If your goal for the New Year is a healthier you, then a pantry filled with junk, sugar, and processed foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce won’t get you there. It’s time to revamp your pantry and set you up for long-term success. If New Year’s resolutions aren’t your thing, then chances are you will still benefit from showing your pantry some love and stocking it with healthy options.
Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know to upgrade your pantry and fill it with more nourishing alternatives that will set you up for a healthy 2018.
Remove the Junk
If there are tempting items in your pantry, chances are you will reach for it. Remove any roadblocks to success by grabbing a trash bag and tossing in any processed and packaged foods. Start off with chips, candy, cookies, and sugar-laden juices and sodas. Continue by removing all processed grains and flours and high-sugar cereals and snack bars. Don’t worry — we’ll restock soon (so you will still get to enjoy some treats), and you can always donate unused items to a local food bank. Remember, the point isn’t to punish yourself here. This is a long-term strategy to help you lead your healthiest life instead.
Restock with Healthier Foods
Just like it’s important to remove all the junk, it’s essential to fill your pantry with healthy alternatives so you are always prepared. Some of my favourite cupboard staples include nuts and seeds, whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, beans, lentils, and quinoa. Other goods for you essentials include chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds, which are all high in fiber and central to a healthy diet.
Consider replacing your grocery store coffee with organic beans (coffee is one of the most pesticide-laden crops on the planet!), and swap the conventional nut butter for natural options instead.
You can also grab some healthy snack bars, low sugar granola, and brown rice chips so you can still have some quick grab and go options for when you are short on time.
Read Food Labels!
To make sure you continue to stock your pantry with healthier alternatives, it’s important to start reading food labels, especially the ingredients list. It can seem daunting at first, but a general rule of thumb I like to stick to is if it has more than 7 ingredients, you can probably do without it.
Some other things to look for include: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners, sugar as the first or second ingredient, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and carrageenan. If a product has one or more of these ingredients, you should steer clear.
There you have it, a step by step guide to clean out your pantry and a plan to set you up for success. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018!
Danica is a holistic nutritionist, wellness expert and health coach on a mission to help women around the world find their optimal well-being. She is the founder of Nakd Health, where she coaches clients to prioritize wellness in their busy lives with delicious recipes, nutrition advice, fitness and lifestyle changes.