Pantry Makeover

I am determined to have a healthier lifestyle, and to teach my kids to have one as well. I am pretty sure I’ve been on the right track all these years, but like all people, we back slide occasionally. That’s not really what this post is about though.

In order to eat healthy you must have a healthy kitchen. What does that mean? Well for starters that means making some basic changes in your pantry such as throwing out the junk food, and not buying anymore. It’s a fact that if there isn’t any junk in your pantry then you can’t eat it.

We all like to indulge once in a while (key words: once in a while). I’d indulge every day – let’s be honest, peeps – but we need to re-condition ourselves to that once in a while indulgence. Plus let’s not forget that an indulgence still must be kept in moderation. We can’t be eating 1/2 of a 1 lb. chocolate bar all in one sitting just because it’s our day to indulge. That’s another reconditioning issue. Moderation is also key.

So there are lots of ways to get that indulgence fix without buying those Oreos. I know, we love Oreos, but it’s full of refined white sugar, lots of big worded ingredients we can’t pronounce, and toxic preservative chemicals. Let’s not, shall we? The best indulgences are the ones worth earning- so make it yourself. From scratch. The ingredients will all be better for you because you’ll know every single one that goes into it, and you’ll feel better about indulging.

Ok, so this post isn’t entirely about cooking or baking healthy snacks either. Sorry, no teasing intended. But back on track about having  a healthy kitchen. You’ve already determined to throw out the junk. What does that leave you with? Well, for some people that leaves a lot of empty space in their pantry. What shall you fill that space up with?

As I was cruising around on Pinterest one day, I clicked on a recipe that took me to a blog where I clicked again and then I clicked some more. What I ended up with was a great 20 page free downloadable e-book from Pure Vitality. This website is such a great resource for so many reasons, and it also has lots of great recipes for those little indulgences, among many, many other things.

When I downloaded the e-book I fell in love. Much of it was a no-brainer to me, but I loved the idea of having a pantry makeover so help make my life in the kitchen a little easier. It’s a simple organization tip that will definitely make your life easier too. Many people don’t cook as much from scratch because they find it overwhelming, but I have found that having  plan makes all the difference.

A plan can be many things, but for me it starts out with first deciding what I’ll be cooking for my family dinners. The next step is to make out a list for the grocery store. I often will search out coupons and compare them with ongoing sales at my grocery store, but even if there isn’t a lot of money-saving going on, you can still pinch your pennies and stay within budget. The best way to do that is to stick to your list and don’t deviate. Plan for an indulgence or two and shop accordingly. This is a two-fold reward because not only will you get to eat a treat, but chances are half of those ingredients will remain in your pantry for future recipes.

The next step is to have healthy foods and ingredients readily available. This can mean making some hummus and having carrot and celery sticks available for impromptu dipping and snacking, as opposed to grabbing a bag of partially hydrogenated potato chips, or super-fattening and artery-clogging store-bought cookies (see how I did that?). It can also mean planning meals in a snap will literally be just that, a snap. If your pantry is stocked with brown rice, dried beans, legumes, etc. then you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

True, dried beans are not a snap. But it is pretty easy to spy them in your pantry and decide to let some soak overnight for tomorrow’s dinner. Yes? See, this really isn’t that hard. You’re getting the hang of it. Awesome.

So I already have these storage jars. Actually, I’ve had them for years. I keep my organic sugar, popcorn kernels, and brown rice right on the counter top. But obviously, I’m going to need a lot more of these babies if I am going to do a pantry makeover. And remember: use glass not plastic! (Or at least use BPA-free plastic.)

The picture at the top comes from Pure Vitality. When my pantry grows up it wants to be just like that one 🙂 Click the link here to read all about how you can have a healthy kitchen, too, and you just might be inspired to makeover your pantry as well.

Have an awesome, healthy day!

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