Your pantry can be a beautiful thing :). If you could stock the most beautiful pantry, I would imagine it would filled with nutritious and satisfying food - cans and boxes and jars lined up in straight rows, with un-obstructed views! However, I’m guessing that the appearance of your shelves is the least of your pantry problems…..
Maybe at times if feels like your pantry is a metaphor for your life - yes?
It’s too full!! And it doesn’t even contain things you want! It is stuffed with the unnecessary and the unhealthy. In fact, just cracking open that pantry door starts to raise your cortisol levels... It just needs an overhaul.
By adding in more of what is healthy and healing, we inevitably crowd out what is unhealthy and unhelpful. There is no room for that box of popcorn with extra movie butter, if it has been pushed out of the way by roasted, spiced chickpeas. You can’t just reach in and grab a handful of M&Ms if they have been replaced by a cacao-dusted goji berries (omg they are so good…..).
My philosophy is, when life is so full, we need to give ourselves more not less!
Maybe there is too many unhealthy things taking up valuable real estate in your pantry, and in your life. Lets work together to add in more of the wonderful, so you can experience the life you really want. (In all my Programs, you receive a Pantry Make-over, and gain access to all my Pantry Staples! Contact me for a FREE Health History Consultation, and we can get this party started :))
Let's increase the functionality and nutrient content of your pantry, so you can:
Eat a plant-dominant diet that will increase your longevity and support your immunity
Enjoy flavor-infusing ingredients, so you can really indulge in your meals instead of just eating them
Easily make sauces and salad dressings where YOU control the ingredients
Stretch your grocery budget through the week (and month!) without compromising your health
Pack those lunches, and create those delicious breakfasts, even when you are not quite awake...
Make dinner on the fly, and in a pinch!
This only scratches the surface of possibilities!
Here are 3 ways that I make my daily experience of gazing and reaching into my pantry a beautiful and helpful one, in hope that you might experience that too! (keep reading for a few bonus tips and tricks…)
Are you anticipating the Zombie Apocalypse? Your pantry thinks you are… The key to stocking your pantry is to strike the balance between keeping ingredients on hand, and taking up too much room with things you forget to use. Here are a few canned, boxed, and bagged ingredients that will help you through the weeks of too-many-soccer-practices and everyone-has-the-flu:
Chicken stock - to easily create soups and stews that taste like you cooked them all day, but actually only took you 30 min (like my Vegetarian Chili).
FAVE: Sauces and dips - I always have jarred tomato sauce, canned eggplant caponata, and red or green salsa in my pantry. These pre-made delights bring a welcome variety to fresh ingredients! They are my quick-cooking secret weapon.
Canned beans - adding plant protein into every meal is the best way to make sure you stay full, and reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Pretty powerful. White beans make this simple Kale Salad a hearty meal!
Coconut Milk - Make sure it is full fat for maximum benefits! This adds a creaminess and an exotic taste to smoothies, soups, and sauces. My Coconut Chia pudding is an easy way to add antioxidants and decadence to breakfast.
Stock up on these goods and you will be equipped to cook a healthful meal for yourself or your family without having to send anyone to the store!
2. Have on hand: essential nutrients, hearty whole grains
Keeping these whole foods on hand in abundance will help you to crowd out processed foods and gluten, while adding comfort and heartiness to your meals.
Gluten free oats - A healthy, whole food. Our culture has adopted a negative stigma towards grains these days, but whole grain oats should not be lumped into the same category as processed flours and cereals! Keep a box on hand for a quick, easy, protein packed breakfast. Or create my Superfood Granola for a healthy treat.
Quinoa - a complete protein and whole grain that will round out any meal! Naturally gluten free, and a great addition that will fill you up and curb your after-dinner cravings.
FAVE: Ground Flax - flax seed contains essential fatty acids that your body cannot produce on its own, but needs to survive. This is the same fatty acid in fish oil! Diets rich in this nutrient leads to brain health and longevity. I sneak this into smoothies (it is rich in protein too) and everything I bake.
Hemp Seeds - these are a tiny powerhouse of omega-3s and plant protien. Add them to smoothies, your grains, and even soups! You won’t even know they are there, but they will work mightily for you behind the scenes...
3. Nature-inspired Foraging (snacks #ftw)
This is how to make sure your snack-game is on point - to help power through a busy work day, or keep kiddos in high spirits before dinner! Eating what naturally grows from the ground, rather than food that has been concocted and processed, will give us more nutrients and result in greater vitality! Stock your pantry with foods that you would find growing in nature, and store them in ways that are as easy to grab-and-go.
Nuts & seeds - Spiced, roasted, salted - these are a game changer for snacking!! I store a variety of nuts in mason jars, so when we find ourselves hungry between meals I can easily bring them out and un-cap them.
KID FAVE: Dried fruit - treat this like candy, it’s so sweet! Sugary snacks and gummies will have no more room in your pantry once these little guys come in. Great for the kiddos, great for you. If you feel your blood sugar is getting low, grab a handful of dried apricots and cashews for a perfect combo of salty and sweet.
Olives - a salty bite, fermented, full of good fats and oils - olives greatly benefit your digestion, helping your body to rid itself of toxins and boost your immunity.
KID FAVE: Plantain chips - living with kids is basically the same as living with jungle animals, without the added benefit of lounging and playing amongst low hanging fruit trees. Stretch your imagination and snack on plantain chips - if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em :).
A few more tips and tricks:
Add a “Miscellaneous Basket”.
You know what? There are always things that defy categories and cannot fit into you gorgeous containers. That’s cool. Employ a miscellaneous basket and voila! - there is order to the chaos. If you choose a basket with solid sides, out of “sight out of mind” may occur… combat this with frequent basket checks before you buy more of the thing you already have :).
Shift your shelf height.
Spaghetti is tall - taller than you expected when you bought those glass jars to put your spaghetti in. Shorter than you thought when you decided you only wanted a single layer of canned goods. The beautiful thing is - you can alter that shelf height! Do it. You will feel so powerful.
Keep snacks within reach.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could reach out your window and pick fresh fruit right off the tree in your front yard, or berries from your backyard garden? Maybe one day… but for today, make healthy snacks accessible for anyone who needs to reach them.