We have been talking a little about healthier eating and healthier living. Last week, a friend asked me to remind her this week to clean out her pantry again. Here’s the reminder for us all!
As we clean our pantries, look for things that are loaded with Trans Fats, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup.) These are the top three most damaging things for our bodies and they hide in almost any processed food.
As you will see in the following article, there are many other things we are better off avoiding. You may be amazed in how much better you feel when you eliminate these items. You may even be amazed with how happy your doctor might be after you eliminate these things! It will show up in testing!
While we are “spring cleaning”, you might want to consider cleaning out are our minds, our hearts and our spirits.
Sometimes, my mind gets cluttered. Cluttered with day-to-day activities, things I need to do, things I want to do and even some things I shouldn’t do. If I neglect my Bible studies to watch a television show that is of questionable content, what am I doing to my character? If I forget to say no, EVER, and my mind and schedule become so cluttered that nothing gets done, what have I accomplished? Something that always stuck with me in the Daniel Plan was “garbage in, garbage out.” What we fill our minds, bodies and souls with is going to be what we harvest.
I’m sure you have all heard the term “hard hearted.” Maybe while cleaning, we need to throw out some anger, bitterness or even an unforgiving nature. These things can destroy your happiness, your marriage, your children and your future. They also, just like the “big three” pantry items mentioned above, can destroy your health.
Finally, is your spirit in need of a good cleaning and polish? If your mind is cluttered and your heart is hardened, that’s a good sign that it is. If you are not spending time in the Word and not spending time with God, that’s an excellent indication that a good cleaning and polish is overdue. What do others see when they look at you and listen to you? What if YOU are the only Bible they ever see? What if they are looking and don’t see it in you?
Perhaps it’s time for a thorough spring cleaning, inside and out.
Creating a Daniel Plan Pantry
Out with the old and in with the new! The first step in creating a Daniel Plan pantry is to clean out the stuff that is not serving you well.
This means reading labels, checking expiration dates, tossing or donating the bad stuff, then refilling with healthy new items.
While we want you to focus on the abundance of delicious whole foods, we also want you to know what harmful foods to remove from your pantry and shopping lists for good. Simply getting rid of these foods from your eating life will make a tremendous difference in your health and eating habits.
Do this with your dry pantry, where you store canned goods, whole grains, and nonperishables. While you are at it, go through your refrigerator and freezer too and toss things that have harmful ingredients.
Having good foods in your pantry will support healthy eating and save you time. With a well-stocked pantry, you will never be at a loss for something healthy to eat.
Choose a weekend to clean out the pantry, and make it a group project. Or choose a friend, and help each other do a pantry clean-out. Have a pantry clean-out party!
You might even treat yourself to a few new storage containers for bulk items you will be adding like brown and black rice, quinoa, dried beans and more. Keep a pen and masking tape handy to label containers, or use a label-making tool. Be sure storage containers are clear so you can see inside and that lids fit tight.
Foods and Ingredients to Avoid
-High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
-Trans fats, partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated fats
-Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
-Regular and diet sodas
-Sports drinks and other sweetened beverages
-Sodium and calcium caseinate
-Artificial sweeteners (except stevia)
-Artificial colors and dyes
-Nitrites and nitrates
A few pantry clean-out tips:
-Read labels and check for unhealthy ingredients.
-Say good-bye to the “white menaces,” as well as the things hiding in your pantry that are made with them.
-Banish processed foods like sugary breakfast cereals, unhealthy cookies and crackers, fried chips and junk food.
-Exile high-sugar or high-sodium condiments (read that ketchup bottle, you might be surprised). Shop for healthier versions, comparing labels for ingredients.
-Evict unhealthy oils, like standard mass-market “vegetable” oil.
Aim for labels with five ingredients or less or at least ingredients that you recognize as real food. If you don’t understand what something is and your grandmother would not know what it is, probably not what you want in your pantry.
Those jars of dried herbs that look like they have been around since the Stone Age? Toss them. Same for old spices. When you open new containers, be sure to date them.