From Brooke: Old habits can be hard to break! I know that there are at least a few of you struggling to maintain the good intentions you had for a healthier 2017. You are not alone. In fact, by the end of February, up to 80 percent of all resolutions fail.
This year, I want to encourage all of us women to work together in achieving our goals. I am amazed at how much more powerful we are when we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down. It’s a philosophy I try to apply in big and small areas of my life—right down to those nagging New Year’s resolutions!
If you are finding yourself making excuses, maybe it’s because you don’t really know where to start to get to your goal. Maybe you set too many goals? Whatever the reason, it’s not too late to turn it around.
I am a big believer in purpose. You must know your “why” before you can really step into your goal, but simply having a good reason to change doesn’t always ensure success. We are only as strong as the actions we take. Every great “why” needs a great “how.”
Over the years, I have studied and applied practical solutions that can really help you practice a healthier lifestyle. One of the things you can do today to change your eating habits for good is to clean out your pantry. It is a simple way to set yourself up to eat healthy in the long-term and now is the perfect time do it, while you’re spring cleaning (or thinking about spring cleaning!) the rest of your home.
Giving your pantry a healthy makeover will make it easier to avoid temptations and ensure that when you need to throw dinner together fast, you can do it without derailing your goals.
First, take everything off of the shelves. Yes, all of it!
Ditch highly processed pre-packaged foods that contain: additives, preservatives, chemicals and dyes. These are not going to fuel your body and mind for a productive work day and are likely to cause cravings and crashes later in the day.
Next, ditch refined sugar—it’s the single best swap you can make. Sugar can be full of empty calories that can damage your metabolism and impact inflammation in your body, which can contribute to all sorts of illnesses like heart disease and autoimmune disease.
Here is a conversion chart to help show you some natural options you can try instead and how to use them in your favorite recipes:
Download the sugar conversion chart here.
Aside from sugar, the second most impactful swap you can make is to get rid of white flour. Almond flour is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and protein. If you want a gluten-free and nut-free alternative, coconut flour is a great option. I love using protein powder, too. My favorite is Shaklee’s vegan Plain and Simple because it is tasteless and great in baking or non-baking recipes. I love knowing that my kids have extra protein in their “healthier” pancakes, brownies, etc. It takes a little practice to get used to using these different options. Here is a conversion chart to help you:
Download the flour conversion chart here.
When it comes to organizing your pantry, group like items together—for example, grains and beans, baking ingredients and breakfast items. Use clear, sealable containers like OXO Good Grips to make it easy to find what you need quickly. Remember to keep healthy snacks on lower level shelves so kids can grab them.
For more ways to give your pantry a healthy makeover, plus grocery shopping lists and a dining out guide, sign up for my free monthly newsletter and download 3 healthy lifestyle guides at BrookeThomas.com.