What’s in your Cupboard?
May 25, 2011
Spring is here and for many people that means CLEANING!! Cleaning out your closets, clearing away the cobwebs in your sills and getting ready for the warm summer ahead of us.
Keeping your house in order is one thing, but what about your refrigerator and your cupboards? When was the last time you ‘cleaned house’ in your pantry? If you are like most people, you have spices and mixes from the 1990’s in your house (even if you have moved since then!). Why do we hold on to these things? Why do we feel the need to keep things that we know are not good for us or healthy? How can we break the cycle of keeping things that do not fit in our lifestyle anymore? I’d like to challenge you this week to take inventory of your refrigerator, cupboards and pantry. Let’s start with your refrigerator.
Take a look at all of your items and check the dates of opened and unopened items. If they are past due ~ CLEAN them out, THROW them away and RECYCLE the containers. :) Now, go back through and read all of the labels on the remaining food items. Once you have read the labels thoroughly, throw out anything that has the following items listed in the ingredient list:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Red, Blue, Green Dye # (any colors of the rainbow ~ NO!)
While this is just the beginning, if you have anything left in your refrigerator after this exercise ~ CONGRATULATIONS! You have clearly made some good choices when shopping. Now it is time to organize your remaining space in your refrigerator. Stock all of your fruits and vegetables up front and easily accessible. Take the time to cut, slice and prepare whatever you are able to ahead of time so that these foods are what you see first when you reach for a snack mid-day snack.
Now that you have re-organized and cleaned your refrigerator, lets start on your cupboards and pantry. Go through the same exercise of throwing away any OUTDATED foods. Seriously, if you haven’t eaten them by the expiration date, you aren’t going to eat them now. If a local food pantry will take these items, consider donating them, but check with them first to find out what they will take.
Now that you have eliminated the old, outdated foods, go back through and read the labels carefully on all of the remaining items. Throw out all the foods that have any of the above-mentioned ingredients, and remember to RECYCLE. There! Don’t you feel better? Now you have a clear, clean space to fill with healthy choices. Keep in mind, however, that the best choices are those that are whole food and plant-based. What that means is that the foods that you want to focus on for your health are those that come from the ground and are a source of excellent nutrition. Fortunately for you, it is just in time for you to plant your own garden, and visit your local farmer’s market for the freshest, most local foods in your area.