Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Clean the kitchen and your diet

Spring time is here and it is time a great time to to  de-clutter and revitalize your kitchen.  If the goal of getting healthier is a constant, ongoing process at your house, a healthy kitchen makeover may be just what your family needs.  I know that I seem to accumulate 1/2 used bags of items in my pantry and don't find them till they are stale.  So now is a great time to re-organize the kitchen drawers and throw away old food and donate the extras ( the great deal that you could not pass up) that are not past expatriation date to a local food pantry.

A healthy diet/ life styles begins with having only healthy and nutritious food in your house. So if you have found that you are having a problem sticking to your New Year’s resolution or you just want to eat better, now is a great time to Spring clean your pantry and start off with a fresh start. There are certain staples that you should have in your pantry so that you can make quick/ easy/ healthy meals. Many of the items are inexpensive and can be stocked up on when you find a great buy. Print out a list and start stocking your pantry with healthier meal options.
Step one
Start your pantry makeover by completely emptying it out.   Wash down the shelves and and containers that may have spills. Taking all the food out will not only help you identify the types of food that you have accumulated, but it will also help you eliminate  all the  unhealthy foods and clutter from the pantry. This is also a great time to  reorganize your pantry to make it more  user-friendly. Put items in clear containers.
Step Two
Put back on the shelves only foods that are healthier choices for you and your family.  Put the junk foods on a higher shelf.  Now take inventory of what you have and look at the list below and it is a good list of items to have on hand to stock a healthy pantry.

Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, white beans, dried beans: great northern beans, Lima, lentil, split pea, black pinto
Canned whole, crushed, chopped, paste
Fresh and minced
Olive oil, grape seed oil , Cooking spray
Canned in water
Couscous, barley, quinoa
Old fashioned oatmeal
Beef, vegetable, and chicken
Raisins, apricots, cherries, cranberries, prunes, apples
Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans
Butters: almond, peanut, and any other nut
Flax seed and Chia seeds
Coffee Beans, ground, instant
Green Tea, ginger, chamomile, mint
Red, yellow onions
Balsamic, white, red wine, rice
Tabasco, low sodium soy (tamari)
Salt and pepper
Dried herbs and spices: ground cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, rosemary, thyme leaves, oregano, tarragon, ground cinnamon, ground ginger
Baking Powder, Baking Soda, corn starch
Flour: All-purpose flour, whole wheat, cake, bread
Gluten free alternatives: coconut flour, almond, brown rice four
Chocolate: unsweetened squares, coco powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips
Extracts; vanilla, lemon
Preserves/ sugar: jam, honey, agave nectar, Stevia, confectioner’s, brown sugar
Gelatin: unflavored
Milk: evaporated, powdered
Yeast: dry active
Baking mix, pudding
Basics for your refrigerator
Organic cage free eggs
Cheese: sharp cheddar, feta, parmesan, mozzarella
Yogurt, Greek yogurt
Margarine low fat- non fat
Greens for salad
Seasonal fruits and vegetables
Lemon and limes
Cauliflower, carrots, broccoli
Basics for your freezer
Frozen fruit: berries ( no sugar added)
Frozen vegetables: edamame, broccoli, pepper and onion mix, spinach, peas
Spring is also a great time to plant your own garden.  Fresh herbs are easy to grow in planters.  Kids love to watch the garden grow and eat their own hard work.

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