Let's talk about what must be removed from your kitchen.
Now, purging doesn't mean you have to throw everything in the garbage and start fresh. You can donate some of these items to people who may prefer them, you can store them away for a later date, or you can dispose of them and start to focus on whole foods and homemade snacks (think nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies & dip...etc).
So, what's gotta go?
- Anything expired (especially oils)
- Anything made of mostly sugar (marshmallows, candy, fruit roll-ups, cookies, cakes, bon-bons... think of any sweet treats that you unconsciously munch)
- Pop & concentrated juices
- Prepackaged // frozen meals.
Now is a good time to talk about upgrading your kitchen staples
Sugar, salt, bread, and fat. When talking about these groups, there are a few things to remember:
- Sugar is sugar is sugar, however there is a lesser evil. Aim to use only unrefined sugars like pure maple syrup, unpasteurized raw honey, unrefined coconut or cane sugar, or molasses.
- Pigmented salt is better (the darker coloured salts [pink, red, black, brown, & grey] indicate higher mineral content). Avoid white salt (including the labelled sea salt). When it's white it has been stripped of essential minerals and can play a role in cardiovascular disease.
- No need to give up bread completely. Unrefined grains - or whole grains - are a much better that white bread... especially if they're sprouted. Traditional sourdough is another fantastic option for optimal digestibility! They are higher in fibre, help balance blood sugar, and keep you fuller for longer.
- Fats. A huge topic, so please remember these are only wee little blurbs. Aim for healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and flax oil. Though it's not my first (or even second) choice, I do believe that unsalted, organic, grass-fed butter or ghee are good options for some. Avoid hydrogenated and rancid oils. Anything deep-fried is no bueno. If the oils in your cupboard smell off - toss 'em. NO MORE MARGARINE... not even at a 'lil bit.
* Pro tip: You can cook with avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee. Only use flax oil and olive oil for dressings - they're best when unheated.
Friends don't let friends eat margarine!
My colleague and I have a saying that goes "friends don't let friends eat margarine." I stand behind this, you can read more about margarine and it's ill-effects here, credit to my good friend Emily Van Gils, RHN.