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.