It's SUNDAY and tomorrow is the start of FRESH NEW WEEK AHEAD! There's never a better day to ......start a good Pantry Purge!
Dialing up your health to the next level necessitates a complete pantry purge. This isn’t just to get rid of out-of-date food – it’s also to figure out how you can replace your usual purchases with healthier choices. Are you ready?
It’s astounding how so much of what we buy contains additives, preservatives, sugar (in it’s many hidden forms), salt, thickeners, stabilizers – and I could go on and on. It’s also confusing for the average working mom like me who just wants to be able to do a quick monthly shop and trust that I won’t be harming my or my family’s health. But, the truth is that the SAD DIET (standard American diet) (and what we often see in mainstream grocery stores), is making us sick. Yes – cancer, diabetes and heart disease rates are rising, and we can hugely mitigate this by changing what we choose to toss into our grocery carts.
If you're determined to start eating healthier, one of your first acts must be to purge your pantry of the many dangerously unhealthy items lurking quietly on your shelves. Which foods are the worst? Sadly, there many, many basic ingredients and widely purchased foods that offer little or no nutritional value while exposing users to numerous health hazards that can contribute to long-term illnesses and diseases.
OK---> LET'S START HERE......Here’s what I suggest:
Step 1 - TODAY---> REMOVE the Sugary Snacks and Cereals. YES, ALL OF THEM! lol You already know that all the cookies, toaster pastries, sugar smacks and snacks in your pantry have to go. These products are typically made with processed sugars and flours and have little nutritional value besides the vitamins they "fortify" the products with as a selling point to parents. These products are still empty calories that can lead to serious negative health issues -- diabetes, obesity, heart disease, inflammation, and tooth decay. Remember that sugar has many names as an ingredient (and is often listed more than once), including dextrose, dextran, sucrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltodextrin, and maltose. . Does this make you feel UNEASY ALREADY?
Step 2 - Give yourself a good 2-3 hour window for the job. This will depend on the size of your pantry, but make sure that you are factoring in time to get everything out, and clean your pantry from top to bottom. Don’t start this task until you know that you will be undisturbed by hungry kids or pressing phone calls.
and be sure to put on your favorite playlist!
Step 3 - Take every single thing out of your pantry and place it on your kitchen table, island, and/or counter.
Step 4 - Using a hot vinegar spray (microwave 2 cups of white vinegar for 1.5 minutes and pour into sprayer bottle), clean down all your pantry shelves, cabinets etc.
Step 5 - Sort your food and staples into categories: flour, sugars/sweeteners, condiments, pasta/rice, cereal/granola etc
Step 6 - Pick up each and every item and check the following:
a) Is it past it’s use-by date? If there is no use-by date, check out my When Should I Toss It? Article.
b) Have I used it within the last year or was it an impulse purchase that I probably won’t use again?
c) Does it contain ingredients that look like they could be stabilizers, hidden sugars, preservatives etc (numbers and odd sounding chemical names could be a giveaway)
Step 7 - Make a list of all the items that you need to replace your unhealthy items with.
When you are finished.... Clean the bottles and jars with vinegar spray and replace all the items.
Okay, now you are done. The whole point of the purge is NOT to toss a bunch of expensive food away. If you’ve been using it for years, a few more weeks won’t kill you – so I recommend finishing up what you have. But the goal of the purge is for you to have a clear plan and shopping list of how you can best re-stock your pantry as the need arises for each item to be replaced. This is the beginning to setting your self up for SUCCESS in your new healthy lifestyle!
I know you still have plenty of questions for me so be sure to follow my page on Facebook and comment with your questions there - I'll be sure to get back with you!