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Spring Clean Your Pantry

food Mar 18, 2024

Make room for all of the freshness spring brings. 

Spring is in the air! Flowers are blooming, and birds are chirping.

Okay, this may not be true in Alaska, but that doesn't mean you can’t start spring cleaning!

You may think spring cleaning is just for your closets. Time to change out your winter clothes for shorts and tank tops.

It's time to clear out the kitchen closets.

Don't forget about the closet in your kitchen, otherwise known as the pantry. The pantry is one of the most overlooked areas of the house for spring cleaning.

Just like you wear different clothes in the spring and summer, you'll also eat different foods. Sure, there are some staples that you eat year-round, but as the sun warms you up, Mother Nature provides you with different food to eat.

During the cold winter months, you probably stock warm, comfort foods that can last a long time in your pantry.

Spring brings light, fresh meals that are easy to make. Now's the time to stock your space with light, healthy foods! 

From heavy and hearty to light and fresh. 

Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself while spring cleaning your pantry.

  1. What Foods Should I Keep?
    Keep whole foods and foods with minimal ingredients. Those with less than 5 ingredients on the label, low in sodium, low in added sugars, foods that you enjoy, and foods that have good nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and whole grains are all keepers that you can incorporate into your spring recipes.
  2.  Why Should I Keep These Foods?
    Asking "why" takes you to a new level of self-awareness. Ask yourself if these foods will serve, nourish, replenish, heal, and/or fuel your body. Or are you keeping them because you crave them? If a food item checks off the boxes, has 5 or fewer ingredients and is something you enjoy, it's a keeper. 
  3. What Can I Replace These Foods With?
    Keeping some of your favorite "guilty pleasures" in the pantry isn't necessarily a bad thing. Limiting yourself to a treat or two is fine. Maybe take a closer look at your treats. With all the options out there these days, it's pretty easy to find a healthier version of old favorites. Sometimes we're reluctant to upgrade because of the price differential for healthier options. I totally get that. But consider this: cheap and easy foods are generally made with cheap, processed ingredients that do not do your body any favors. Can you replace some processed treats with real-food options? Eating healthy now will save you unnecessary time, money, and discomfort later.
  4. Where Can I Take My Unused Food?
    You don't have to throw your unwanted items in the trash. And you shouldn't. Everyone's health journey is different and requires different things. Some people’s main concern is getting something, anything to eat at this point in their lives. Take your unused food items to a local shelter or food bank to help others in need as well as help yourself. 

Taking the time to clean out your pantry helps keep your home a happy healthy place. I know people who clean out the pantry every year at this time. I've also helped clients clear out the pantry for the first time, uncovering items that were years past their expiration date. 

The benefits of cleaning out your pantry. 

There really is no bad time to clean out your pantry. Spring is a time of awakening and refreshing for all of us, making now a great time to purge the old and make way for the new. Here are some big benefits that you'll love. 

  • You're making eating healthy easy. We tend to get into habits with our pantries and our kitchens in general. Now is a great time to reevaluate how things are set up. Move healthier items to eye level within easy reach, making healthy an easy choice.
  • Take control of your health. Actively removing unhealthy items, instead of shoving them to the back of the pantry and replacing them with healthy options, gives you a feeling of control that translates into all aspects of your health. 

Celebrate the new, healthy space you've created!

Take before and after pics of your pantry. Post them on your social media, or just keep them handy on your phone. When you've gotten used to seeing a mess in your pantry for years, you may not even realize the chaos you've created for yourself. Revel in the success of your new, healthy, organized space!

If you need help stocking your newly sparkling pantry with fresh and healthy items, download my free Plant-Based Staples Checklist.



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