It’s that time of year again when many of us are ramping up our self-care so we can move away from our bad habits, get fitter and healthier, and maybe lose a few pounds.
You can take care of many of those goals by paying close attention to the food you put in your body. A deep pantry purge helps you clean up your diet and start the year right!
The Benefits of Pantry Purging
Cleaning up a pantry is a simple concept that makes a lot of sense. The idea is to purge your pantry of diet-busting culprits like junk food, and other ingredients that make it tough to grab healthy food you enjoy whenever you’re ready to eat.
If you’re pursuing a clean eating lifestyle, you’ll reap plenty of benefits:
- Kick your bad snacking habits
- Convenient stock of fresh, quality ingredients
- Avoid artificial ingredients, sugars, sodium, etc.
- Access to food that suits your dietary needs
- Access to staples you need to make food fast
- Time-saving smart pantry organization
- Money-saving meals you’ve prepared yourself
Clear, Toss & Replace
- The first step for pantry purging is essential: everything must come out. As you’re emptying out the shelves, make the job easier by putting foods together in categories, something like this:
– Beans & legumes
– Vegetables & fruits
– Grains & starches
– Herbs & spices
– Snack foods
– Sweet treats
- When it comes to deciding what to get rid of, start with the most obvious. This will likely include a lot of items from the bottom half of that list above, things like cookies, chips, processed canned foods, and sweetened fruit juices. If it’s sugary, greasy, salty, or has a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, you can purge it. You might also toss expired/out of date foods while you’re at it.
- When it comes to deciding what to keep or replace, start with the basics. This will include your preferred healthy oils like olive and coconut, your pantry proteins like tuna and walnuts and your whole grains/seeds like and quinoa and brown rice. These basics should be staples that you can make use of everyday as part of your particular eating plan. Then for replacement plans, just build to suit your needs and tastes.
So, if you’re staying away from legumes this year, you might replace the peanut butter with sunbutter. If you’re avoiding mayonnaise, start stocking avocados. If you’re upping your protein, you might replace your protein powder, add some chickpeas and canned salmon to the shelves.
Finally, remember that a well-stocked pantry includes flavors you like to eat. You don’t want to fall in the trap of feeling denied or bored, which can lead to binging on something you’ll regret later. Investing in good quality staples, fresh herbs and spices, and satisfying ingredients will keep you in your own clean pantry and on track with your goals.