Take a look in your pantry, spice cabinet, and fridge. If you are like most people, you’ll find a stock of items which have accumulated over the years. Your eating habits have likely changed during that time but we tend to hang on to the “old ways” for some reason.
Does this sound familiar? It’s Tuesday evening, after a busy day, and you’re standing in your kitchen staring at the chicken you removed from the freezer last night. “How does this turn into a meal?” you wonder. Feeling less than creative, you opt for the usual – knowing it’s loaded with gluten, sugar or ingredients you can't even pronounce. You say to yourself "next time, I’ll dig up one of those healthy recipes I want to try.” This scenario plays out in thousands of BC kitchens every week.
When it comes down to it, we always revert to our familiar favourites – even if we’ve sworn to eat healthier. The key to eating healthier is stocking your kitchen with items you need to easily throw together a nutritious meal. More importantly, it means ditching all of the items that are no longer part of your healthy-eating plan.
You might be surprised though, by the cost of a one-time replacement of all the items you’ve accumulated. I recently made muffins for a gluten-free client. She loved them and asked for the recipe. Imagine her shock when she discovered the ingredients would cost her almost $80. Of course, the ingredients would make many dozens of muffins but, for the first batch, it’s a hefty grocery bill.
If money isn’t a concern, you can donate your pantry-raided items to a soup kitchen or shelter. They’ll gladly accept your generosity.
Where do you start? To make the transition easier, I’ve assembled a switch list. When you run out of one of the following items, replace it with a healthier alternative. Over time, you’ll assemble all of the ingredients you need to whip up healthy meals and snacks.
With a little planning, this switch list works even better when you add ingredients from those healthy recipes you’ve wanted to try. Soon you’ll develop new healthy cooking and eating habits you won’t want to break.
Article written for Fresh Vancouver Magazine Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2015