Spring clean your pantry

Give your kitchen cupboards a spring makeover and fill up on fresh, nutritious, wholesome essentials

It’s all very well committing to eating fewer biscuits or enjoying more fruits, but unless you change what’s in your cupboards, chances are you’ll find temptation catching up with you sooner or later. Take the time to do a thorough spring clean of your pantry and you’ll find settling into a healthier diet regime much easier. Accredited Practising Dietitian Larina Robinson shows us the way…

Tidy up

  • Before you restock your cupboards, make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned to prevent bacteria, mould, and creepy crawlies getting into your food and spoiling it.
  • Remove everything from the cupboard, and starting from the top shelf, wipe down all the shelves and walls, cleaning off any residues and spillages.
  • Dry the space completely and wipe down your jars and containers before placing them back onto the shelves.

Be selective

Before you put everything back in:

  • If you haven’t used it for six months – toss it out.
  • Check the labels on the products – are they out of date?
  • Get rid of products that are overly high in sodium, added sugar or artificial colorings. Aim for foods with less than 400 mg of sodium per 100g, and products with less than 10 g of sugar per 100 g (20 g if it contains fruit).
  • Ditch the soft drinks (including diet!), ready-to-eat meals and packaged baked goods. They are usually laced with a tonne of colours, flavours, and other additives you’d never put in your home cooked meals. Cookies from the supermarket bakery alone have around four times more ingredients than what you’d use in a home baked recipe!
  • Have an honest chat with yourself and remove anything that is highly tempting. Only allow treats that you can maintain control over.
  • Minimise the amount of ‘white’ refined grains, cereals and sweeteners – these foods are typically processed to remove the nutrient-rich husk or bran, resulting in a higher GI level and a poorer nutrient profile. These include plain white rice, pasta, rice noodles, ramen, white flour and white sugars (castor, icing, table). Opt for whole grain sources of grains e.g. oats, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, spelt and buckwheat, and swap out white sugars for less refined alternatives such as maple syrup, molasses and honey.
  • Try to aim for a pantry with the majority of items having only one to three ingredients.

Top pantry staples

If you’re unsure where to start for a nutrient-rich pantry, here are Larina’s top picks for healthy staples.

  • Flours, meals and grains: Almond meal, quinoa, oats, brown rice, millet, amaranth, rye, buckwheat, wholemeal flour.
  • Fibre boosters: Psyllium husk, wheat germ.
  • Flavour bases: Tinned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, miso paste.
  • Nuts and seeds: Raw unsalted nuts, sesame seeds, tahini, chia seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  • Natural nut butters: Peanut, almond, ABC (almond, Brazil and cashew).
  • Sauces and vinegars: Apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, tamari.
  • Low sodium broth or stock.
  • Herbs and spices: Cinnamon, Italian herbs, turmeric, cumin, ginger, smoked paprika, garlic, parsley, basil, coriander, mint, thyme, rosemary, pepper.
  • Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans.
  • Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, olive oil, butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil.
  • Sweeteners: Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, all natural unsweetened apple sauce, molasses.
  • Dried fruit: Dates, prunes, raisins, cranberries, figs.
  • For baking and cooking: Vanilla extract, cocoa/cacao powder.
  • For the fresh food basket : Garlic, onions, sweet potato.
  • Tinned tuna

 

Recommended reading - The power of yoga

Lifestyle

40 days of yoga

Medibank member Liz shares her experience two weeks into a 40-day yoga challenge.

Read more
Community

Get fit and flexible with hot yoga

Benefits to your body and mind that the listed types of hot yoga offers you.

Read more
Health Check

7 minute yoga routine

Clear your mind, soothe your soul and revitalise your body with a simple daily yoga practice.

Read more
Community

Wintertime yoga

Bring flowing movement indoors during the cooler months and start a home yoga practice.

Read more
Lifestyle

Yoga for strong bones

Get balanced – research suggests yoga can help to prevent, slow and even reverse osteoporosis.

Read more
Lifestyle

The benefits of yin yoga

Get grounded and nourish your body with the gentle, deep practice of yin yoga.

Read more
Experts

The power of Yin yoga

How the practice of Yin yoga can revitalise our lives through inner stillness and sensory awareness

Read more
Lifestyle

Yoga for runners

Enrich your running training with restorative yoga positions before and after your workout.

Read more
Lifestyle

Which style of yoga should you try?

Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar – confused? We untangle some of the most popular types of yoga

Read more
Community

What do you love about yoga?

We asked what yoga does for our community members - we were inspired by what we heard.

Read more
Travel

The 10 best travel destinations for yoga lovers

Rejuvenating travel destinations, perfect for practising your warrior pose.

Read more
In Brief

Yoga for heart health

Adverse to aerobics? A Harvard University study suggests Yoga may have the same cardiovascular perks

Read more
Community

Letting go with aerial yoga

The things you learn while hanging from a soft, silk hammock in the air.

Read more
Community

How yoga can change your life

Corrine has cleared up her skin, lost weight, toned up and improved her mental health with yoga.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.