I re-organized my pantry, spice rack and bar today. I finally decided it was time. I'll be starting college in a week and figured I better to this now because when school starts I may not have a lot of free time. So I took a day off from work for what was supposed to be a relaxing day but turned more into a project day.
While I was in the process of re-organizing my kitchen I thought I would share with you my favorite foods, favorite snacks, and foods that shouldn't be in my pantry but are.
This was the before. A mess of stuff.
After. Now I can see what I actually have in there.
I am obsessed with this cereal! I try to always have 2 boxes in my house just in case. In case of what you might ask? In case of anything!!! There are no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. It's low fat, organic, flavored with organic peanut butter and has no high fructose corn syrup. If you like Peanut Butter Crunch, then you'll appreciate this healthier take on it. The texture is a bit different, but in a good way. Peanut Butter Crunch would always leave cuts on the roof of the inside of my mouth because of the texture. This one doesn't do that. You can find this cereal and HEB.
I always have almonds on hand. I like to sprinkle them in my oatmeal, and on my waffles. Enjoy them on their own or sprinkled in a salad.
FUN FACT: Did you know that the almond is actually not a true nut? Instead this tasty "nut" is actually a drupe, a fruit in which an outer fleshly part, or skin, surrounds a pit that contains a seed (the part you eat). -The Worlds Best Power Foods
This is one of those foods that should NOT be in my pantry. But it is (was). Back before I started eating a clean diet, I thought this was a "healthy" option. It was brought to my attention that there were lots of additives in these easy instant flavored oatmeal's. I first brought these thinking this was a quick healthy option for a good hot breakfast. But the regular canister of oats is too. And you know what, the Quaker oats in the canister is just oats, that's it! With the above whole grain rolled oats, you'll also get sugar, dehydrated apples that are treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention, salt, cinnamon, calcium carbonate, natural flavors, oat flour, citric acid (THIS IS NOT VITAMIN C), guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, niacinamide, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid. That's a long ingredient list. This just went into the trash. Why not try the below option?
This is my favorite kind of oatmeal. It's a great weekend breakfast. It does take some time to cook but it's worth it! And the best part is that the only ingredient in this version is: 100% Whole Grain Irish Oats! For a quick, easy and fast option, go for the Quaker Oats in the canister. I keep a canister at work for my breakfast in the mornings on workdays. Just pour some in a bowl and add water and microwave for about 2 minutes. It's just as easy as the microwave packets above.
I love my whey protein!!!!! I'd be lost without it. I recently weened myself off adding sugar in my daily bowl of oatmeal by adding vanilla whey protein powder. It gives it flavor plus protein and with the fresh berries I add to my oatmeal I don't miss the sugar at all.
Quick brown rice. It's a staple in my pantry. No need to make the white rice, this is better for you and just as easy and quick to make.
I recently started using this for my daily cup of coffee!
This should NOT be in my pantry. But it is and it's staying!!! LOL! I like to keep these around because sometimes I get a sweet tooth and I like having something a little sweet to munch on without having to leave my house, because if I do that, I'll come back with ice cream and candy, much worse then a couple of crackers I think.
Here you see the leftovers of my weekend nights where I felt "4th meal" was in order. Long gone are those days and so are these little packets of evidence. This year I said bye-bye to fast food, and I don't miss it one bit!
This should NOT be in my pantry! There's a lot more then potatoes in this box. This has trans-fat in it even though it doesn't say that on the box. Unfortunately there is an FDA loop hole. If the amount of trans fat in a product is less than half a gram per serving, manufacturers can round it down to 0. This product also contains BHA, a controversial additive that is used to extend shelf life. The FDA approves it, despite the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services considers BHA to be "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." This will go in the trash I think.
I absolutely love almond butter. I love it more than peanut butter! And I thought that just wasn't possible. I like to slice up an apple and spread a little almond butter or peanut butter on top for a healthy snack. If you haven't tried almond butter, please give it a try. It's delicious!
Just some of my favorite cooking oils.
I like to have canned salmon on hand for making Salmon Cakes to snack on throughout the week.
There is nothing like fresh popped popcorn, and I don't mean microwave popcorn. Fresh popcorn tastes so much better. Try this recipe for an idea.
EMERGENCY FOOD ONLY!!! Definitely not on the clean list of foods. But I like to have these in the pantry for stomach aches and other emergency type things. Say a hurricane in the Gulf or something.
So many choices!
I like to stock up on salsas. They are low in calories, low in fat and great on chicken, eggs, in soups, anything you can imagine. These 2 are my favorites. Both available at HEB.
I love sardines! I like to eat them right after a weight training workout to get the protein into my muscles quickly!!! Choose the ones in water to cut down on sodium.
Ok this definitely should NOT be in my pantry but my husband makes an awesome smore and they help me when I crave something sweet. They are small and kill the craving. We use nutella instead of chocolate.
These should NOT be in my pantry. They are loaded with sodium and my husband and I make these sauces by hand now and are far more tasty. And I have no idea where the Kool-Aid came from. But it's gone now.
This is my favorite brand of stock. Not homemade but when your short on time these are great.
I love this stuff. I use it to make hummus. I like to make a batch for snacks throughout the week. You can dip pita bread, pita chips or my favorites, cucumbers and red bell peppers.
Love my tuna!!!
Wheat Germ. I like to add a little to my oatmeal but you can also add it to stews, chili, casseroles, gravies, vegetables, puddings, candies, stuffing's, pancakes, waffles or pies.
I love these pancakes! That's all.
I like to keep these little bottles of wine in the pantry for cooking. They are small and just the right size.
This was my spice rack before. I couldn't find anything.
Now I know what I have!
On rare occasion I take a trip to my bar. But it's been awhile so it was in need of some sprucing up.
Ok it's a little better, but I think I need a bigger bar!
Well I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my kitchen. I have made a lot of food changes in the way I eat the last 3 years. And it's been rather easy!!! This year my goal was to cut out all fast food. Well it's August and I am going strong. I don't even want fast food and I think it's pretty disgusting stuff now. Ok I do love some Chick-Fil-a but that's it! That's the only fast food I will eat. And even that's few and far between because whenever I get a craving it's always on Sunday and they are closed. I guess that's good.
In 2010 I said no more TV dinners! They don't taste good and they never gave me enough. And the "healthy" frozen meals were the worse. The portions are tiny and those wouldn't give me all the nutrients I would need to live and active lifestyle anyway so those were easy to drop I have to say. The biggest change in that was being prepared to make healthy foods for left overs for lunch. Now I always get compliments from my co-workers on how good my food looks and smells. No one says that about the frozen meals.
In 2009 I said no to artificial sweeteners. Now I was hooked on iced tea with Sweet-n-Low. That was probably the hardest but even that wasn't that hard. I got used to drinking water with lemon or unsweetened iced tea and before I knew it I didn't even want that fake sweetener.
Through these small goals I have been able to tweak my eating without feeling deprived. When I set out to eat a clean diet I thought this was going to be impossible. But taking small steps is what works for me. I love food and just the thought of saying no to food was just something I couldn't get through my head. But allowing a cheat meal and something sweet once a week really helps me stay focused on my eating and working out. Once you get into the habit it's not so hard.
Thanks for reading!!!