Healthy Diet Tips: Transforming the Pantry

As I change my diet from unhealthy (as is the diet of most people) to healthy, I find I have had to make some hard choices, and some not so hard choices. At this very moment, I am sure millions of Americans are trying to do the same. Often the biggest barrier to shopping healthy is the cost. As a card-carrying tightwad, I am offering to you some of the tips I have discovered to transform my pantry from unhealthy to healthy.

1. Look for sales whole grain healthy food products. To replace my white rice and spaghetti, I paid special attention when shopping lately. Whenever I saw a whole grain item marked down or on sale, I purchased it. The prices in many cases were actually cheaper than the refined version of the same food. (be careful not to buy more brown rice than will last 1 month as it more perishable) Your bread should be whole grain and heavy.

2. Do not purchase unhealthy pre-made pasta sauce
. It is full of sugar and fillers. Instead, at the local grocery warehouse, I purchased a case of each of the following: Tomato Paste, Tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes. When cooked together for several hours or overnight in a crock-pot, this sauce (with your added seasonings) is more delicious and much healthier than pre-prepared sauce.

3. Replace your white flour with nutritious whole grain flour.
It cooks very much the same. If you normally use self-rising flour, you will have to learn how to add baking powder and baking soda instead.

4. Replace refined, bleached white sugar with the following healthy items:
raw honey, Stevia, raisins, which you can add to cooked food to sweeten it, molasses, and a small amount of raw, natural sugars, also called turbinado.

5.Instead of purchasing canned fruits and vegetable, switch to frozen or better yet, buy vegetables fresh chop and freeze them yourself. You can even pre-cook some vegetable to pop in the microwave later. You will get better prices if you buy fruits and vegetables in season.

6. Replace your greasy, unhealthy potato chips
with nuts and light popcorn.

7. Replace fattening snack cakes
with natural homemade raisin oatmeal cookies, and muffins.

8. Eliminate chemical laden preservatives in your spice cabinet.
If any item in your spice cabinet has fillers or preservatives, toss it out. This includes MSG, Adobo, and some versions of soy sauce

9. Use only healthy, natural olive oil to cook meats and vegetables
. It may take a little while to get used to, but before you know it, you will be eating olive oil as-is on your whole grained bread. Coconut oils are good for use in baking.

10: Change your cooking pots and pans.
Use cooking tools that will require less need for added fat in your foods. Slow cookers, woks, and some non-stick items work great.

While many of these foods will put a bit of a strain on your budget, cutting out other foods like soda, snack cakes, chips, etc will give you more spending power.

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