Once upon a time my pantry was full of bright labels, cans that claimed to be "Mmm, mmm, good" and boxes that claimed that if I added just 2 ingredients I would have a dinner, a cake or some other miraculous result.
Slowly, very slowly, that began to change. The more I learned about food and nutrition, the more I was able to make one positive change at a time. I didn't do it all at once. For one thing, I am a creature of habit and change comes slowly for me (just being honest, haha!) but going sow was best because changing everything at once would be overwhelming. I went at my pace which is what I recommend each of us should do: make change at a pace that works for us. When we do this, we are so much more likely to stick with it.
As I was making changes, it looked something like this:
When my old peanut butter ran out, I decided whether or not to switch brands, make my own or leave it out of my pantry from then on. I made that kind of decision when I finished the pasta, or the cooking oil I was using, everything. And bit by bit I built a pantry that fit my changing understanding of what healthy looked like.
I am the first to admit that I am still a work in progress but I have figured out some key pieces to healthy living. One essential piece to have in place is a well-stocked pantry that supports healthy living.
I am going to share with you the 3 things that my healthy pantry always has in it.
1. Glass jars
Instead of stocking up on over-processed and chemicalized foods like boxed pastas, flavored rice and artificially colored kiddie snacks that fill the millions of square feet of supermarkets in every neighborhood, I now stock up on healthier choices at the local health food store. I can buy grains, raw nuts, seeds and dried fruits in bulk which saves me money but also puts healthier choices within reach. After buying these minimally processed foods, I simply transfer them to basic glass jars for storage.
Using glass jars have multiple benefits:
- My top reason for using glass is that it is just cleaner. Because it is non-porous, food and germs can't get absorbed into glass jars like it can in plastic containers. Also, toxins don't pass to the food as they can when storing in plastic.
- Glass is eco-friendly.
- Glass containers are easy to use and clean.
- Let's not forget that a pantry full of glass jars is just a whole lot prettier and is easy to organize.
2. Coconut oil
Once I learned the basic benefits of coconut oil there was no turning back for me. Coconut oil is a constant staple in my pantry. Coconut oil is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Coconut oil reduces inflammation, improves brain function, boosts the immune system and the body's ability to fight cancer, supports healthy digestion, is a great source of energy and the list goes on!
Coconut oil can be used for:
- on the skin
- in hair
- as a carrier oil for essential oils
- and more!
If you haven't come over to the coconut side....maybe it is time you did! Do a little research of your own and if you decide it is time to introduce coconut oil to your home, I am including one of my favorites at the end of this post.
3. Back ups
I am a mom. I am busy. A day can go from calm and easy to chaotic and hectic at the drop of a hat.
Literally, the wrong hat or wrong color cup can set off a whole downward spiral off.
Moms know that I am absolutely serious here.
So, I have some back ups on hand. A few containers of organic soups, a package or two of organic mac n'cheese, things like that. They might not get used for a while, but that is ok. The reason why they are there is so I can successfully avoid a desperate call for take out when a day falls apart.
An organic mac n'cheese is a choice I can live with a little easier than some of the take-out choices I have made in the past. It is not a question of IF I will have a bad day here and there, it is just a question of WHEN those days will come. When they do, I am ready.
FInd some of my fave products that I mention in this post: