What's in my pantry?
As a nutritionist, people often expect me to have a spotless fridge and pantry full of superfoods and powders and produce.
And while all of those things are great, the reality is that my kitchen is really just stocked with a bunch of basics that can turn boring food into fun food.
Today, we’re exploring my pantry
Generally speaking, we try to limit our packaged or processed foods, but my pantry is always stocked with staples. I tend to buy things like nuts, seeds, grains, flours and dried lentils in bulk from bulk food stores – it’s usually more cost effective this way but you can always get these things from a grocery store, too. Most of the staples in my pantry are readily available 😊
Whenever you’re buying packaged food, try to look out for these things on the label:
Ingredient lists usually read in order of highest percentage to lowest percentage. So, if you’re buying, say, sweet potato chips and the first ingredient isn’t sweet potato, that’s concerning. Likewise, if the second ingredient is sugar or salt, that usually indicates it’s not going to be the best for your health if you eat it every day.
Also make sure you recognise most of the ingredients – if you can’t say it, don’t eat it regularly.
If you wouldn’t expect to see a particular ingredient in a product, that can be a bit of a red flag.
Generally, I prefer products with a max of 5g of sugar per 100g, and a max of 120mg of sodium per 100g.
All in all, look for whole foods in their most natural state. For example, instead of buying packets of pre-cooked, pre-flavoured rice, your money is better spent buying plain rice in bulk and cooking and flavouring it yourself. This will also be better for your health long-term.
Don’t deprive yourself. I’d be lying if I didn’t say our pantry didn’t have things like Nutella or a packet of chips in it on the regular. Enjoy these foods mindfully and in moderation while the majority of your diet comes from better quality foods 😊
Want to know exactly what my staples are and make sure your pantry is stocked with the key things I recommend for a balanced diet? Download my pantry checklist for free here. There’s also a bunch of tips and specific product recommendations in my eBook, The Healthy Cart.
Gemma is Australia's "Real Talk" Nutritionist helping Australians achieve healthier, sustainable modern lifestyles while cutting through the BS we are surrounded by on a daily basis. She has a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) and a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), so she's more than capable when it comes to health and explaining the geek-speak in your terms. Gemma has naturopathic training, which means she takes into account all of the puzzle pieces that make up our health – our history, diet, lifestyle, emotional health, physical health, vitality. Gemma practises the “non-diet” diet approach, where focus is on whole food nutrition and happy and healthy relationships with food.