Pantry Makeover!

IMG_0067The change in season is the perfect time to reset your kitchen. You in? Let’s do this!

First, we’re going to clean out all of the crappy, unhealthy stuff. Take a breath, you’ll be fine. I’ll be offering up suggestions on how to restock your kitchen in a bit.

In the pantry and fridge, toss:

  1. Anything with a ton of sugar. Remember we should be eating 20 grams of sugar a day AT THE MOST. You’ll most likely find cereals, crackers, cookies and other sweets and even sauces (like tomato or bbq sauce) have more sugar than you really want. Surprisingly, many nut butters have added sugar as well.
    Instead of cereal, consider a bowl of good old oatmeal. 
  2. Anything with artificial sweeteners. Did you know that there have been no formal studies showing eating/drinking artificial sweeteners help you lose weight? And, some of those chemicals have been thought to trigger digestive issues, headaches, and worse. Not worth it, ditch it.
    f you really crave a sweetener, try maple syrup or raw honey. 
  3. Anything expired. This is probably obvious, but while you’re cleaning out the kitchen, toss old expired stuff.
  4. Anything made with white flour and not whole grains. Think breads and bread products and pasta.
    Go with whole grain and sprouted grain bread, and whole grain pasta or brown rice pasta. 
  5. Margarine and other products with more than 5 ingredients. Margarine has a lot of weird chemical ingredients that are hard to digest. And, it doesn’t really fill you up. Coconut oil or organic grass fed butter are much better choices than margarine. 
  6. Processed meats and cheese. These contain gross chemicals and preservatives, and way more sodium than you need or want.
    Purchase organic, high quality meats and organic dairy. 
  7. Flavored yogurt. Ok, so you should have already tossed these if you read the amount of sugar they contain. But, most people I talk with think of yogurt as a health food. Not so. They usually contain a crazy high amount of sugar.
    Plain yogurt with fresh fruit and raw honey is just as sweet and way healthier. 
  8. Soda, diet soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled tea. We all know that soda has a ton of sugar and other gross chemicals, right? Sports drinks don’t get a pass here. Oh yeah, and those bottled juices? They are also laden with sugar and not really natural since they are from concentrate.
    Better choices are water, water infused with fresh fruit, and coconut water if you work out a lot.

Ok, now it’s time to restock. Let the fun begin!

Add to your fridge & pantry:

  1. Fresh fruits and veggies! The more the better! Choose seasonal and organic when you can.
  2. Essential fridge items: nut milks, whole grain breads and wraps, tofu and tempeh, miso. If you do not eat plant-based: organic grass-fed meats, organic yogurts and cheeses.
  3. Whole grains, whole grain flours, whole-grain pastas…
  4. Beans! There are over 800 varieties, but I like to stock black beans, lentils, and garbanzo. Get both dry and canned.
  5. Canned and jarred vegetables: capers, artichokes, olives, tomatoes, pumpkin puree
  6. Get lots of condiments to flavor your meals: all vinegars, hot sauces, nut & seed butters, Tamari sauce, quality jarred salsas, high-quality olive and coconut oil.
  7. Go crazy on seasonings! Sea salt, spice mixes, dried herbs and spices, nutritional yeast, liquid sweeteners (raw honey, maple syrup)
  8. Gettin’ snackie with dried fruits, nuts & seeds, whole-grain crackers, granola, hummus

Make Your Own: Almond Nut Milk
IMG_1735One of my favorite staples to go DIY with is nut milks. Here is a simple and easy recipe to make your own almond milk. Once you start making your own, you will never buy store-bought again – it is that much better, and cheaper!

This makes about 1 quart of almond milk, which will keep in your fridge for about 5 days.

You can use this basic recipe with other nuts too, like pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts and hazelnuts.

Gather:
1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups of filtered water
1 nut milk bag

Make:

Put the almonds into a large bowl, then cover with water by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight.

Drain the almonds, add to blender with 4 cups filtered water. Blend until milky.

Put a large bowl in your sink. Pour the milk until the nut bag to filter out the almond meal. Done!

Optional: Return the milk to the blender and add a pinch of vanilla powder and 2 pitted dates and blend. This makes a sweeter version of almond milk.

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