Spring clean your pantry

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The coming of spring represents a period of renewal for people – we feel invigorated by the arrival of warmer days and more daylight. The first day of spring is an ideal time to freshen up eating, fitness and lifestyle habits. While ‘spring cleaning’ is traditionally thought of as a time to clean out closets and wash windows, it’s also a great time to push the reset button on our nutrition routines, beginning with a food pantry clean-up.

­A thorough cleaning of your food storage areas is a great way to assess your eating habits and freshen up some of your go-to staples in the snacking and non-perishable categories.  The first day of spring is the perfect opportunity to spring clean your kitchen pantry and cupboards.  Here are a few simple steps to get you started!

  • Step 1: Empty everything out. It’s okay to start with a mess and you’ll be surprised what’s hiding in there!
  • Step 2: Throw away anything that has expired, has been open for more than a couple weeks or you know you’re just not going to use.
  • Step 3: Vacuum out your cabinets, making sure to get all the cracks and crevices.  Wash interior surfaces with an all purposes cleaner, and allow to dry before replacing food.
  • Step 4: Organize everything by category – snacks, meal starters, nuts and dried fruits, oils/dressings, cereal and carbs, etc.
  • Step 5: Check the labels. Here are a couple ingredients you simply shouldn’t have in any foods: hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Step 6: Make sure you have plenty of healthy portion controlled snacks readily available and at the front of the pantry. You tend to eat more of what is eye-level or easily accessible.
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