Pantry Raids are my favorite! It’s literally when “shit gets real”. People can tell me how healthy they eat, but the pantry shows me how healthy (or unhealthy) they eat. It’s the catch-all of the home, and it’s a fantastic teaching tool for families or individuals looking to enhance their health and eating habits.
Typically, this is what I do.
I start with the obvious, the foods that are literally laughable. The fruit roll-ups, gummy anything, Doritos, Mountain Dew, Pop Tarts, etc. I start with this as it usually makes everyone laugh and also makes everyone blame the foods on everyone else. It’s amazing how junk food miraculously ends up in the pantry and how it’s always blamed on Grandma, lol!
I search and scan everything with the Sift app. It literally scans the barcode of every food then translates the ingredients into simple terms. It also gives a great description of the chemical ingredients and states whether or not they are banned in other countries and pose health risks. Also, it will categorize the items and tell you if they’re acceptable for the Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, FODMAP, or Whole 30 diets. If you haven’t discovered this tool, it’s fantastic and can be downloaded with the link below.
I never throw anything away. If my client wants to throw the food away, it’s completely their decision. If they want to slowly phase the food out, that’s okay, too. Everyone has a different financial situation and different goals. For example, if someone has a bag of heavily processed bagels, I’ll tell them to eat eggs with vegetables and a quarter of a bagel. I could also tell them how to use the bagels to make croutons and place them on a salad. There are always options. The pantry raid is all about progress, not perfection.
When items are running low or need to be replaced, I’ll provide suggestions for healthier options and alternatives to their favorites. For example, I’m not a fan of Crystal Light for their added colors and artificial sweeteners, but I have recommended True Lemon beverages in the past as they have no added colors and use Stevia as their sweetener. You can buy it on Amazon below.
I find trends of what they like and find healthy alternatives or ways to enhance their current recipes. If they have a bunch of noodles and tomato sauce, I’ll share pasta ideas and recipes for zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash loaded with vegetables. If they have tortilla chips, I’ll share ideas for making a taco salad and sprinkling the chips on top rather than making a large snack or meal out of them. There are always ideas!
I’ll then share ideas for future food favorites and nutrient-dense staples for the pantry.
Want to tackle your own Pantry Raid? Open up the pantry and let’s get started.
Start with the low-hanging fruit. The foods you KNOW have to go...the leftover Halloween candy, the foods only used for holidays (the cans of fried onions, Christmas sprinkles, cake frostings, etc.), Ramen noodles, Reese’s Puffs, sugar-free snack packs from three diets ago, and the glazed donuts that never go stale.
Now, download the Sift app and scan away. The app takes away all the guesswork as it color codes the chemicals in either orange or red. The orange chemicals should be limited or avoided and the red chemicals are harmful and should be avoided at all costs......
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