Happy Tuesday, everyone!
As I was washing the dishes after a super yummy dinner last night (wheat spaghetti with kale and mushroom and low-fat basil-pesto alfredo sauce, if you were wondering), I realized how much of a change my eating habits went through (for the better!) after creating a “clean eating” pantry cart a couple months back.
It’s super easy to do, and it’s super cheap. The whole thing can be done for less than $20 (not including groceries). You may be wondering why you need (yes, NEED) a clean eating cart if you have a regular pantry. And the reason is simple. It helps to eliminate unhealthy options especially in a household where everyone has different health goals.
For example, I wanted to eat healthier and try to be a vegetarian (which failed, btw), and my dad was content making little changes, but not changing his eating habits completely…and I couldn’t part with all the tasty snacks in our house either. So, when I redecorated the kitchen, I was determined to figure out a solution that would compliment both me and my dad.
Do you remember that saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”? Well, BOY is it true. If you keep your “clean food” next to your “dirty food,” your kale chips next to potato chips, you’re probably going to grab the potato chips…well, I would. So, I keep my kale chips in my clean pantry and my potato chips (for when I’m craving them and don’t mind feeling ashamed to go grab them) in the other pantry. Most days I forget we even keep junk food in the house.
If you think this sounds like a good idea, and want to know how I did it, keep reading for the DIY.
First things first.
1. You’ll need a storage cart. I bought the Sterlite Ultra 4-Drawer Storage Cart from Target for only $16.99, but you can get whatever one suits your fancy.
What I like about this drawer unit is that it’s clear, which allows me to see what’s in it without even opening the drawer. In my opinion, it’s inspiring to see the healthy food stored in an aesthetically pleasing way. I don’t know about you, but food has to look good for me to want to cook it or eat it.
2. Label the drawers with index cards.
Top Drawer (left side): Sweeteners
Top Drawer (right side): Snacks
2nd Drawer: Nuts and Seeds
3rd Drawer (left side): Condiments, Spreads, Sauces, and Soup
3rd Drawer (right side): Fats and Oils
4th Drawer (left side): Grains, Legumes, and Pasta
4th Drawer (right side): Beans
Here’s a list of ingredients/groceries you may want to keep on hand:
*P.S. I adapted this list off of someone else’s blog (when I find the post, I’ll link it), and also, this is just what I like to eat. There are so many other health foods that you can throw in here, so don’t limit yourself…just make sure it’s healthy. 🙂
- raw, unprocessed honey
- maple syrup
- coconut sugar
- Skinny Girl popcorn
- kale, spinach, and other vegetable chips
- homemade granola bars
- sunflower seeds
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
- sun dried tomatoes
- pasta or marinara sauce
- natural jams or preservatives
- pure peanut butter
- pure almond butter
- healthy soup
- extra virgin olive oil
- coconut oil
- almond oil
- sunflower oil
- sesame oil
- brown rice
- whole wheat pasta
- old fashioned oats
- chick peas
- black beans
- kidney beans
3. Put the completed index cards on the inside of the drawer facing out.