This page is for those of you who have gone through the initial on-boarding to a plant-based lifestyle and now want to go to the next step. You are ready to make a commitment to pursuing this full time as your ultimate goal. Remember, this is a journey and there will be side trips and detours along the way. That is okay! Progress not perfection! Here we go!
Restocking Your Pantry
Let’s get started – Clean it out!
One of the first steps in your plant based journey will be to get your house in order and by “house” I mean your kitchen. Remember “if it is in your house, it is in your mouth”!
This will mean going through all of your provisions, staples, and everyday foods to ensure that they are in compliance. You will be surprised, as you do this exercise, at the number of unhealthy ingredients that are in the foods you take for granted.
Set aside about an hour or two for this exercise. You will want to remove everything – and I mean everything – from the area where you store your shelf stable goods. Take everything out and put it on your counters, tables, chairs, anywhere there is a flat service. I promise you it won’t stay there and it will end up somewhere – maybe not back in your storage – but where it belongs!
Read all labels!
Start with your canned goods first. Move on to your condiments, flavorings, pastas, boxed items like soups, mac and cheese, cake mixes, pancake mixes, packaged items like flours, beans, seasonings. Go through every spice container. You would be surprised at how many products contain added oil and sugar even spices.
Something as innocent at peanut butter, pasta sauce, pastas, breads, pancake mixes and canned vegetables, to name a few, can be filled with added oils, sugars, animal products and artificial flavors and colorings. Remove all of the offenders from your home so you can be assured of no surprises. Remember to always buy low or no sodium products with no added oils, sugars or artificial ingredients. Organic is always best if possible.
Feeling overwhelmed? Let’s work together for Plant-Based Success!
Time to Restock!
Once you have cleaned everything out it is time to restock with healthy staples. Below is a list to get you started. You will add to it as you develop your go-to items. You don’t have to buy everything at once. Begin slowly with a few recipes and purchase those ingredients and then little by little you will have a fully stocked and healthy pantry.
When putting items back into your pantry that have gone through the screening process it is better to organize according to type of ingredient. This will make it so much easier for you to prepare your meals as you will not have to go searching through your whole storage area to find a single ingredient. Also, when it time to go shopping you can easily identify which items you need to restock.
Anything that did not pass the snuff test you can either donate to the local food pantry, bring into work to see if any colleagues would like your products, or simply toss and consider it a lesson learned. Whichever you choose just make sure it goes out of your house. Don’t stash it somewhere in case of a rainy day. It will call out to you when you are weakest. Believe me I have been there and it was not pretty. I learned the hard way. You don’t want to sabotage your tremendous efforts.
If you happen to share a household with noncompliant members then you may want to designate certain parts of the household “yours only” and only look there for your food. This is much more challenging but people like you do it everyday. You are much stronger than you think!
I would recommend that you seriously consider buying items in bulk, especially the dried goods. You will save an incredible amount of money and, if you purchase sealable containers, they will last much longer. As you can see from my photo, my pantry is very organized with similar containers and clear labels on everything. (I went crazy with my label maker!). You can also just write on regular stick on labels with a Sharpie. It helps me so much and I feel organized and ready to cook every week.
Now you can build your shopping list and restock your food supply with healthy alternatives. See my handy Pantry Item list that is available when you sign up for my free newslettter.
Ready to Get Started?
Let’s work together on your healthy future!
Feel free to email me directly if you have questions about beginning your personal nutritional journey.
Disclaimer: I am a Nutritional Coach and Culinary Instructor and I have a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies via e-Cornell and a Plant-Based teaching certificate from Dr. Neal Barnard’s Physicans Committee For Responsible Medicine. In addition, I have a plant-based culinary certificate from the Rouxbe Culinary Institute. I stand behind all recipes, recommendations and nutrition information provided. Please read my full Legal and Affiliate Disclaimer for more information.