Detoxing your pantry is one of the most important things to do when trying to eat healthy, because getting rid of prepackaged, overly processed, sugary, fat-overloaded and tempting foods is one of the only tried and true ways to stick to a diet. And anyhow, purging your pantry can be a cathartic experience! It only takes an hour to completely empty, clean and reorganize your pantry and get back on track to a healthy lifestyle!
Things you'll need: A trashcan, a box or bag for food you can potentially donate, a pen and paper for jotting down foods you need to buy or replace, a small hand vacuum, Clorox wipes or a damp cloth.
Step 1: Take everything out of your pantry and organize it into four sections: items you use every day, items you use less frequently, unopened items that can be donated, and expired or suspicious items to be trashed. Take note of what you're throwing away if you need to replace it, and donate any unopened foods that you're not going to eat.
Step 2: Now that the shelves in your pantry are clear, clean them! Think about it: when's the last time you took everything out and completely cleaned your pantry? It's dark and overcrowded, and probably has more than a few forgotten items lingering in the back corners. Take your handheld vacuum and go to town on crumbs and dust! Then wipe it down with Clorox wipes or a damp cloth. If you want to buy any extra containers for organization, now is the time.
Step 3: Restock the pantry — smartly. Organization is key when it comes to restocking. For example, put the baking items in one section, breakfast items in another. Keep a healthy snack zone where your kids can easily reach it, and keep all the heavy stuff, like jugs of olive oil, on the bottom shelf. Keep your everyday items at eye level so they're easy to access! And for those tough to reach items, it might not be a bad idea to keep a step stool around.
>> Read more: Clean Eating 101: Change Your Body the Healthy Way
When you're restocking, keep in mind to avoid sugary and fatty foods. A good tip to follow when grocery shopping is when buying an item, read the ingredient list. It should be very short, and you should be able to pronounce all the ingredients. That way, you come home with wholesome, healthy foods for you and your family. If you don't have bad foods in your house, you won't be tempted to eat them! It's a surefire way to eat healthy.
Purging your pantry? When you're finished, post a photo on Instagram or Twitter and use the hashtag #PurgeYourPantry. Don't forget to tag us!