Having a pantry is a wonderful addition to any kitchen if it is maintained and inventoried properly with healthy foods. When things get stored they are often forgotten. New purchases are generally placed in front and older foods are pushed to the back. After some time, you end up with a cluttered mess.
When your pantry is not organized you end up with spoiled foods and several different bottles of the same thing, so making an efficient grocery list is almost impossible. When you decide to make the change to “Healthy Clean Eating”, cleaning the pantry is one of the first steps.
Where Do I Start?
The first thing you do is take a before picture of your pantry so you can compare “before and after” pictures once you’re done.
Next, Take everything out of the pantry and separate into two categories.
1. Spoiled or expired food and
2. Edible food.
The first group goes in the trash and the second group gets divided again.
Any food that is not part of your “Clean Eating” goes in a box to be offered as a donation to a charity organization, for example your local homeless shelter.
That means the white flour, white potatoes, white rice, cereals loaded with sugar, soda, chips, and crackers made with white flour. Read the labels and anything with High-Fructose Corn Syrup goes in the donation box!
Tip: Go to www.lifetimefatloss.com click on the Glycemic Index List of Foods.
Foods that have a glycemic number are rated from 1 to 100, 100 being pure sugar. You can print out the Approved and Unapproved list of foods on the index.
The approved list has foods that have a glycemic number of 55 or less.
Any food that is on the unapproved list goes in the donation box. You should use this same system with the food in the refrigerator.
Once that is done, wash all your shelves with soapy water and some baking soda, use a flat spatula to loosen any stubborn residue.
Replace all the remaining items on the clean shelves. Keep like items together, items used daily keep at eye level, heavy and seldom used items go on the top shelves.
Time To Restock The Pantry
Using the approved glycemic list, make a grocery list that will fit into your healthy eating plan.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Stick with fresh food, or healthy stables to make food from scratch.
- Stay away from any meal that comes in a box or frozen dinners.
- Don’t forget the nuts for healthy snacks. That’s plain nuts, not honey roasted!
- Your grains are an important part of your diet, so don’t forget the quinoa, brown rice, barley, steel cut oats, etc.
- Got a sweet tooth? Honey, maple syrup and brown rice syrup can all be used in moderation. Don’t forget the Stevia!
- Beans are your friend, however it’s best to cook them from scratch. When in a pinch, use canned beans but make sure to read the labels; some of them are loaded with sugar. Also be sure you rinse them to reduce the sodium content.
- Don’t forget the fresh fruit and veggies. If the fruit is not in season you can always buy the frozen options. Make sure it doesn’t have any syrup added – just the fruit. Frozen fruits are packed and frozen at their peak so they are more nutritious then the out of season “hothouse” fruit.
- Now take the after picture. When you compare the two pictures you will start to feel healthier already! This is a good place to start. If you let the Glycemic Index be your guide and watch your portion size, you will be amazed at difference in how you start to look and feel!
Do you have more ideas for adopting a healthier lifestyle? Share them on our Facebook Page.
Pam has been an A.C.E certified (American Council of Exercise) personal trainer for the general population since 1995. She is also a group instructor , and certified in teaching the “Mature Population”, people over 50. Her clients have varied far and wide. She has had people with Parkinsons, amputees, athletes, and people struggling with sever weight issues. She has taught “Park City Boot Camp” for 5 years. She is a native of Utah, went to the University of Utah and has lived in Park City for 25 years. She enjoys an active lifestyle of hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, anything that Utah has to offer. She has found a perfect fit working for Premier Fitness Camp and calls it her “Dream Job”, she is a trainer, group instructor, and a member of the coaching team.