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Spring Clean Your Pantry in 6 Easy Steps

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Spring Clean Your Pantry in 6 Easy Steps

One thing this pandemic has afforded most of us, due to a lot of time spent at home, is the opportunity to clean out unwanted or unused clothes, toys, and household items.  With spring peeking out around the corner, now is a good time to focus our cleaning and organizational efforts in our kitchens, specifically in our pantries and refrigerators.  The food and beverages you choose in your refrigerator or pantry and how you organize them can help or hinder your overall nutritional success.  The following 6 easy steps can make your fridge or pantry a heart-healthy, sodium savvy, calorie-conscious food closet.

For Your Eyes Only

FridgeIf tempting food choices are available, chances are you’re probably going to be tempted by them.  Keep wholesome food choices at eye level when you open the refrigerator door.  Consider stocking your refrigerator shelves with Greek yogurt, washed and pre-cut fruits and vegetables, low-fat cheeses, hummus, salsa, and low-fat dips and spreads.  Store these heart-smart snacks in clear, easy to open containers so they catch your eye and your appetite.

Portion Distortion 

To keep portions of sweets and store-bought desserts under control, purchase the individual serving-size, fat-free puddings, and gelatins.  A budget-friendly option would be to dig out those mason jars and fill them with individual servings of berries and angel food cake, lightened-up homemade desserts, or chia pudding.

Hold the Fat

Trade high-fat dairy items, such as milk, sour cream, cheese, and yogurt, for lighter, low-fat options.  Try to skim milk, light sour cream, reduced-fat cheeses, and flavored low-fat Greek yogurts.  These options still afford you the benefits of the bone-building mineral calcium without all of the fat guilt.

Buy Building Blocks

A well-stocked pantry means fewer trips to the grocery store or fewer at-home grocery deliveries.  While rice, beans, peanut butter, and pasta are the pantry MVPs, consider making room for canned wild salmon, no-sugar jarred sauces, nuts, dried fruits, olives, and seeds.  These Mediterranean Diet staples can provide many options to add flavor, crunch, and healthy fats, antioxidants, and protein to many of your meals.

Go Unsweetened

Fruity waterKeep flavored or fruit-infused waters, unsweetened iced tea, and diet sodas as beverages instead of sugar-sweetened options.  The American Heart Association recommends a daily limit of added sugars to no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.  A 12-ounce can of soda has about 12 teaspoons of sugar in it!


Make your freezer work for you in times when you cannot get to the grocery store or your day isn’t going as planned.  Keep it stocked with lean cuts of easy prep meat and fish, frozen vegetables, frozen fruit for smoothies, pre-cooked grains, and low-fat frozen treats.  Repurpose that ice cube tray with cubes of frozen low sodium broth, tomato paste, or herbed pesto to add to your meals.