Today I am launching a two-part series to help advise readers about the best ways to shop and to stock your pantry. Healthy eating and cooking is easy as long as you take the time to set yourself up for success. Small, simple, sustainable modifications are the key to long term change. These tips should serve as a guide to help keep your pantry consciously clean, your shopping in check, and your body and mind healthy. Here is part I radish recs: shopping DO list.
Buy Seasonal and Shop Local
Shop by the season and focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit your local farmers' market or participate in a CSA to shop local and support small farms. To help determine whether or not to purchase organic, use the EWG dirty dozen list which evaluates produce that is the most or least laden with pesticide residue. If you are unable to purchase fresh, opt for frozen fruits or vegetables without salt or additives. Most frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak and frozen for freshness. (Avoid frozen meals and keep it simple with single ingredient items)
READ YOUR LABELS
Don't get lazy and skip the fine print. Just because it says "organic" or "all natural" on the package does not guarantee a clean and a healthy item. I like the rule, if you cannot pronounce it or are unsure of what it is, then you should not put it into your body.
eat your probiotics
Probiotics are linked to a healthy gut and immune system. Purchase or make unsweetened kefir, plain yogurt, kombucha, and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi.
things to avoid
Try and avoid items with long lists of ingredients and refined products such as refined oils and white flour. Select foods in their most whole form the less processed and more natural the better. Examples included fresh fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised eggs, hormone-free humanely raised animal protein, wild fish, dried beans, nuts, seeds, nut butter, uncooked grains, and un-radiated additive-free spices. If you purchase canned tomatoes or beans, make sure that they are in a BPA-free can with minimal to no added sodium.
Stay clear of refined sugar. Sugar can be masked under an arrangement of names. Try and avoid products that contain high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, fruit syrup, glucose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, dextrose, sorbitol, corn syrup, fructose, corn sugar, barley malt, caramel, tapioca syrup, and carob syrup. Opt for natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, maple sugar, and coconut sugar.
Eliminate plastic storage containers, plastic bags, and plastic wrap which may contain BPA. BPA is a chemical linked to endocrine disruptions which may cause hormones to act differently. Instead, store your dried and prepared foods in glass or ceramic containers. I like to repurpose peanut butter jars for dried pantry items. Other options include mason jars, weck jars, or these glass storage containers available in various sizes. Glass containers and jars also help you visually organize your pantry and make your healthy items more appealing.
check back tomorrow for part II of my pantry and shopping guide.