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Want to eat healthier? Clean out your pantry

Healthy eating and any healthier lifestyle choice, is not simply about setting yourself goals; it's about crafting a long-term strategy. That's why, one of the first things you should do is to clean out the pantry. Here are some tips:

Clean out the junk: Unless you change what's in your cupboards, chances are you'll find temptation catching up with you. So take the time to do a thorough spring cleaning of your pantry. Read food labels, and systematically clean out items that you know are your downfall, and get rid of products that are overly high in sodium, sugar or artificial colorings and preservatives. Soda, ketchup, cookies and high-sugar cereals are all likely culprits for a purge — or at least some serious reflection over how much and how often your family enjoys them. That's not to say you can't leave a few treats — but be honest with yourself, and only allow those treats that you know you can maintain control over.

Restock with healthier foods: Whole grains, beans and other high-fiber foods, for example, are central to a healthy diet — and they are often easy go-to cupboard staples when the fridge is bare. If you know you like to snack, you can also explore healthier snack foods like nuts, whole-grain crackers and vegetable chips.

Reorganize and prioritize: If cooking becomes too much of a hassle, we are that much more likely to order a pizza. So alongside buying healthy ingredients, make sure you also spend time to organize your cupboards so the good stuff is easy to get to.

Start a recipe box: It means little to stock your kitchen with healthy, whole foods if you don't have ideas on how to use them. Keep a box full of recipe cards, clippings and food ideas in the kitchen drawer for when a food rut hits.

Organize equipment too: While you are organizing your pantry, take a moment to put your equipment in order: keep small appliances within easy reach, sharpen your knives and replace any broken items while you are at it.

Want to eat healthier? Clean out your pantry 02/19/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 6:32pm]

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