Tips For Creating A Healthy Kitchen

Victoria Barayev

12 August 2019

Modern way of eating


In the past two hundred years, since the advent of the modern agricultural and food processing techniques, our diet has progressively gotten away from the natural foods which sustained traditional people all over the Earth for centuries… primarily whole grains, beans, locally grown vegetables and fruits, small quantities of fish and sea vegetables, wild and range fed animals, and natural condiments. 


Now, we eat mostly from colorful boxes and cans. The convenience of it is so addictive that we hardly can imagine ourselves managing without them. We spray our vegetables and fruits with deadly chemicals, and then ship them half way around the world before we eat them. We keep chickens awake with electric light and feed them hormones to get them to lay eggs constantly. 

The clever inventions of modern technology make wonders… but at what cost? We are paying the price developing diseases almost non-existent before.  

To prevent serious illness or help your body heal persistent symptoms, the two best things you could do are:

  1. Cut down on modern high-stress and processed foods
  2. Eat more traditional, natural meals

Transformation: where to start

The tendency and willingness to implement changes for better health are growing among human population, at least in the US, across the board. The question is how to begin and what to do. The beginning is always the hardest. I find in my practice that most people struggle with taking the first steps. 

As with any major project, it is essential to first set your goal and envision where you are moving. Beginning by increasing the level of physical activity and reducing the amount of consumption of so called “carbs” and fatty foods, most people preferred way of implementing the change, is a great start. Whichever way you choose to begin with, just remember that your plate should take a great deal of your focus.  Without it, making a major breakthrough is very hard. Most people are overwhelmed with their daily schedules, and the thought of making transition or implementing any changes can be quiet overwhelming. I would like to offer you the nutritional template for transitioning your diet. It is great for people who are always on the go or don’t have much time to cook. And although it will allow you to make positive changes in your health, it is meant to introduce you to wholesome foods and inspire you to implement further changes. While transitioning, you will do best by continuing to educate yourself about how food nourishes human health.

Transitional Dietary Template

Your Kitchen – The Magical Pharmacy

Naturally, the kitchen should be the heart of any house, the warmest place, where the household gathers; the place where they can find comfort and nourishment; the place where true magic takes place. Today for many their kitchen is to be avoided and creates tension and overwhelming phobia. If that’s you, it’s time to make your kitchen ready for transformation. With the right organization, it can become an inspiring environment where you’ll relish cooking and changing the health of your loved ones. Let it regain its rightful place as the heart of your home. 

When many years ago I was on the verge of facing new changes I had to make to my lifestyle in order to heal my body, unsure of my capabilities, I came to my first cooking class. A thin woman of small stature opened the door. She politely invited me into the kitchen where she was making food for her clients in healing. I was struck by the peacefulness of the room filled with the aromas of fresh vegetables, especially ginger root. My kitchen wasn’t like this at all. Something about it was special, drawing, and incredibly soothing. It inspired me and empowered to start making the transition right away.

Let’s Go Shopping

Now take a deep breath and relax. The most lasting changes happen gradually. One step at a time. The offered below shopping list, can help you stock up your kitchen with the right ingredients for cooking your magical super healthy meals. 

Victoria’s Preferred Shopping List


Whole grains is the best source of sustaining energy that keeps our blood sugar stable, promotes better digestion, and provides an array of essential nutrients for our bodies.

*(GF)-Gluten Free

  • Short grain brown rice (GF)
  • Med. grain brown rice (GF)
  • Long grain brown rice (GF)
  • Sweet brown rice (GF)
  • Quinoa (GF)
  • Millet (GF)
  • Buckwheat (GF) 
  • Amaranth (GF)
  • Hulled barley
  • Whole wheat berries
  • Whole Oats
  • Rye
  • Spelt, kamut

Millet, Buckwheat, Brown Rice


  • Cracked wheat (bulgur)
  • Steel cut oats
  • Corn grits or polenta (GF)
  • Rolled oats
  • Couscous


  • Whole grain and gluten free pasta
  • Soba Noodles
  • Whole Grain Unyeasted Sourdough bread 
  • Ezekiel Bread (unyeasted)
  • Sprouted breads 
  • Corn and whole grain tortillas


Plant based proteins are easy to digest, provide many health benefits, and in combination with whole grains offer complete protein, the necessary building blocks of our physical body.

  • Azuki Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils (green/brown)
  • Black soy beans
  • Blackeyed peas
  • Great northern beans 
  • Lima beans 
  • Pinto beans
  • Mung beans
  • Soybeans
  • Split peas 
  • Whole dried peas
  • Black turtle beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu (best sprouted)

Wholesome Plant-based Proteins


Together with whole grains and plant proteins, vegetables make up the category of principle foods essential to the human health. Choose from an endless variety of different vegetables.  


  • Carrots
  • Burdock
  • Parsnip
  • Daikon
  • Radish
  • Lotus root
  • Dandelion root
  • Taro root  
  • Jerusalem artichoke 
  • Beets


  • Acorn squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Buttercup squash
  • Hubbard squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Hokkaido/kabocha squash
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli



  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Watercress
  • Leeks
  • Mustard greens
  • Nappa Cabbage
  • Bokchoy
  • Dandelion greens 
  • Arugula
  • Carrot tops
  • Daikon tops
  • Turnip tops
  • Parsley 
  • Scallions
  • Dill


  • Celery
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Green peas 
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Ice berg lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Green beans
  • Snap beans
  • Snow peas
  • Sprouts
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Summer squash
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peppers 

Hearty Root Vegetables


Choose from a small amount of tree and ground fruits and reduce the usage of tropical fruits.

  • Lemon
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Plums 
  • Honeydew melon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon 
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Apricots 
  • Tangerines 
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Dried fruits
  • Apples


  • Almonds
  • Dry chestnuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds 
  • Chia seeds


  • Miso
  • Naturally brewed soy sauce (Shoyu)
  • Tamari (GF soy sauce)
  • Sea salt (Recommended – Eden Portugal, Fleur De Sel, Himalayan, Celtic)
  • Umeboshi plums
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Lemon 
  • Mustard
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown rice vinegar
  • Umeboshi vinegar
  • Dried herbs and spices


Your Pantry & The Refrigerator 

Now that you brought your groceries home, let’s find proper spots for everything. The most efficient kitchen allows you to easily access the necessary equipment and ingredients. Here are some tips:

  • Store dry items in your pantry. Whole grains, cracked grains, beans, dried fruits are considered dry foods.
  • Most practical is to store grains and beans in glass jars, such as Mason or ceramic jars.
  • To prevent from bugs developing in your jars of dry foods, place one dry shiitake mushroom inside the jar or tape a dry bay leaf on the inside of the jar cap. 
  • Organize your dried herbs and spices on the pantry door for easy access.
  • Store vegetables in green plastic or cotton bags in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  • To keep vegetables fresh, squeeze all the air out of the plastic bag.
  • Before placing leafy greens in the green bags, remove all rubber bands. 
  • Before placing roots in the refrigerator, detach the greens tops and store in a separate bag. The tops absorb juice from the roots and make them wilt faster.
  • To create better order in your refrigerator, keep your roots, leafy vegetables, and fruits separately. 
  • To keep your produce fresh, try not to box up and pile up too many ingredients in. Your vegetables and fruits need circulation to stay fresh. 
  • Refrigerate or freeze your nuts and seeds as the omega-3 fatty acids are very unstable and go rancid quickly.


Now, you are ready to make wonders with whole food recipes. Stock up on cookbooks and try to make 2-3 new recipes every week. Reinvent your cooking skills. Take cooking classes. Challenge yourself by learning how to use new ingredients, new vegetables, grains, and beans. Explore into learning new ways of baking and making desserts without using processed sugar, dairy, and white flour. A whole new world of cooking with whole foods will open up to you. Set yourself on the path of an incredible experience of your health transformation. Trust me, the game is worth the efforts! 


Victoria Barayev

1 Comment

  1. Very helpful, especially for revamping her kitchen to a fresh healthy one!


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