How to Stock a Healthy Pantry---I bet tip #5 is one you've never thought of before!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

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SO-- we all struggle with keeping our pantries organized, clean, and empty of the junk that stays "good" forever.... but can you really everrrrr say that something with a shelf life of a year is "good"???? That's a discussion for another day, I suppose ;)

I'm no exception to this struggle! It has taken me a long time to be able to keep an **almost always mostly healthy** pantry in our home.

We tend to stuff things in the pantry that aren't good for us, and then we close the door or we put them in a jar and we think that no one will ever know... well guess what. WE KNOW!

When you talk about wanting to get in better shape, but can't seem to drop any pounds... is it mayyyybe because there are some cookies hiding in the pantry that you sneak at night? Or are there mayyyyybe some salty chips in there that you just can't help but MOW on before dinner when you're starved??

You can hide the bad food, but you can't hide the repercussions of that food on your waistline or face.

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Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't keep ANY sweet treats or splurge foods in your home... but you should be strategic about WHERE you have them so that you always are encouraged to make healthy choices first :)

The healthiest pantry is most often the most sparse pantry because you want most of your food to be fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and other items that need to be refrigerated.  The pantry should be a storage place for the "extras" and the few items that you don't need to store in the fridge. 

Here are my top tips for keeping a healthy, balanced pantry!

1. Keep healthy options at eye level- By positioning the foods that you want yourself to choose when you're hungry at the easy access points in your pantry, you have dramatically increased your likelihood of success. 

Some staple items at immediate eye level in my pantry are: nuts, seeds, protein bars, peanut butter, protein pasta, and then if we happen to have granola or cereal (aim for protein enriched options with at least 10 g. protein for these products) they go here as well!

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2. Transfer items that you want to eat into glass containers or leave them out in the open- By having our nuts and seeds in easily identifiable containers, we increase our likelihood of choosing them. Brain thinks "I'm hungry" and the mind says "eat what I see"... ideally you are planning a little bit better than that, but in those weak moments it's best to have heathy options visible! Protein bars are also an easy source of mostly good nutrition... are they the best, no. BUT they are wayyyy better than some of the JUNK that we could have in here!

3. Keep baking supplies, and extra items out of sight- It's okay to have the supplies to make some tasty treats on hand, but make sure that they aren't looking at you all the time! If a neighbor needs to borrow some chocolate chips, sure, you've got some to spare! BUT they're not staring at your begging to be baked into delicious cookies all the time!
Hide the breadcrumbs in the back so that 90% of the time you're making chicken you've got the healthy versions, but it's okay to keep them stocked for the occasional night when you want something a little different.
By keeping these items hidden you automatically remove the initial temptation and land on a healthier option!

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...behind the scenes are prrrobably some marshmallows, an emergency box of cake mix, some chocolate chips... I imagine some popcorn and even some straight up candy... but I'm not sure because I don't ever go down that far! We grab our protein powders at various times of the day and movvvveeee on leaving whatever is hiding back there alone until some day when we need it for a specific purpose.

4. Hide your high carb options on the top shelf! Let's be honest. Pita chips are UHHHHH-MAZING... Tortilla chips are a TRUE DELIGHT... especially in Southern California. However, you don't need bread every time you have hummus (let's dip some veggies in that yummy stuff!) and you don't need to eat chips and guac every night... spread that avocado on some Carne Asada and get on with it!
Again, by keeping these items out of reach it makes you think twice about grabbing them out. Do you really need those chips and salsa or would an apple and peanut butter be a better option?? And since the PB is right in front of you, I bet you can guess which one you're more likely to choose!

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The next tip is a bit of a strange one... but just stay with me for a minute...

5. Imagine someone you admire coming to your house.... RIGHT NOW- Take a minute to think about someone who you really look up to. 
Maybe this is a colleague whose healthy lifestyle has inspired you to be more proactive with your own health. 
Maybe it's a good friend who has recently lost 10 pounds by implementing clean eating rules and is you number one encourager toward improving your habits.
Maybe there is a guy that you have a major crush on who you have seen heading to the gym after work.
Maybe it's a celebrity who you follow on Instagram and have a total #girlcrush on.

Get a good image in your mind. 
Now, imagine that this person knocked on your door right now, wanted to come in and hang out for a bit, and also mentioned that they missed their afternoon snack and could they grab something from your pantry.....

How does that make you feel???
Seriously, picture it. If this person walked into your kitchen RIGHT NOW, would you feel proud of the options that are front and center for them? Would it be easy for you to offer them a healthy snack from the contents of your pantry or does the mere thought of this make your heart rate spike and cause you to get a little clammy??

Well, guess what:
You deserve to have a home, a pantry, and healthy lifestyle habits that you are proud of not only in the face of others... but for yourself!

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6. (which prrrrrobably should have been #1) STOP BUYING CRAP THAT YOU SHOULDN'T BE EATING!!! Quit buying the cookies, nasty chips, sugary snacks, and all the rest of it. If you are going to take getting healthy seriously then your grocery list must reflect that. Quit sabotaging yourself! You're an adult. Put on your big girl pants and start acting like you care about yourself. You are number one. You've gotta care for number one before you can care for anyone else, and slamming 1/2 a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies on your way out the door isn't going to cut it. So stop it. 

Making healthy choices doesn't have to be difficult... you just have to make the choice to set yourself up for success!

You can do it! 
I have faith in you!
Now, go organize that pantry!


Do you need some guidance with how to more effectively supply and organize your own pantry??

Shoot me an email at or click the link at the top of the page to sign up to have me as your *free* coach! 


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