When June Cleaver dished up dinner in her 1960s TV kitchen, grease never splattered and counters were never piled high with dirty dishes. Fortunately, in the real world, having a well-functioning kitchen (clear counter spaces, clean dishes, handy utensils, healthy food choices) doesn’t require a hyper-pristine, Cleaver style. But it is important to keep chaos at bay. Turns out if you have a sloppy kitchen -- counters so crowded you can’t find a place to chop your veggies; refrigerators that are better at hiding food than keeping it cold -- you’re more inclined to grab a bag of chips or cookies, since you can see them there!
In a recent study, our pals at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that kitchen chaos CREATES anxiety and stress, and that fuels unhealthy food choices and ups calorie intake.
Our take: Having a chaotic environment, whether in the kitchen or all over the house, is a sign of an uncontrolled stress response and perhaps a disorder such as ADHD, depression or hoarding. If that’s you, reach out to a friend or family member and ask for help restoring order to your kitchen. You might even want to discuss your challenges with your doc and see if there’s a medication and/or cognitive behavioral therapy that might help you re-order your environment. And dish up a daily routine of mindful meditation (find instructions at www.sharecare.com) and exercise (walk 10,000 steps daily) to help dispel stress. You’ll feel happier and eat healthier on your way to achieving a younger RealAge.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.