Kitchen Basics 101

(PANTRY PLANNING)

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“If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.”  I love this quote by personal trainer Errick McAdams, and I think it makes perfect sense.  If there is only healthy food at home we will eat healthier.  This doesn’t mean that there’s no room for a “treat” once in a while, but for the other 80-90% of the time, we will be reaching for something that supports our wellness goals.  

I think, as a whole, we have become wiser to the fact that our lifestyle has a direct bearing on our well-being.  A constant lack of energy, persistent aches and pains, and chronic digestive complaints, are only a few signs that indicate an imbalance in the body.  Although we are all different, and have unique nutritional needs, I believe most of us will agree that when we eat better, we feel better. Yes?  

Many of us are making smarter and more informed decisions before filling our grocery carts, however the task of transitioning into healthier eating can be a daunting one.  Let’s face it, with all the marketing gimmicks telling us that processed food is nutritious, not to mention the questionable food sources we have to be aware of these days, eating healthy can be challenging.  I think the first step is to shop wisely and set ourselves up for success.   If there’s little in the way of healthy food in the pantry and kitchen, how can we expect to stay on track?

One of my favorite things to do is a kitchen “make-over.”  This is where I go to clients homes and help them organize their kitchen, as well as provide tips and strategies for success with their health targets.  We also go to the supermarket together to source out the best options available.  We read labels, ask questions (butcher, baker and produce manager), and find alternatives that fall under the guidelines of my recommendations. Did I mention how much I love my job! 

For some, however, a gradual approach toward making healthier choices might seem more appealing.  By using up what’s in the fridge and pantry first, and then swapping it out for a healthier option on grocery day, the shelves will eventually be restocked with more nutritious foods.  Let’s take processed cereal for example.  When the box is just about empty, look for a whole food alternative such as oatmeal, millet, or quinoa.  If such a drastic step is not in the cards just yet, instead choose a “no-sugar added” cereal with a high fiber content.  The same goes for sweetened fruit juice.  Replace it with an unsweetened variety, or opt for freshly squeezed juice or flavored water (with sliced cucumbers, lemon or fresh mint). It's easy!

I have created a pantry make-over chart to print out and keep as a handy reference.  Over time, these new, healthier foods will become a regular part of your diet.  By swapping out the not-so-ideal foods with healthier foods, you’ll slowly but surely “remodel” your kitchen!  

This is Janice, inspiring change

SWAP THIS White flour and white bread Boxed cereal (with added sugars) White rice Sugar sweetened jam Pop, soft drinks, sweetened beverages Sugar sweetened fruit juices Margarine Cooking oils, store-bought salad dres (4).png