Every year around March and April, we all get that urge to start “Spring Cleaning” our houses. Maybe it’s the longer days or warmer weather, but whatever it is, spring often signals a time to start fresh. And while people traditionally consider Spring Cleaning to mean window washing, shower scrubbing and more, I look at it as a time to set the refresh button and clean up some of our bad eating habits and start introducing some healthier, more balanced, ones.
The best way to begin eating healthier is to look at your kitchen, and more importantly, your pantry. People’s pantries are a neglected space that are in need of annual makeovers – throwing away expired food, things we’ll never eat and ingredients we should eat less of.
Below are the steps I suggest you take to freshen up your kitchen storage area so you can start feeling refreshed and balanced just in time for warmer weather:
- Step 1: Empty everything from your food pantry. It’s okay to start with a mess and you’ll be surprised what’s hiding in there!
- Step 2: Throw away anything that has expired, has been open for more than a couple weeks or you know you’re just not going to use.
- Step 3: Organize everything by category – snacks, meal starters, nuts and dried fruits, cereal and carbs, etc.
- Step 4: Check the labels. Here are a couple ingredients you simply shouldn’t have in any foods: hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- Step 5: Make sure you have plenty of portion controlled snacks readily available and at the front of the pantry. You tend to eat more of what is eye-level or easily accessible. I always stock up on Balance Bar® Dark Bars. They are the perfect snack in the afternoon to keep your energy levels high.
I hope these five steps help you to clean out your pantry and start eating healthier today! Don’t forget to join me (@RichterReco) and Balance Bar (@BalanceBar) on Thursday, March 20th, the first day of spring, at 3pm ET on Twitter via the hashtag #SpringIntoBalance. We’ll be talking about more tips/tricks to eating better all year long.
-Sharon Richter, RD*
*Sharon Richter is a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar.