The Kitchen Rebuild (How To Systemize Your Eating)

Have you ever heard the quote, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with/around?”

This relates to the Law of Averages, which is the concept that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes.

Well guess what, I got to thinking about how the same exact concept applies to your food. What are the 5 meals you eat the most on a weekly basis?

Even more so, what foods are you surrounding yourself with, in your kitchen?

When you get hungry, what’s in arms reach?

The most effective way to achieve the body and health you want, is essentially to surround yourself with that “good stuff”… and eradicate the stuff that’s not supporting your health and physique goals.

It’s time for a Kitchen Rebuild!

What is The Kitchen Rebuild and why is it important?

Let’s start with some Faxx 📠.

If junk food is in your possession or located in your home, sooner or later, either you or someone living with you will eat it.

So with this being the case, primarily you should only keep the food or drinks that actually support your goals, and remove everything else.

This eliminates temptation and takes unnecessary decision making out of the equation, so that you don’t have to depend on willpower when it’s low. (them late night snackssss 🤤)

This does not mean that you can never have fun foods, but you don’t want them laying around the kitchen, in cabinets ready to be eaten at any time. Eat them when you go out, don’t buy the family packs.

So, if you keep food and/or drinks at home that do not help move you towards your goals, just get rid of it. Like right now.

I hear so many excuses for why people won’t do it, like:

  • I don’t like wasting food…
  • It was on sale, so I had to buy it in bulk…
  • My kid, girl/boyfriend likes them
  • It’s only for holidays etc.

Look here chief.

If you’re satisfied with your body and your health is on point, BY ALL MEANS…

BUT,

If you’ve struggled with eating a healthier diet or building a better body.

If you want to make some serious long lasting changes with your physique, but you have food chillin in your kitchen that isn’t supporting those goals, you need to GET RID OF IT. It’s GONE!

The Kitchen Rebuild is designed to help you eradicate anything temptation for foods that don’t assist your goals and that provoke you to indulge in detrimental eating behaviors while replacing them with health-promoting foods.

The Kitchen Rebuild helps you gain control over your eating choices and puts you on track for success. You don’t need to be making last minute making decisions on what’s for dinner routinely. That’s not a beneficial lifestyle habit to survive on. The food decisions made in our kitchen need to be dependable, systemized, automatic.

The kitchen Rebuild helps you plan and structure automatic healthy eating. In the long-term, you’ll be thankful to have and healthy eating foundation at home, after a long day of resisting temptations out there in the “Real World”.

How To Start Your Kitchen Rebuild

  1. That cabinet full of unhealthy junk foods, on the counters, in your fridge, etc. pile it up, grab some strong heavy duty garbage bags and TOSS IT! GET IT OUT THE HOUSE.
  2. If you’ll feel bad about tossing out certain foods, take them to a local food pantry/kitchen.
  3. If it’s junk, trash it, get it Gone! Out the house. If you have to ask yourself if it’s junk… then it’s prob junk.

So, what classifies as “Junk food”?

Let me start by saying, I’m not a big proponent of using terms such as “healthy” vs “unhealthy foods”, as it’s not really that black and white, nor is it the best way to look at and label foods.

A better way of looking at it is to understand that there are just some foods with higher nutrient content and value than others.

(It’s kinda like saying there are no ugly people on Earth, some people just have differently structured facial features that are pleasant to some, and unpleasant to others 😅)

So we’ll categorize Junk food as foods that have low nutritional value, typically processed and produced in the form of packaged goods needing little or no preparation. Usually containing a large number of calories, lots of sugar and/or fat with little fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals, so pretty much just eating “empty calories”.

So the question is, how beneficial is it to eat foods that have little to no nutritional value which actively takes away from eating the micronutrients our bodies need to thrive? Not much…

So if you’re still a little puzzled, here’s a guideline for the main junk foods most have in their kitchen.

Primary junk foods

  • Frozen “TV” Dinners
  • Restaurant take home food
  • Cookies and candy
  • Candy bowls
  • Fast food left overs
  • Potato Chips
  • Pop/Soda
  • Margarine and cream cheeses
  • Alcohol

Do you have any of these in the kitchen? DON’T MAKE ME COME CHECK! 🤨

There are also foods that seem healthy on the surface but really aren’t. They started out healthy, but were turned into something TOTALLY DIFFERENT (Haha Davis voice). From whole, unprocessed plant foods to something that’s machine generated, full of chemicals, sugar and/or has been robbed of its nutrients. Just because the label says, “healthy” doesn’t mean it is. In fact, in some cases, that’s a sign that it’s not. (What’s understood don’t gotta be explained, always read the label.

Misleading foods

  • Fruit juice
  • Most known Cereals
  • Fruit, cereal, and granola bars
  • Sweetened fruit flavored yogurt
  • Most Crackers
  • Processed meats, bacon, deli meats, etc.
  • Bagels/Bread (except whole grains)

When in doubt, Always check the labels. Look for types of sugar such as high fructose corn syrup. Also hydrogenated oil and preservatives.

Obviously, there are going to be exceptions, but generally, the foods just listed aren’t a good idea to eat on a regular basis. Why even risk testing your willpower with them around? If you want them, eat them on occasion when you’re out, but don’t keep them in your home.

Now that you’ve annihilated your kitchen, eliminated your fridge and cabinets from unhealthy foods, it might look a little lonely. So let’s fill them back up with healthy additions.

Let’s revisit the main concept I mentioned in the beginning:

If junk food is in your within reach or located in your home, sooner or later, either you or someone who lives with you will eat it.

The thing is, This principle works both ways.

If an unhealthy food is at your disposal in your home, you’ll eat it. If a healthy food is at your convenience in your home, you’ll eat it.

So we’re going to simply make it easier to access these healthy options rather than the non healthy options.

How To Build Your Grocery List

This info is an excerpt from one chapter inside of The Built By Plants Nutrition Guide, The guide also includes a full grocery list, breaks down how to build your daily meals for optimal health, etc.

But for now, let’s outline the basics. It’s a lot simpler than you make think.

There are 6 Primary Plant Based Food Groups:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Proteins (Legumes: Beans, Tempeh, Lentils, Seitan)
  • Whole grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa, grain breads, corn, etc.)
  • Nuts/seeds

So to simplify your grocery list, we’re going to start by picking our favorite 3 items out of each of these food groups. We can add more as we adapt this style of eating.

If you don’t have 3 favorite foods in each group just yet, try foods that you think you may like or seem interesting and keep experimenting.

Don’t fall for the brands saying “no added sugar,” “low-fat,” “fat free,”, etc.

That doesn’t make it healthy, try to stick to real ingredients. A good tip is to go for seasonal, organic and local food items whenever available. The fewer the ingredients, the better.

Let me show you just how simple this rebuilding process can be.  Here’s an example grocery lists. I’ve chosen 3 Veggies, Fruits, Proteins (Legumes), Grains, Nuts & Seeds. You can use this list for a starting point and swap out items as needed.

 

Pick Your Fav 3:  First Trip Second Trip
Vegetables Spinach
Cauliflower
Yams
Broccoli
Cucumber
Squash
Fruits Bananas
Blueberries
Apples
Strawberries
Pineapples
Oranges
Proteins (Legumes) Black beans (any bean)
Seitan
Hummus
Chickpeas
Bean burgers
Tempeh, tofu
Nuts/seeds Walnuts
Cashew butter
Ground Flax seeds
Almonds, pecans
Almond butter
Chai seeds
Whole grains Brown Rice
Oats, Buckwheat
Quinoa
Corn
Sprouted grain bread
Whole grain pasta

 

See how easy this is? Keep in mind that the food options in each group are almost endless. You can go weeks/months without running out of food options. The key is how you choose to structure each meal, which I discuss in depth inside of Built By Plants.

Now that you understand the foods groups needed to Rebuild your Kitchen, it’s time to introduce the second component that will save you sooo much time on a day to day basis and in the long run.

Now it’s time to wash & cut the veggies and cook the proteins & whole grains.

In other words, have the food prepped to eat.

Najee Kelley Eating Vegan Pizza Built By Plants
Chopping up onions, mushrooms and bell peppers for the week. 

Prepping For Eating (Not what you think)

Trying to cook every meal, every night from scratch can eventually lead to burnout, or at minimum, an irritation for cooking. We want this to be something we enjoy so that we can stick to it long term.

So, what we’re going to do is make it as easy as possible to make your daily meals. This doesn’t mean you need to plan out every meal for the entire week (even though that can be very beneficial if you take the time) but what we will do is cut up all of the veggies we plan on using at least for the next 4-5 days.

If you’ve been reading my content enough, you might have heard me talk about what I call “Power Toppings”. It’s the name I gave items such as onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc. because they are full of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), but we don’t usually consider them to be main food items. I try to stress the importance of eating these, which is why I gave them the term, Power Toppings.

When you buy your red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, jalapeños, etc. (what I call Power Toppings) chop the entire thing up and store them into individual containers to refrigerate or freeze. This way they’re ready to go.

The Kitchen Rebuild Sliced Veggies in Containers in Fridge

This might seem small, but trust me, it’s the little tedious tasks that become the most inconvenient. Having these on hand to make a quick lunch or dinner makes a world of difference.

Essential Kitchen Tools checklist

  • Cutting board
  • Food scale
  • Cookware set
  • Blender
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knives
  • Stainless steel tools and silicon spatula 
  • Rice cooker/steamer
  • Food processor
  • Tea kettle
  • Indoor grill
  • Large bowls
  • Wooden spoons
  • Strainer
  • Baking sheets

Now let’s summarize all of this!

To become a healthy person, you need to have a healthy kitchen, which keeps your environment secured to supports your health goals. Upgrading your immediate habitat is one of the most effective ways to help put eating healthier on autopilot.

  1. Eradicate non-nutritious foods and anything in your house that doesn’t support your goals.
  2. Rebuild your kitchen with healthy options from the primary plant based food groups.
  3. Use the 3 item shopping list method I laid out above for your grocery store trips.
  4. Last, but not least, grab the essential kitchen tools to prep, cut and store your foods, to simply cooking your daily meals.

Now you have everything you need to know to have your kitchen Rebuilt within the next 2 days! WHY NOT??

If you’re looking for a full step-by-step process of Rebuilding Your Body on a Plant Based diet, check out Built By Plants, The Complete Plant Based Nutrition Guide that breaks down everything, including:

• All of the Main diets under the Plant Based Umbrella (vegan & vegetarian)
• The best plant based sources of protein
• Macronutrients and Micronutrients
• What vitamins and minerals are
• How to Lose Weight
• Which foods to eat daily for Optimized health
• How To GAIN Weight
• How To Manipulate your Body Composition
• How To eat to build muscle
• How to Easily track calories
• 20+ Protein PACKED Simple Recipes
• How to structure your daily meals
• My completely random story of how I went vegan
• My Top Diet Hacks and A LOT MORE

Built By Plants Nutrition Guide

Learn more about the Built By Plants Nutrition Guide by clicking here.

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