Author Archives: organizationbeyondtoday

Are you Living Clutter-Free?

IMG_2040Ever wonder how to get rid of those piles of clutter that are sitting around your house collecting dust and zapping your energy? Recently I read Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.

After just reading a small chapter, I wanted to get up and start clearing the clutter immediately. Kingston breaks it all down into simple steps. She outlines how toxic clutter is to your life with simple steps that anyone can accomplish, even in a few minutes.

Kingston says to take “The Clutter Test” when you are trying to decide whether to keep or toss an item.

1. Does it lift my energy when I think about it or look at it?
2. Do I absolutely love it?
3. Is it genuinely helpful?

These simple steps will help get you started with any aspect or area in your home needing attention. Clearing clutter frees your mind thus allowing you to feel confident to move forward and address other areas of blockage. I firmly believe creating a clean living and work space promotes harmony and healthy outcomes in your life, not only physically but spiritually.

The second part of the work discusses Feng Shui. Feng Shui is a Chinese art focusing on creating harmony and balance in your surroundings. Due to the impressive draw people are inclined to live out and apply these principles to their lives. Even some architectural spaces are created by using the art of Feng Shui.

This little book will bring clarity and creativity to you with simple suggestions and basic understanding of the Feng Sui philosophy, thus avoiding the need to read a manual on how to Feng Shui your space.

You may not subscribe to the whole ideology of Feng Shui, but the message of this book is crucial with helping you feel the freedom of being clutter free.

Could you Live in your Parking Space?

There is a new twist to down sizing. And it’s not the size of a Manhattan studio, or even the size of a European hotel room.  People are setting up house in a space the size of a SUV right here in Los Angeles.  The LA Times reported a story on the Olympic Studios in Santa Monica, California where individuals live in a 350 square foot space.

Is this just a fade or perhaps a shift in the mind set that in this day and age being practical is not only cool but environmentally sound?  We live in spaces full of stuff and clutter, which we like to hang onto as mementos of days gone by.  Or we just enjoy having the latest equipment, items, luxury cars and toys.  Is our worth tied to these possessions?  Do we really need to surround ourselves with so many unnecessary items to be happy?

I often hear, “I have too much stuff.”  It is funny how the majority of people use this phrase. Once we start the process of purging and readjusting their space they feel lighter, allowing new, fresh thought from within.  New healthy attitudes about life emerge, paving the way for downsizing.

Perhaps the era of bigger and extra no longer equates to more is better.  Having just what you need creates calmness and clarity within your space.  Hopefully this type of living will not just a trend, but a lifestyle saving your life and not breaking the bank.

A Clutter Free Kitchen

bowls023So many times I encounter this conversation with clients: “I hired an organizer and they were great and my place looked wonderful and clean when they left. However, after a few weeks it was back to the same mess.” Organizing a space is easy, but finding the solution to keeping it organized must be tailored to what works best for you and your circumstances.

This last week at the gym I was perusing magazines and came across a page with brief tips on de-cluttering your kitchen in the September issue of Health. Two of the suggestions were to group similar kitchen items together and setting a permanent table to prevent mail from piling up.

Always having a set table does not necessarily prevent a clutter stage and grouping items together doesn’t always save time. Making your kitchen work for you requires simple elimination of non useful items and the dedication to maintaining your newly established routine.

If you are going to group items make sure they are essential items of current need. A grouping of a rarely used pizza slicer with an often used spatula because they are utensils does not make logical sense.

Group together:

Spices
Counter appliances
Seasonal bake ware
Utensils
Dishes
After this process, see what inventory you have. If you have several of one thing and use only one of them, the others are taking up valuable real estate. In addition, group things together that are used in conjunction such as a spatula and tongs. I like to say “like with like, use with use.”

Find out what the clutter in the space represents to you and its sentimental attachment. No matter the size of the space it is not always an organizational issue.

I have clients who have multiple sets of dishes and feel they must have all of them. These sentimental items are pushing them out of the kitchen by taking up space, unless you have a room dedicated to dishes. Continued success in an organized space requires finding out the reasons for the clutter and then mapping out a plan of organization which makes sense to you.

In our new book, A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian, there is a section on organizing your kitchen. Since a kitchen represents the heart of the home it must be nourished. Once you decide to change your space and experience the benefits it will be easy to maintain.

Creating A Recipe

White Chicken Chili006Since our book A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian came out, people have been asking about the process we took with creating our recipes.

Recipes that are successful are simple and easy to prepare besides having a great taste and nutritional profile.

I am dedicating the next set of blogs to creating recipes: the process it takes to create and formulate them for the next book. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as I continue on the journey to creating tasty recipes geared towards improving your health.

Here is our first entry and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

White Chicken Chili

Susan came to me and mentioned one of her clients was raving about the “White Chicken Chili” she had tasted at a recent party.

How do you come up with a white chili that is not high fat and has a good protein to carbohydrate ratio for those with insulin resistance and/or diabetes?

We strategized with figuring out the balance of ingredients, trying to keep the serving size reasonable and nutritionally healthy. Our final result is a “White Chicken Chili” with a mild, spicy initial bite developing into a light flavorful ending. Bon appétit!

Servings: 10 one-cup servings

Prep Time: 30 mins (not including bean soak 4 hours)

Cook Time: 90-120 mins

Ingredients:

1 pound-2 ½ cups white/pinto beans

32 ounces low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon cumin

½ tsp chili powder

8 ounce can chopped green chilies

1 cup water

1 pound chicken breast, chopped

10 tablespoons white grass-fed cheddar cheese (topping)

Preparation:

Soak beans for a minimum of 4 hours with at least one change of the water.

Rinse and drain beans. Place beans and chicken stock in a large pot and bring to a boil.

In a large, heavy skillet sauté chopped onion in butter and oil until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Add in garlic and dry spices and stir for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add in green chilies and if necessary deglaze the pan with some additional water.

Add chicken to onion mixture and brown, 4-6 minutes. Add chicken/onion mixture to beans and add remaining water. Bring to boil, and reduce to simmer, covering the pot. If chili becomes too thick, continue to add small portions of water

Continue simmering for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until desired doneness.

Portion into 1 cup servings and top each with 1 tablespoon of cheese.

Per Serving

Calories 325

Protein 27 grams

Total Carbohydrates 33 grams

Total Fat 8 grams

Fiber 12 grams

Sodium 275 mg.

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tagged TagCreating A Recipe, TagWhite chicken chili, Tagdiabetes, Taggrass-fed cheese, Taghealhty food, Taginsulin resistance, Tagsaving money on food, Tagtasty food in CategoryRecipes

Tips for Avoiding Holiday Stress

Holiday seasons are not only stressful, but can lead to a slippery slope of congested chaos. A popular suggestion most of my clients adapt is preparation for following year. How does this help with the current situation? It makes is easy since dealing with the today’s of the season can start to prepare you for next years concurrently.

Organizing your holiday cards and return address – once you receive the card immediately place the envelope in an alphabetized accordion file. This will help you build your address data base either pen or electronic.

Managing Gift wrap recyclables – Before the ceremony of gift opening commences plan a head with a few boxes with lids (www.containerstore.com) has some great options) with labels for the following; Ribbons/Bows, Tissue paper, gift tag ornaments, etc. Instruct your family once a package is opened to place the item in the assigned box. Afterword it is a simple clean up, place the lids on the boxes and store for next years gift wrapping season. This will make it easier and you will be green!

Parties & Planning – Everyone enjoys being invited to a party. However, the holiday season can cause you to overextend yourself only adding to the stress. It is best to uses a larges desk calendar for the month of December (have it accessible in November) Start to map out your season including school performance, shopping excursions, day to get cards out, post office, etc. This will help you start to get an overall visual of the month. Furthermore, it will assist your family in understanding what lies ahead. Remember to map out time for routine items such as exercise and regularly scheduled events. As the invitations roll in you will be able to immediately know how to respond and prevent unnecessary stress. Always remember to respond promptly to an invite and if you are unable to attend a friend’s event try and send them a card of support to arrive around the actual party date.

Cooking & Kitchen – The key is preparation and time management. Holiday cooking sometimes requires the use of rarely used utensils. It is best to make sure you plan out your meal well in advance and do a quick inventory of the items needed. For the meal and time management write out all of the dishes and the timeframe it will take (consider resting times) then work backwards from when you would like to eat. This will assist you with making everything is served at your desired temperature.

For further assistance organizing your kitchen there is a chapter dedicated in our new book, A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian.