Give Your Pantry and Refrigerator a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover
Spring is the perfect time to clean out your pantry and refrigerator, removing foods that do not serve you and your family’s health. I do a major clean-out 4 times a year, with weekly spot checks, especially in my refrigerator.
5 Tips on Cleaning Out Your Kitchen Pantry
Open up your cabinets and toss away obvious junk food like items like chips, soda, candy bars, and cookies. Then take a look at instant processed foods you might find- things like instant oatmeal, breakfast cereal, macaroni and cheese in a box. These items are convenient, but the way they are over-processed causes them to lack nutritional density as well as being full of additives and flavorings that your body doesn’t chemically recognize. Getting these items out of site, or better yet out of the house, will help you stay committed at times when you’re hungry or tired and just want something quick and easy.
Don’t forget the Freezer: Those hidden treasures of ice cream and pizza need to go. I know it’s hard, but again they are full of ingredients that will only sabotage the progress that you are making.
Now that you’ve practically emptied your cabinets out, refill them with delicious whole foods. Most of these foods will need to go into your refrigerator. I focus on free local produce that is in season and jars of fermented foods like fermented pickles and sauerkraut. My freezer is filled with frozen berries and vegetables that have been frozen without a sauce. My pantry has jars of dried beans, nut butters, and whole grains stored in glass jars.
Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. This is where your perishable foods and some of your best choices are usually located, —fruits and vegetables, lean means, dairy and dairy-substitute products. It will also help you avoid the temptation of the cookie and chip aisles usually found more centrally located in stores.
Spring is coming, so think about planting a small garden or even a few herbs and tomato plants on your deck. Find a local farmer’s market for the best local foods. I always try to scout out the ones avoiding the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
Ahhh spring! Spring fruits and vegetables are light, fresh, and crisp! Get ready for plenty of green, crunchy goodness after a winter filled with warm, hearty root veggies. Fresh fruits and vegetables in season contain the most nutrients, and if you’re buying them locally, there’s less time for those nutrients to degrade as the produce makes its way to your plate. Plus, buying seasonal produce from local growers supports your local economy and can be a more sustainable choice, too.