Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

Spring is the time of year we all get excited that the cold days are now behind us and the warmer weather is ahead. 
The days are getting longer & warmer, our gardens are growing, the birds are singing and then before we know it spring fever hits us. We want to clean & organize everything from the inside to the outside. While we tend to the usual spring cleaning list like cleaning out the garage, washing windows, wiping down cupboards, cleaning out drawers etc. we don't typically think of cleaning and organizing our pantries. That sounds more like a New Years resolution, but let's be real, we can fall a little behind with those commitments. So let's retweek our pantries now while we are in the spring cleaning mood and get rid of the junk that snuck back in. Let's refill our pantries with foods that help heal us instead of the ones that harm us.  By keeping this realistic, not everyone has time to always make everything from scratch or have a lot of time to prepare or even perhaps just do not like to cook, so for that reason, keeping quick alternatives on hand is great. Just keep in mind that all canned, boxed & packaged foods have perservatives which is what we are tying to eat less of, but by choosing the more natural & organic brands with the least amount of ingredients will cut out the more harmful chemicals found in the many other choices out there.

Our frig & freezer should be equally as important for a spring clean. After all eating a healthy diet means eating fresh produce too and lots of them. So make room for the many fruits and veggies that make up a rainbow of color that we need to eat each day, especially those dark leafy greens, these guys need space :)

"How to start " Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

Chuck the junk

**Replace the chips, soda's, packaged cakes, cookies & candy with items like whole grains, lentils, dried beans, coconut oil, braggs apple cider vinegar & spices ( as examples ).

**More fresh live foods & little to no processed foods

**Fill the frig up with organic fruits, veggies, raw nuts/seeds, greek yogurt, milk & kombucha ( as examples )

**Processed foods to avoid and  Why not to eat them.

Avoid these processed foods or at least eat them sparingly:

  • Canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat.
  • Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains.
  • Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies.
  • Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium.
  • Packaged cakes and cookies.
  • Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium.
  • Sugary breakfast cereals.
  • Processed meats.

  • The fact is that most of the processed foods like bread, buns etc which are used to prepare pizza, burger, sandwiches, hotdogs etc contains high amounts of sugar. Eating too much of processed foods leads toObesity.
  • The idea of processing foods is to kill harmful bacteria and make food safer with longer life, but food processing removes few natural nutrients, vitamins and fiber content in the food.
  • The processed foods like potato chips, French fries, fruit pulps, soft drinks, etc contain artificial sugars, salt and preservatives. They don’t add any nutrition benefits, have less fiber quantity and also reduces digestion power. The excess amount of sugars and fats increases weight.
  • Daily consumption of processed food is a bad idea. The salts, phosphates and other artificial ingredients in the processed food leads to kidney and other health problems.
  • Reports also proved that processed foods are highly addictive and make you want them frequently. Frequent consumption of processed foods can leads to obesity.
  • Most of the bakery items, cookies, cakes, jams, ketchup, pastries  etc have High fructose corn syrup (HCFS).  It is a refined sugar and adds more taste and more calories to food. This type of food is not good for type 2 diabetes.
  • Most of the processed foods contain artificial preservative agents likeSulphite.  It causes a range of health diseases like headache, skin rashes, irritable bowel syndrome etc. Generally Sulphite is used in processed dairy products, dried fruits, dried vegetables, processed meat, etc
  • Processed food kills natural taste and colour of foods. In order to improve or restore the natural flavour, most of the processed food makers adds cheap artificial sugar, salts, fats, colours and preservatives to the food. This type of cheap artificial salts, colors etc create various range of health diseases related to gastrointestinal problems, hormonal problems, nervous system problems etc
Great reasons why we should eat as little as possible to no processed foods--to prevent disease & increase our good health.

A pantry and frig overhaul can be a major challenge and a huge change. Do not be intimidated or afraid of this. Instead embrace it. Little steps are always the best. Start with replacing the worst items-soda's, chips, packaged cakes & cookies etc. I think most of us know what these items are.
Then maybe start with adding more fresh fruits & veggies. Small changes end up being big. Even if you only eliminate just the junk food you will improve your over all health greatly!

Everything new is hard and I encourage you to challenged yourself with spring cleaning your pantry and give you and your family the change I know will bring you to better health. Happy spring cleaning and may you be Nutritionally Well.

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