“Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce” … ever heard of this little saying/quote? Well yes 99% of this quote is true BUT (and there is always a but) there are a few exceptions; quinoa, chia, acai and freekeh to name a few. There are a number of nasty additives, artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives added to foods these days so you have to be careful with what you chose. Of course this doesn’t mean spending an hour staring at the nutritional label of EVERY item you pick up but simple little things like looking for items with minimal ingredients lists that you can pronounce will make a big difference.   Most of us, except for those lucky little buggars still living at home with an awesome Mum who cooks and cleans for them, have to do the weekly haul at Woolies or Coles that not only breaks our arms carrying it to and fro the car, but also breaks our banks. Yes I agree that eating a clean and healthy lifestyle is more expensive, especially if you chose to buy organic fruits, vegetables and grass fed meat. However I believe that your money is better spent on a healthy lifestyle than the medical bills and medicine that an unhealthy lifestyle and diet leads to.   Little food shopping tip: To make sure that you are setting yourself up for a healthy clean lifestyle it is important to buy the right things at the grocery store and have a prepared pantry. Notice that all the FRESH produce ie the fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk, bread, meat and cheese are located around the ‘edges’ of the supermarket and the processed items in the centre aisles. You should be aiming to spend 80% of your time/money in the edges of the supermarket and 20% in the centre aisles on those handy tinned items, sauces, peanut butter, grains and of course chocolate = 100% perfect shop!   Of course if you stock your pantry full of chips and lollies – you will eat chips and lollies. But if your pantry is stocked with quick easy healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, tuna, crackers and homemade cookies/slice – you will eat exactly that! And let’s be honest EVERYONE LOVES A PANTRY NIBBLE SESSION! Stock your pantry full of handy healthy staples and you won’t be able to make a bad choice. Be prepared – it’s the most important part of making a healthy lifestyle possible each day.   I don’t know about you but I get seriously excited over a clean and organised pantry. Yes I am talking containers neatly stacked, correctly labelled, categorised and fully stocked! The best part about working as a nanny during my early 20’s was checking out everyone’s pantry and politely offering my ‘spring clean pantry organisational’ services. And let me tell you with 4 kids and a full time job the wonder women were more than ecstatic with my willing attitude and efforts. Mum… well not so much. As a very clean and tidy organised person herself she would come home and find me either making a huge mess and ‘experimenting’ with pantry items or pulling everything out, spending copious amounts of money on containers and then passing on the receipt. Fair to say that she probably spent more time looking for the flour or coconut over the next couple of months and restocking the things that I tossed. But seriously a tomato sauce expiring in 2011 has no place in today’s pantry!   So back to today’s pantry. Firstly now is as good time as ever to pull everything out and wipe the shelves down and even rearrange the shelf heights (if possible) for a new clean start. And then comes the restocking phase. Yes if you don’t have these items your grocery shop will be quite pricey at first and probably blow the weekly budget but you only need to do this once. Then the pantry will be nice and stocked and ready to go.   The following items are healthy lifestyle pantry essentials to add to your next shopping list. Oh and do yourself a lovely favour and buy LOADS of containers and get stacking. Recycled jars also make a cute touch. dollar-store-pantry-makeover   GRAINS Quinoa Brown rice Buckwheat Barley Oats Popcorn kernels Rice crackers Rice cakes/thins Raw muesli or granola (recipes to come)   SEEDS AND NUTS Chia Pepitas Sunflower seeds Flaxseeds Almonds Cashews Walnuts Hazelnuts Pecans Pine nuts Trail Mix LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seed and almond)   BAKING ESSENTIALS Buckwheat/Wholemeal/Spelt flour Coconut flour Almond meal Acai Berry Powder Cacao Powder Goji Berries Shredded Coconut Dates Dried Apricots   SPICES AND SEASONING Turmeric Cinnamon Chilli flakes Paprika Himalayan pink sea salt Cayenne Pepper Dried herbs   SPREADS/SAUCES Peanut butter Tahini Apple Cider Vinegar Tamari Coconut oil Raw honey Rice malt syrup / pure maple syrup Apple sauce   CANNED GOODS Coconut milk / cream Crushed tomatoes Tomato paste Tinned fish; Tuna, Salmon, Sardines Chickpeas Lentils/5 bean mix   Now you have the right tips and advice to get your pantry organised and stocked up with the essentials for a healthy and clean lifestyle. There really is nothing better than a big pantry spring clean and what a perfect time to do it with summer just around the corner.   Up next: You have your pantry stocked and ready… now what? What on earth do I do with the quinoa? Blog post about how to use and what to do with all the new exciting healthy items in your pantry and some super quick snacks you can whip up in minutes. Stay tuned!!!!   K

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