Make Healthy Choices Easier at Home

Ashley Leahey
July 10, 2017

Did you know you could consume 100 fewer calories every day without even thinking about it? According to Dr. Brian Wansink and other scientists at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, the setup of your kitchen greatly impacts what and how much you eat. In his book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Wansink showed that simply making small changes in your kitchen can lead you and your family to effortlessly eat smaller portions of better food.

Here are a few tips for a kitchen that keeps you healthy:

Eat less
It’s easy to keep reaching into that bag of pretzels, but splitting snacks into small portions before you put them away can help you avoid overeating. Try tricking yourself into eating smaller portions by using smaller plates and tall, thin glasses.  

Eat better
On second thought, why not ditch those pretzels? Put fruits and vegetables in plain sight to increase your chances of making the healthy choice.  Store produce at eye level in your fridge and in bowls on your countertop.

Eat mindfully
It’s tempting to eat dinner in front of your favorite show, but try turning off the TV. Better yet, remove it from your kitchen entirely! Distractions like TV and mobile devices prevent us from paying attention to what we’re cooking and eating.

Check out how your kitchen stacks up with the Blue Zones Kitchen Checklist. This tool will help you determine the impact your kitchen has on the quality and quantity of your food consumption. The answers will help you see where you can make small, simple changes to facilitate healthy, conscious eating.

Find more healthy tips, recipes, events, and Blue Zones Project updates in your community at and like us on Facebook (@bluezonesprojecthawaii) and Instagram (@bzphawaii).

Ashley Takitani Leahey is the  Statewide Engagement Lead for Blue Zones Project – Hawaii and is responsible for strategic marketing and PR as well as providing support for the efforts of the community teams. Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Studio Arts from Loyola Marymount University. Upon returning to Hawaii, she completed her Executive MBA degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa while working as the Marketing Innovation and Project Development Manager at Sae Design. Ashley is now making great use of her experience and education to raise awareness for the importance of well-being in her home state. After being introduced to Blue Zones Project and its impacts, she energetically championed the effort in her hometown of Wailuku to bring the initiative to Central Maui. An active community member on numerous non-profit boards and co-owner of local boutique, Maui Thing, Ashley loves to spend her free time outdoors. Whether its tending to her dahlias in the garden or hanging at the beach, she loves her Vitamin D! She’s also obsessed with yoga (for a great at-home yoga sesh, check out, arts and crafts, HGTV’s Fixer Upper and her chocolate lab!

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