third. I also have purchased some new containers that I can use as needed to replace the original packaging. However, I like having the grains in their original packaging for referencing cooking details. I updated all of the spices and then alphabetized them in my spice drawer. In another cabinet, I removed olive oil and coconut oil; stocked up on coconut water, used for stir-fry recipes and sautéing. I then placed the vinegars in the same cabinet. These two areas are on either side of my stovetop. With my kitchen freshly organized, I’m ready to embark on this journey of cooking and creating healthy, nutrition-loaded meals. I’m looking forward to learning new skills and expanding my culinary repertoire.  Frankly, I’m feeling empowered to live a healthier life.  It’s a good feeling!

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