©2017 by Alex Stalberger

with Alex Stalberger

Minneapolis, MN, USA

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Your Pantry Might Be Your Problem.

February 28, 2018

 

Eating plant-based whole foods and significantly decreasing processed junk has transformed my day-to-day functioning.

 

I had struggled hard with afternoon fatigue, evening irritability ( A HANGER (hunger-anger) you can only describe as totally uncool), and brain-fog  in my morning - which was especially frustrating because I knew that mornings are when I 'm most creative!

 

Transforming my diet happened over time and with intention. It didn't happen overnight, and it didn't always come easy. We are creatures of habit and people of passion. That means that while I love food, food didn't always come first during a busy week - and sometimes still doesn't. The difference is that I know what to expect when I choose to disregard diet, and I know what powerful creative energy I am missing out on. That, my friends, is an intense motivator. 

 

Eating with intention is fundamental in maintaining energy and creative inspiration. If I have learned anything about myself while I've made clean-eating lifestyle changes, it's that I eat whatever is around. HA! It's very true though.

 

During a busy week, I most alway make the simple choice, the one that's in front of me. Which means that in order for me to be successful in incorporating whole foods and eliminating processed junk from my life, I had to take a serious look in my food mirror.... my pantry. 

 

Ugh my pantry. First, may I say, I am grateful to have one. I am grateful I have food in my house. But why does it have to go from perfectly neat and orderly to absolute disaster in 5 minutes time??? I digress. Your pantry says a lot about you. But there are times we would rather ignore what it says. By taking these steps, we can get clear on what our pantry is saying about us, acknowledge it, and prepare to make the changes we are both ready for and proud of. 

 

1. Inventory, judgement-free.

Actually know what you have, what's been in there forever, what's been moved to the back. Acknowledge what you have, and write it down. How do the items in your pantry reflect your current eating habits? Did you buy something new with the intention to try it and haven't used it yet? Take note and take action. Perhaps your actions are tossing the old cans of pie filling you've moved 3 times in last 4 years and still haven't used (personal problem - literally happened. Can of cherry pie filling... I don't even like cherries! Why did I buy it?? Why did I move it?? We may never know.) Or perhaps your actions are to try artichoke hearts for the first time in your recipe this weekend.

 

2. Read your labels.

Just read them. We need to know. Does that can of what you though was simply pumpkin actually composed of 15 ingredients, most of which where not pumpkin or came from a green leafy plant? This happens more often than we realize. Labels are getting so pretty, and so deceiving. Even the "all natural" labels are hiding some odd ingredients that really have no place in our bodies. I encourage you to read the label's ingredients list. Read it out loud, and notice how you feel afterward. If the ingredients make you feel uncomfortable now, they most likely will make your body feel uncomfortable later. Take action, either donate the food item, toss it, or make a mental note to avoid that product in the future.

 

3. Put a lid on it.

Did you find lots of odd open bags of grains and legumes? It's a wonderful problem to have! Bags of dried whole ingredients can last a long time, and also get really annoying to work around in your pantry. Investing in glass jars with easy open lids can not only keep your dried goods dry(...and good) but it can also be much more pleasing to the eye, and you'll be more likely to pull them out and use them! Ikea has a great many glass storage options that can look beautiful and also be super functional. I like my glass jar with a flip-lid. Although, my pantry is more like a tiny coat closet and at times I wish I had gone with something more square. 

 

As we consider wellbeing as a whole, joy is just as important as healthy eating. A friend of mine, Sarah Kelly, reminded me that our homes should give us joy, even in the little ways. When we look at something, it should fill us up. When you look at your pantry it should inspire you, empower you, and fill you with joy. If it's not quite cutting it, take 1 simple action this week to bring it closer to that ideal. Success is in the small, simple, details. 

Let's be held accountable together! Join in the local conversation at our Facebook Group Twin Cities THRIVE and be a part of a community of influencers dedication to holistic wellbeing. 

 

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