Ahh, spring has sprung! Time to dust off the cobwebs and take inventory of our homes. One place that may need special attention is your pantry. Cleaning out your pantry will help pave the way for clean-eating habits, cut down on waste, and eliminate double-buying.
While I highly recommend eating mostly fresh food ingredients, having some non-perishable staples in our pantries is necessary. The goal is to replace processed, nutrient-empty foods with whole foods that will nourish your body. Below you’ll find our tips on what should and should not be in your pantry.
When deciding what to keep, toss and buy, your first step is to LOOK AT THE LABELS! Not as important as the Nutrition Facts chart, you must read the small print list of ingredients. Checking the ingredients will help you avoid harmful additives. I love Dr. Mark Hyman’s philosophy: don’t eat ingredients that you wouldn’t find in your everyday household cupboard. That means preservatives, additives, coloring or dyes, “natural flavorings”, MSG (monosodium glutamate), any word that ends with -ol (xylitol, sorbitol) sugar alcohols and high-fructose corn syrup.
You’ll be surprised to see the ingredients in what you thought were “healthy snacks.” Many chips and crackers are made with bleached flours and refined oils (vegetable, canola, soy) and not all canned vegetables are created equal. Canned goods should contain only one ingredients. Go ahead and toss the junk. Anything that’s not real food… If it’s not in the house, you won’t be able to eat it when those cravings strike.
Overwhelmed? Here’s some of my favorite easy swaps you can make immediately:
- Processed oils (Canola/Soy/Vegatable) > Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil
- Table salt > himalayan pink salt
- Sugar > stevia, dates, honey, pure maple syrup
- Brown sugar > coconut sugar
- White flour > almond flour, coconut flour
- Margarine butter > ghee
- Soy sauce > coconut aminos
- Refined grains > cauliflower rice, broccoli rice
- Pasta > spaghetti squash
- Microwave popcorn > organic corn kernels
- Soda > sparkling water with lemon or lime, herbal tea
- Cereal > steel cut oats
- Chips > seed crackers, flax crackers
- Artificially sweetened coffee creamers > PowerCreamer
Toss: expired goods, hydrogenated oils, products with added sugar, packaged snack foods, high-sodium canned soups
Stock: single-ingredient canned beans, bone broth, wild-caught canned fish, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, herbs & spices, single-ingredient nut butters
Worried about having snacks on hand? Here’s some of our favorite snacks with clean ingredients for when we need a grab-and-go option:
- Chomps grass-fed beef sticks
- Apple and (single-ingredient) nut butter
- Siete chips
- Jilz crackers
- GG crackers and mashed avocado
Take Inventory. Once you’ve decided you’re staples, make a grocery list of items you’ll need to buy on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Even more convenient, subscribe on Amazon and save 15% percent with automatic delivery of your pantry staples.
While you’ve got everything out, wipe down your pantry cabinets and shelves with a non-toxic cleaner before organizing your items on the shelf. Then, store items with like products. I like to use bins from the dollar-store to store similar products. In one bin, I have peanut butter, almond butter and coconut butter. In another bin, I have canned tuna, salmon and sardines. In another, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts. In my baking bin I have almond flour, coconut flour, and coconut sugar. You get the idea…
Happy Spring! Here’s to setting up our homes to help fuel are bodies with REAL food.