How to Ready Your Pantry for the Total Body Diet - dummies

How to Ready Your Pantry for the Total Body Diet

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Before you embark on your kitchen redesign to get ready for the Total Body Diet lifestyle, think about the foods that don’t do much good for you. Food products that are highly processed, jam-packed with added sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats — think cookies, crackers, donuts, muffins, sugary cereals, and processed meats — are not doing your body or mind any good.

The pantry cupboards are often forgotten because they house the shelf-stable, nonperishable foods that can last through the next Ice Age — or so you think. Cleaning out your pantry doesn’t have to just happen in springtime.

Any time of year works for tossing outdated dried herbs and spices, old boxes of clumped-together raisins, aging vegetable oils, and stale crackers. Organizing the shelves, dusting off cans, and taking stock of what’s in the dark recesses of your pantry is liberating.

Here are some tips for your pantry makeover:

  • Keep it clean, cool (50 to 70 degrees), dry, and dark.

  • Check the dates on boxes, cans, and bags of dried goods.

  • Place older products up front to use first.

  • Discard any bulging, cracked, or dented cans (because there’s a risk of botulism lurking in the damaged can).

  • Discard dried herbs and spices after one year (because their beneficial compounds and flavors diminish after this point). Be sure to put a purchase date on the container.

  • Store open pasta, rice, and flour in an air-tight container to keep away rodents or insects.

The table lists healthy food options to stock in your pantry.

Healthy Pantry Foods
Whole Grains Fruits Vegetables Proteins
Unopened whole-wheat flour (in an airtight container)
Whole-wheat breads
Brown rice
Wild rice
Whole-grain pasta
Couscous
Quinoa
Popcorn
High-fiber cereals
Oatmeal
Canned fruits (no sugar added)
Dried fruits (could also refrigerate)
Canned vegetables (no salt added)
Beans
Lentils
Soups
Potatoes (with skin)
Sweet potatoes (with skin)
Peas
Corn
Vegetarian chili
Bean dip
Nuts (in an airtight container)
Tuna fish*
Salmon*
Crabmeat*
Sardines
Shrimp*
Chicken*
Soymilk (plain)**
Almond milk**
Hazelnut milk**
Rice milk**

* Cans/pouches (in water)

** In aseptic cartons