Baby Step #3 – Pantry Perusal

Even a baby step moves you forward.  Look down and gaze at those lovely toes of yours and see how they are inching down the road to better health.  Even a little healthier is better than no healthier… and it’s a whole lot better than less healthy.

There are many reasons, both sensible and reprehensible, why the American diet is full of chemicals and other substances that seem to wreak havoc on our bodies.  Whatever the reasons, however, the result is the same – vastly increased rates of obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease and hypertension.  So what are we going to do about it?  Make the change towards real food one step at a time.  If you are new to this journey, you might want to skip back in the blog to Baby Step #1 and catch up, but you are welcome to ease on down the road with us from any junction.

Baby Step #2 suggested you make note of what you are eating so that you can become more aware of what you are eating.  Of course you know what you are putting into your mouth, but when you think a little bit more about it, there might be time for planning to make a change.

If a healthful meal happens one more time a week than it used to, then you are making progress.  I certainly couldn’t change the way I feed my family dinner every night of the week in one swell foop!  (What the heck IS a foop, anyhow?)  Baby Step #3 takes you into your pantry (or cupboard, fridge, freezer) for some more observations.

Baby Step #3: Pantry Perusal

Pantry perusal is taking a good look at what you keep on hand.  Little Sis and I both have a short list of items that we try to always have in the pantry because they are ‘go to’ items.  They are items that help us on the nights when there is no time, or there was no planning, or when the alternative is overpaying for some food that is bad for us.  Here’s a peek at a corner of my pantry.

Okay, I confess, this is one of the neater corners of my pantry…

Make a list of what’s in your pantry and give those items a little thought.

– What’s IN what’s in your pantry?

– Are the items in your pantry INGREDIENTS or are they things you need to warm up or simply unwrap to eat?

– Are you buying foods that you know you shouldn’t eat but can’t resist eating if they are in your house?

– Are you buying foods you would like to limit for your children?

– Are you buying convenience foods that are not really good, but “who has time to make that from scratch?”  (We’re going to help you with this one… I promise!)

Perhaps your pantry perusal brings you back to Baby Step #1 where you decided to switch something out. Maybe you’re ready to make another switch like brown rice in place of instant potatoes or stuffing.  Maybe you’re going to switch out dried fruit and nuts for candy.  Maybe you’re going to acquire some new grains like quinoa that are healthy and quick.

Little Sis and I are going to share our lists for what the ‘go to’ items are in our pantries and provide you with links to ideas for easy healthy meals using those items in a few days.  For now, just take that Baby Step towards being more aware of what kind of food is consistently present in your house.

Again, Baby Steps 2 & 3 are prep work.  You are preparing to be enlightened (in more ways than one, know what I’m saying?).  You are going to become more conscious of, and thoughtful about, your food choices.  Because they are choices.  They are often difficult choices, especially in light of the speed of our culture and the incredible advertising machine that profits the Prepared Foods industry at the cost of our health.  But you set yourself up for better choices if the stuff of better choices is readily available.

The wonderful thing about choices regarding food is that you get another chance at the food choices at least 3 times a day.  We’re right there with you making choices every day, so respond with questions or comments and come back in a few days for a peek inside my Sister’s pantry.  No, my Sister’s pantry.  No, my Sister’s pantry.  My Sister’s pantry.  Mom!  She’s bugging me!

This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday.

40 responses

  1. “Are the items in your pantry INGREDIENTS or are they things you need to warm up or simply unwrap to eat?”.
    Love that line. It says everything about why we overhauled our pantry 🙂

  2. I’ve just this very weekend been reorganizing my own pantry, which has often resembled barely organized chaos. I feel so much better when I’ve done it, and it is an activity which has to be done in cycles! Anyway, the reason for the pantry work was that my younger son is going gluten free and switching to goat dairy for at least the short term (I see long term changes here for all of us) after visiting a naturopath. Your blog, which I already love, has just become that much more vital for me!

    • I am so glad that we can help you with that. We switched from gluten and dairy for my husband and I confess I thought dairy would be so hard to give up and it has been much easier than I thought.. I do continue to give my son diary as I worry about the calcium, and I’m sure you’re thinking about that as well! Good luck – the blog-o-sphere has helped us a lot with this change!

    • Thanks Dana! I confess there are still some items in my pantry that I would do well to lose… it can be hard to walk the line with children who want what their friends have in their lunches!

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  4. I found your blog on Six Sisters Stuff. I really like how you encourage baby steps and I am now following your blog.
    I wanted to comment on how you are listed on the linky party and if you look at the other links surrounding you, it is all kinds of recipes for crazy, over the top desserts or snacks. Right next to you is a recipe for pumpkin fudge and below you is oven fried pickles! Not just in blog land, but magazines, tv, at the supermarket all the processed, sugary stuff is in our face that it is just too easy to make the wrong choices. Applesauce has high fructose corn syrup added to it for goodness sake!

    • Hi Susan! I’m so glad you found us and are enjoying the Baby Steps. It is truly the way that Little Sis and I have arrived at diets that are pretty healthy! I agree with you that we are all surrounded. The problem is that we have built a whole culture on rewarding with sweet and going for the Ka-Pow of just suagr, salt and fat. Companies have gotten really good at exploiting this with sweeter, saltier, and more and more addictive products. It is kind of scary… and for so many people built on good intention. It is much easier to fight evil than good intention! So glad you’re making the journey with us… we hope lots of people pick us out from the fudge and cake.

  5. My pantry is chock full of stuff. Mostly healthy, with a few exceptions 🙂
    Thanks for linking up your posts with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!


  6. what a fabulous post! i love the “baby step” method. we often say “move to real food in baby steps!” – but no one ever elaborates on what those steps might be. well done!

    thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal and fresh/real food posts 🙂 xo, kristy

    p.s. when i first read the title i thought it said “panty perusal”. i was like, uhhhhh.. haha.

  7. Pingback: Go Back Jack – Baby Steps Check In | my sister's pantry

  8. This is great! I’m all for scratch cooking so most of my pantry items are ingredients 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.

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