Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pantry Makeover

 I decided to makeover my pantry to be more organized and more healthy.  My thinking is that if I have a beautiful, organized pantry full of healthy, organic, accessible foods, it will help me to eat better and cook more often.  The baskets on the bottom hold my couponing bargains.
 I did lock n locks for my dry foods like pastas, flours, oats, sugar, etc.  The smaller ones hold all my baking supplies like brown sugar, raisins, etc.  I don't bake too often so I didn't need a ton of space for that stuff.  Canned foods are arranged on a two-tiered shelf.
 I wanted to especially organize the snacks and little odds and ends that always seem to get tossed everywhere and usually end up spilling and making a mess.  I organized them into categories like popcorn,  popcorn oil and salty snacks in one, rice cakes, peanut butter and honey in another.  (I eat that pretty much every day for a snack)  I came up with baskets stacked on wire shelves that I found at BB&B.  The baskets are from Target.  I got X-large mason jars to put all of my dried beans, rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, etc, in.  I spray painted the rings and flats red to match the baskets and lock n locks.
For cake mixes, jello, and various other stuff I found white wire baskets that keep things tidy while still making it easy to see what I have.  I also put a few more wire shelves to create more space for tucking things away.

I realized about halfway through that I should have taken some before pics.  Trust me when I tell you that my pantry is by far more organized and much nicer to step into than it was before!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five Foods You Should Avoid

(I just realized that I posted these tips on my blog a couple of years ago, but it never hurts to have a refresher course, right?!) So here, once again, are the foods we should avoid:

The biggest culprit is soft drinks. It is not good for you for the simple reason that it causes a spike in your blood sugar levels, which eventually leads to a drop in blood sugar levels, a major cause of overeating. The sugar highs and lows also cause your body to store excess insulin, which leads to weight gain and possibly diabetes and heart disease.

Refined sugar is nothing more than empty calories that make you crave more and more sugary foods. You never feel satisfied after eating sugar because there is no nutrient value whatsoever in sugar.

"Enriched" means that all of the important vitamins and minerals have been removed, and then a few added back in to call it enriched. There is little to no nutrient value in this, so choose breads and pastas that say "whole grain" instead of "enriched white".

Fatty meats and deep fried foods are high in these bad fats, so eat them sparingly or not at all.

Also called hydrogenated fats. These are fats that have had hydrogen added to them to keep them solid at room temperature. Can be found in margarine, butter, and many processed foods, although they are becoming less common as more and more consumers are demanding they be taken out of foods.


Plan your menu for the week before you go to the store, make a list of what you will need and take it with you to the store.

Avoid the center aisles of the grocery store! The center aisles contain all of the packaged, processed and sugary foods that are bad for you. Shop the perimeter where the fresh fruits, veggies, and recently alive foods are found.

Remember, you are what you eat -- so eat things that were recently alive and you will feel alive when you eat them!

Eat a variety of fresh foods in all colors, flavors and textures.

Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. When your body lacks rest, it craves carbs and sugar to give it energy. This leads to making bad food choices.

Experiment with food. Try new things. I recently learned that I like kale, a vegetable that I had never tried before, and that I love asparagus, a food I thought I hated! So be willing to let go of preconceptions and old habits and try something different!! It's fun!