Kitchen 101: The Great Pantry Reboot Part #2

In “The Great Pantry Revamp – Part 1” I showed you my best suggestions for how to reboot your pantry in a way that would inspire healthy meals and snacks. Now, it’s time to purge ingredients that don’t serve this purpose, and replace them with fresh, vibrant items that stoke your healthy eating habits!

What is IN a great healthy pantry?

This is a great question! A great place to start is asking yourself what foods excite you, make you feel energized, vibrant and unstoppable when you eat them. Foods that make your mind feel clear and your body feel like a well-oiled machine are the ingredients in a healthy pantry. That said, it’s probably likely that the whole shelf of old condiments doesn’t make you feel “alive.” Probably, there’s not a whole lot of vibrancy, and light in the microwave meals that are living deep in the freezer, or the fluorescent box of crackers on the pantry shelf. Ditch this stuff. Instead, fill your refrigerator and pantry (and therefore your day-to-day life!) with ingredients that make you want to get up and do something healthy for yourself every morning.

Ditch these 5 ingredients.

Boxed cereals.

Bagged snacks.

Frozen meals.

Desserts in packages.

Bottled condiments.


These foods typically are as far from “whole foods” as you can get. And even though they may be convenient, they fuel bad habits of reaching for un-fresh items whenever hunger hits.

Re-dress your meals with these six condiments:

Let’s start with the refrigerator shelf of half-used condiments, and bottles of oils, vinegars or anything else on the pantry shelves. You only need a few flavor agents to make your food taste amazing (and bottles of ketchup aren’t one of them. Get these 5 condiments into your kitchen, then get them onto your food. Healthy meals will start rolling out in no time:

Freshen up with these five super foods:

You don’t need many ingredients on hand to make healthy meals fast and having these five ingredients on hand always will help keep your fridge stocked with something. That said, absolutely bolster these ingredients with others that you find in recipes that inspire you, and rework the list as you determine what ingredients you love to cook and eat with the time you have.

Bulk up with these five finds.

The bulk section is a great place to find inexpensive, unpackaged, healthy ingredients to have on hand so flavorful meals are always at the ready.

Fill in with fresh vegetables:

Now that your pantry is filled with solid staples, fill in the blank spots with flavorful in-season vegetables. Shop for color and see how many different hues you can squeeze into your cart: big leafy greens, vibrant orange and yellow citrus fruits, deep purple cabbages and beets, bright red apples and grounding potatoes and squashes. Then pick some recipes (or just start cooking,) and you’re off to the healthy eating habit races!