How many times a day do you open your pantry or fridge hoping that something new, healthy and filling will appear? Does your kitchen seem messy, cluttered and full of unhealthy foods? Do you want to make over your pantry and fridge, but aren’t sure where to start?
We are here to help! Make a pledge to rid your pantry and fridge of unhealthy items and to re-stock it with real foods using the following doable steps.
Part with the Unhealthy Non-Perishables
It’s easy to promise yourself that you'll eat better, but you’re setting yourself up for sabotage if you don’t physically remove the unhealthy foods from your house. Go through every single item on your kitchen shelves and get rid of or donate anything that is overly high in sugar, sodium, artificial colorings or preservatives, or with a long laundry list of ingredients that you can't pronounce. Many condiments fit this bill—consider how much you and your family enjoy them and whether or not you can find substitutions for these items. Only keep those foods that you truly think you can continue to eat in moderation.
Restock the Shelves
Now that your cupboard is almost bare, it’s time to restock those shelves with real food. Common healthy pantry staples include:
• Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and oatmeal
• Healthy oils such as olive, coconut and walnut
• Canned and jarred goods such as olives, beans, tuna, tomatoes, low-sodium broth, vinegar and other canned fruits and veggies (look at the labels to make sure there are no added preservatives and sugars)
• Other items such as local honey, nuts, dried beans, sea salt and nutless trail mix (like Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Seed and Fruit Mix)
• Occasional treats such as low-salt corn tortilla chips, low-sugar nutrition bars and whole-grain, sugar-free cereals
Need more ideas? Check out this list of must-have healthy staples!
Flip Your Fridge and Freezer
Now that you have your pantry in tip-top shape, it’s time to turn your attention to the refrigerator and freezer. You can apply the same cleaning strategies as you did for the pantry. Throw out or give away anything that doesn’t meet the nutrition standards stated above. This includes looking at the labels of all your frozen meals, breakfast items, processed meats and dairy, dips, spreads and other condiments.
Refill Your Refrigerator
You’re almost there! You should have plenty of room now to restock with wholesome, healthy foods. Fridge and freezer items to stock up on include:
• Fruits and veggies
• Fresh herbs
• Dried fruit
• Plant-based milks such as unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk
• Hummus and hot sauce
• Plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
• Whole-grain breads
• Peanut or nut butters
• Cooked beans and grains
• Wheat, corn and rice tortillas
• Frozen fruits and vegetables
• Garlic and ginger
• Lean meats
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