It’s almost that time of year again to do a little Spring Cleaning!
If you’re like me, many areas in my home could use a little help. Often, one place we don’t think of Spring Cleaning is our pantries. Probably more than any other area in the house, the pantry needs a little cleaning!
When we think of Spring Cleaning, we think about throwing away, reorganizing, deep cleaning and renewal. Our pantries could really use all of this. But not so much in the way of making it look shiny, new and organized, but Spring Cleaning the actual items that are in the pantry. Items that could be exchanged for a little healthier options.
Part of this Spring Cleaning helps to improve our health, not just to make a bunch of shelves look better. If we can make a few tiny changes, we can see improvements in our life and health.
We don’t always like change, especially big change, so Spring Cleaning your Pantry isn’t about throwing it all out and starting over from scratch. It’s just learning a few ways to make small changes when buying your groceries. These small but important changes will help to get you started on a Less Processed Life.
For this Spring, we’re only going to focus on four items in your pantry to clean! We’ll give you a few ideas of healthier options and less processed food items.
White bread looks delicious. It’s soft and makes you just want to dive right into it. But it offers little nutritional value and has little substance. If you are eating this everyday, the low nutrients could have an adverse effect on your health. Besides the high glycemic index, it actually is very low in fiber because it has been stripped of all the essential nutrients your body needs.
Whole Grain Bread (it has more vitamins, minerals & fiber) – Don’t depend on the brown color as thinking that’s what makes it healthy, food coloring can make bread brown. Check the ingredients to be sure that the first item is whole grain, such as whole wheat, whole oats or whole rye.
I know, I know… Chips are just sooo good, and it’s just a little snack! But did you know that most chips include genetically engineered ingredients? There are even things like BHT in the package just to keep the chips fresh and prevent rancidity. That doesn’t sound like something we should be putting in our bodies. Most chips also contain Trans Fats which increase the risk of heart disease by clogging arteries and increase your cholesterol levels.
Carrots, Apples & Organic Peanut Butter (check your ingredients, popular brands are loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients), Celery and Cream Cheese, Organic Cheese squares, thin sliced potatoes lightly coated with olive oil and baked in the oven until crispy.
Yes, soda is usually in the fridge, but If you are a soda drinker you may have back-up in the pantry. Soda is one of the worst food items you can have. It’s loaded with sugar (about 10 teaspoons in the form of high fructose corn syrup). Not only that, but the calories are high and it’s filled with artificial colors and sulfites. Many of us switch to diet soda thinking that’s a better option, but it’s actually worse. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and/or sucralose. Besides all that, did you know that “drinking two bottles of soda per day can make you gain a pound of fat per week!”
- Organic juices or juicing at home
- Homemade iced tea
- Water (I know, I already said that, but it’s important!)
Packaged Side Dishes and Cookies
Who doesn’t like a white stuffed round cookie?! Or yummy boxed cheesy noodles? The challenge with packaged food items is that they are filled with processed items. I’m not sure there is much real food in there? Packaged foods can contain artificial colors, artificial flavors(I once met a chemical engineer that helped to make the food flavoring for a very popular fast food burger place – hint, hint: yellow arches! It was a hamburger flavored chemical to make the hamburger taste like hamburgers, eeks, yikes and yuk! Imagine what’s in packaged cookies). There is also preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and sometimes msg!
If you are a cookie lover, don’t give them up, just make them at home instead with better ingredients. Try to use organic ingredients. You’ll be surprised how good they taste! If you love mac-n-cheese, buy whole grain noodles and organic cheese. Check out Pinterest, there are zillions of recipes!
When making small changes to your pantry you can begin see improvements in your health. Sometimes it’s just small changes that we can do because changing everything seems overwhelming and impossible and that’s ok. Small change is still change! I challenge you to Spring Clean your pantry today!
Share with us your favorite alternatives to the processed food items above! We would love to hear from you.
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