(re)Wilding naturally invites us to replace something that is a barrier to our wellbeing with a simpler, more nourishing alternative aligned with the wisdom of nature.
(re)Wilding your kitchen is fundamental to mind.body health and choosing health-promoting food, mindful grocery shopping strategies, and time-saving meal prep are all easier than you think!
Top 10 Ways to (re)Wild Your Kitchen
Keep your kitchen environment organized, clean, and adorned with fresh flowers, herbs, fruits, plants, and other nature-inspired objects for a relaxing and high vibration atmosphere.
Open windows and let in natural light, fresh air, and birdsong when possible.
Eat fresh food and freshly prepared food as often as possible.
Store food in glass or ceramic containers and drink from glass, instead of plastic.
Take the extra minutes to heat food on the stove top or in the oven instead of the microwave.
Reduce buying packaged food sold in plastic containers and/or plastic/cling wrap, e.g., meat, cheese, tortillas, cakes, pies, etc. (plastic particles seep into food, especially foods high in fat.)
Buy pasture-raised animal protein, dairy, and eggs when possible that have a healthier nutrient profile, less toxins, and are raised more humanely.
Choose organic produce as often as you can afford to reduce your toxin load - especially the Dirty Dozen.
Drink filtered or natural spring water to reduce exposure to chlorine and other pollutants.
Replace non-stick or aluminum cookware with cast iron or stainless steel.
Grocery Shopping Strategies
Have a plan, not necessarily a list. Set an intention to fill your cart with food mostly in its WHOLE, unprocessed form.
You will, inevitably, be triggered by all of the sugar-filled and franken foods in every aisle because this is the reality of our food landscape and emotional attachment to comfort foods from our childhoods.
But the more informed you become, the more power you’ll have. And if you commit to reading labels, you will spend more time at the store initially to make better choices, but then you’ll learn what to avoid and it will get easier, faster, and less stressful over time.
Always start in the produce aisle. Choose enough fresh veggies for ~ 5 days of meals & fresh fruit to last the week. If you buy more than this, some of your foods may spoil before you get to them. Your cart should look colorful at this point! Choose a variety of non-starchy veggies, root veggies, and leafy greens aiming for 2-3 servings per meal per person. Focus on eating the more perishable produce in the first few days and save the hardier root veggies for later in the week to make your dollars stretch.
Swing by the fresh or frozen Meat/Seafood Department for a few unprocessed animal proteins, if desired.
In the freezer section, choose for a variety of frozen veggies (squash, peas, broccoli, spinach, edamame, cauliflower rice, etc.) for quick meal prep, frozen berries or fruit (often a cheaper option when out of season), or specialty items like bone broths and soup bones. You can also save your frozen veggies for later in the week when the fresh produce has been eaten.
Stop by the coolers for nut milks, organic fermented dairy & cheese, pasture-raised eggs, fermented sauerkraut, sprouted tofu, etc.)
Stay focused through the middle aisles of the store for any pantry staples needed because this is where is starts to get emotionally challenging. Avoid the aisles that trigger you the most. If you must bring home a few convenience snack items, choose 1-2 items for a little crunch or treat with as few ingredients as possible.
Freshly prepared options: some stores also have a healthy selection of soups and other prepared meals to save time on a meal prep.
You can also opt for online ordering & grocery delivery to avoid the store all together! In the summer, head to the nearest farmers market or purchase a CSA for a farm-to-table experience. Freshly grown food DOES TASTE BETTER.
(re)Wilding Our Minds Around Meal Prep
(re)Wilding is an invitation to reconnect to our respect and love for nature and the wisdom of how to nourish our human bodies and minds.
Our modern cultural norms have wrongly given the impression that we can outsmart or ignore the fundamental pillars of human health and still experience health, and there is now much evidence to the contrary.
(re)Wilding takes a stand against our unsustainable cultural norms eroding our wellbeing and skewing our ideas of how to spend our time.
In the context of food, eating more whole foods does require some prep and time in the kitchen, but there are always time-saving options for those who aren’t ready to fully commit.
If finding motivation and joy to care for your mind.body (and your loved ones) with nutritious food is too overwhelming right now, I invite you to take inventory of your life to discover WHY and address those barriers FIRST.
Is it time-related? Is it a knowledge deficit? Are you under too much stress to add another thing to your plate? Do you feel too fatigued most days? Is your home environment or kitchen space stressful to you? Do you loathe the grocery store?
Can you say NO to any unnecessary or un-nourishing demands on your time in order to say YES to mind.body health?
Can you entice yourself with a kitchen make-over or kitchen-based rewards, e.g. - music, candles, me-time, new tools that you love or that make your tasks easier (a high quality knife or food processor, for example)?
Is there a meal co-op kitchen in your city or farm-to-table restaurants that can help fill in the gaps when you don’t have the time?
If recipes are too stressful, could you go full on Muppets in the kitchen throwing simple meals together on the fly, making a mess and having some fun?
Could you hire help, enlist your family’s help by assigning tasks or cooking days, buy pre-chopped veggies, subscribe to a meal delivery service, or try an Instapot?
Experiment until you find what works for you. This is a worthwhile and vital pursuit in the name of lifelong health & wellbeing.
Meal Prep Tips:
Wash and chop/prep any fruit/veggies you will use in the next 2-3 days. Store in glass containers or in bowls in the produce drawers with a damp towel.
Wash greens so they are ready to go and spin in a salad spinner to dry them before storing.
Choose one day a week to batch cook for a few hours so you have a fridge full of GO-TO meal-building staples and snacks: e.g. soak nuts & make nut milks, soak & cook grains or beans, roast mixed veggies, bake chicken breasts or sauté ground beef, chop fresh veggies or fruit, and make salad dressings and sauces.
Want More Guidance & Support?
The Wild at Heart Community is uniquely designed to help you transition into a lifestyle that awakens your inner wild and supports your wellbeing.
Sign up here for (re)wilding inspiration and download the (re)Wilding Retreat Guide: a nature-infused, self-guided retreat to explore on your own or with family and friends designed to help you de-stress, disconnect from technology, soulfully connect with loved ones & nature, nourish your mind.body with healthy whole food, and provide the mental space to practice mindfulness in your everyday life.
Want Personalized Guidance & Support?
Book your first Wild at Heart Coaching Session HERE. This complimentary session is an invitation to share your health & wellbeing challenges and explore the possibilities for healing your mind.body.heart & soul with (re)Wilding and the Wild at Heart Method.
I look forward to walking with you awhile on your healing journey.
We'll stop and smell the wildflowers. Smile a lot. And wander down the road less-traveled.
Be Well & I'll See You in the Wild,
Angela Juhl, MS, CHWC, CYT
Master of Science in Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine
Wellcoaches™ Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Wild Woman Project Circle Leader
Certified Yoga Teacher
Wild at Heart was founded on the mission: to take a stand against unsustainable cultural norms by empowering others to (re)align their lifestyles & mindset with nature for healing an array of mind.body.heart & soul (im)balances and (re)kindling a soulful relationship to the natural world...for themselves, their loved ones, our communities, and our beautiful planet.