Smartypantz, taking it one day at a time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

30 Days to a Greener Diet - Day 7

Project Pantry Purge
Use Up or Give Away Foods That Just Aren’t Healthy, Wholesome or “Real"

When you’re trying to cut calories, it’s best not to keep fatty foods in the house (it’s harder to deny the ice cream if your freezer is stocked with the creamy treat, right?). The same goes here: When you’re trying to clean up your diet, it’s helpful to get rid of the sneaky, nongreen foods lurking in the pantry. Here’s where to start:

Eliminate processed foods. Purge your food closet of processed, high-fat foods. You’ll want to eliminate chemical-filled snacks made with high-fructose corn syrup (read the labels!), sugary cereals, prepared canned meals that could live on your shelf forever. You needn’t be wasteful: Donate any canned goods or unopened snack foods to a local food pantry.

Grains: Get rid of refined grain products such as white bread, white rice, pasta and all-purpose flour, which are less healthy for you. You’re going to be replacing them with whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. If you’ve got a sack of all-purpose flour that’s already open, just substitute half the recipe requirement with whole wheat or unbleached flour the next time you need it.

Plan on weeding out the canned foods. While it’s a good idea to have a few on hand, if you exclusively eat vegetables that come from a can, you’re missing out on the true taste of seasonal produce (not to mention ingesting the controversial chemical Bisphenol A, which might leach from the can lining). You’re now going to focus on fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, and preferably local and organic.

Make room in the fridge! Some of the fresh food you’ll be switching to will require cooling, so get ready.

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