Welcome back to my Clean Living series. This is the third week of my new series about my husband and my transformation from eating processed foods to eating as healthy and unprocessed foods as we can.
Once we decided to start clean living a couple months back, I thought it was high time to clean out the pantry and refrigerator. I knew that I would be tempted to grab a bag of chips or snack on something unhealthy if I left it in my frig or on the shelf. It was time to purge and man o man did I need to clear out the mess. I has two bags - a bag for the garbage can and a bag for donations that were unopened and not expired.
About half of our food was expired (!!!!) - I hadn't realized how much money I had been wasting on foods that would go bad before we ever got to it. This seriously made me a little POed. It felt like I had just thrown money right into the trash. This for me was a real eye opener on how wasteful I had been and how careful and smart I planned to be from here on out. Once I was done with the pantry, I had freed up 3 of our 4 shelves. Luckily, I had already gotten a few good items, so it wasn't completely bare, but pretty close to it.
Next, I headed to the frig - and this disgusted me even more. My frig was packed with processed foods that were years old AND still looked great. What do I mean by great? I looked at a bag of opened KRAFT cheese I had that was 9 months old and it smelled and tasted the exact same as a new bag of KRAFT cheese I opened that week. Nothing like chemically processed foods to get your tummy churning. Cheese shouldn't last that long unless it is genetically altered and it made me a little frustrated that we are sold such warped foods. My mind went immediately to that McDonald's hamburger and fries that someone kept for 6 years that hadn't changed a bit - no mold, etc. My cheese hadn't turned and that was a terrible sign to me. I got rid of dressings, BBQ, cheeses, flour wraps, packaged lunch meats, and basically ever condiment we owned. I felt very liberated and excited to get rid of the crap and replace it with some "clean items".
My new favorite cookbook, The Fresh 20 by Melissa Lanz suggested some basic nonperishable items to keep in your pantry, so I stocked up on these - and truly, she suggested some fabulous items. I have used every one of these since clean eating and love them (list below)! They are wonderful not only because they can be used in meals, but some actually have double functions in the clean living lifestyle, like vinegar being used in foods, homemade shampoo and helpful in removeinb bacteria in laundry.
If you are looking to start clean eating, raid your pantry and see what you can get rid of. Look at labels and see what is in them - if you don't recognize the ingredients on the label, more than likely its time to say bye bye to them.
My suggestion on restocking your pantry with clean items - keep it simple. Have items that you know you will use and don't be like me when I used to buy so much that eventually majority of it goes to waste.
Here are some kitchen essentials to stock in your pantry. Some of these items can be bought in bulk off Amazon - I highly suggest doing this because some oils and spices can be very expensive from your local grocer.
Chicken or Vegetable Broth (Low sodium and GMO free)
Herbs de Provence
100% Pure Maple Syrup
Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
Black Pepper (avoid ground pepper)
Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole Wheat Flour
Tomato Paste (with no added salt and organic)
Good luck cleaning out your pantry!
Whats the craziest thing you got rid of in your pantry?