How To Create A Healthy Real Food Kitchen For The Dressage Athlete
Becoming a dressage athlete requires you to treat your body with respect and provide your body with nourishing whole real foods. To remove the junk food and to stop reaching for packaged, processed fast options. We need to start breaking those bad habits and this all starts in your very own kitchen.
For some this can seem really daunting and like it is going to be incredibly time consuming, but the truth is it can save you a whole lot of time and if you do some simple planning it can also save you money in the process.
One of the best places to start is by taking good close look at what is in the cupboards, pantry and fridge and ask yourself is this whole, natural, fresh produce or is this all packaged convenient foods. This first step does require a little honesty and in most cases a rather large box to get rid of all this food you no longer need in your home. Then once you have filled your pantry up up with nutrient rich real foods you have started a great foundation to begin with.
Follow these tips and see what else you can do to help support your body and your goals.
1 Ingredient Kitchen
Time to get in the mindset of purchasing and buying one ingredient produce. For example honey is honey, ginger is ginger and a lemon is a lemon. Nothing else, these are all one ingredient. However when you purchase a lemon and honey sauce from the supermarket, check out the ingredient list. It will have a huge list of ingredients and half or more of them you wont know what they are let alone pronounce. So instead of buying these sort of packaged foods anymore you are going to by the simple ingredients to make your own lemon and honey sauce, using a real lemon, real honey and some ginger. This simple mindset is a huge step and the first step to understand when you first take a look into your pantry and fridge and don’t worry this is why I have over 500 recipes on my website to help you make simple real whole foods 🙂
Clean out your kitchen
The next step is to de-clutter. A disorganized kitchen can be totally overwhelming and can lead to a decision fatigue and food wastage. So start by creating space within your pantry and fridge and organize into areas to store similar items together. Throw out any food that has reached its expiry date or that is not in your whole real food plan. Then begin to transfer loose items like nuts and seeds into glass mason jars or containers that are correctly labelled and so that they are easy to see. This will help you create space and make it easy to navigate and get inspiration from, not to mention make your pantry and fridge look a whole lot nicer!
Set a weekly food budget
Regardless of your income, everyone has restrictions when it comes to grocery shopping. It is worth sitting down and working out a budget to ensure that what you want to purchase isn’t going to blow it. If you are feeling stretched, start getting a little creative and think outside the box. Head to the farmers market and ask for the seconds, stock up on meats that you can freeze when they are on sale, start growing your own food or joining a community vegie patch and swap vegetables.
Don’t follow the trends
Superfoods are everywhere and you don’t have to look very far to see some new superfood in the the spotlight. While goji berries and bee pollen are amazing and a great addition to your diet, it can get a little costly when you stock up on every food that’s in fashion. So just stick with whole, fresh local in season produce and this way you will be able to get much more creative with those foods that are right on your back doorstep.
Buy in bulk
If you purchase in bulk, you not only save money in the long run, but you also ensure you have staples on hand ready to make a wholesome delicious meal.
Plan a weekly menu
This can make a huge difference and while I am no good at doing this, I make myself do it and it really does make a huge difference. So I really recommend spending some time once a week to plan a weekly menu, write a shopping list, head to the markets or shops and then cooking up some of your produce. Make a batch of quinoa or roasted vegetables that are easy to throw into a salad or make a big soup or slow cook for a dinner when you just have no energy to be in the kitchen.
I don’t go to the supermarket that often anymore. I simply buy online. Not only does this save me time, it also saves me money because I aren’t stocking up on things I don’t want. These days there are so many amazing companies that will deliver. In New Zealand I buy all my local, in season spray free produce from mountwholefoods.co.nz. We then purchase 1/2 a beast once a year and we have also just bought three pigs that we are watching grow and run free out in the paddock. Then whenever we are passing fish markets or something similar I pop in and stock up on other forms of protein. So the only time I head out to the supermarket is when I need a few items like cleaning gear or toilet paper, but again I often buy this online because I would so rather be out riding them dragging my feet around the supermarket.
Cook for more
When you are cooking a meal always double the quantity to have another healthy meal the next day or for dinner one night later in the week. Serve up that extra portion and put it into a storage container as you serve up your own dinner, this will remove that temptation to eat seconds and devour all of it in one sitting!
It’s very easy to stick with what you know and make up the same meals each and every night of the week or reach for those packaged items because you believe it saves you time. The truth is however, the more you get into your kitchen and start experiementing the more time you will save in the future. Cooking with real whole foods doesn’t take up any extra time and it tastes so much better. Not to mention better for you. So start to get inspired and get online and search on blogs, Pinterest and healthy websites for healthy foodie inspiration. Recipe swap with your friends and take a leap of faith to try something new and like I mentioned this is why I have a recipe app and over 500 recipes on my site with new ones being added each week. I want to make life easy for you to eat real whole food and to become that dressage athlete you are inspired to be!
Maintaining a real food kitchen is not just about stocking up your pantry and fridge with healthy, fresh food. It does require some organization to begin with. Then simply start to get creative and begin to enjoy the true power that food plays in our lives and start cooking for your friends and family. We need to start being more connected with our food and loving the process of feeding our bodies with tasty produce. When you get your mojo on in the kitchen, sustaining a healthy diet will just be a natural part of your lifestyle and ultimately your riding will improve because you have got a much more healthier body in the process.
To get more tips and advice on how you can create a healthy kitchen, check out our latest webinar coming up, all about “How to biohack your kitchen”. Get access to this along with all past episodes with the dressage rider training program in the online gym. Learn more about the program here.