Hi!

My name is Gabby.  

I lost half my body weight through exercise and eating right.

 I'm here to motivate you, inspire you, and make you laugh on your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

How To Organize Your Pantry To Help You Lose Weight

How To Organize Your Pantry To Help You Lose Weight

Is your pantry sabotaging you? I bet you really never thought about it. When you open that sucker up, are there lots of healthy snacks and wholesome ingredients staring back at you? Probably not. Most people's pantries are filled with a lot of junk: Fatty snacks, processed dinner kits and helpers, packaged sugary treats, cake and brownie mixes. 

Junk, junk, junk. 

The kind of shiz that gets you fat... and keeps you fat. 

I bet when you are trying to get healthy and lose weight you try to fill up your fridge with healthy foods like baked chicken breast and hard boiled eggs. I bet your counters have fresh veggies and fruits scattered all over them. I'm guessing your freezer is filled with frozen veggies and extra chicken. 

But what about your pantry? 

The pantry stays a mess. It's like the hall closet that everybody shoves everything into. You have no idea what's in the back rows, it's filled with expired canned goods and old flour, and it's so much of a headache to even think about organizing it that you just shut the doors and forget about it.

But here's the deal, your pantry is IMPORTANT! It's where you house all of your staple foods and it's where everyone looks for snicky snacks (that's what we call them in my house). It's a high traffic area and it needs to be addressed. 

If you arrange your pantry correctly, it will HELP you lose weight!

Losing weight, as we've all heard a kazillion times, is about changing your lifestyle. Which means changing permanently. You can't keep that pantry of yours the black hole of temptation if you want to lose weight and keep it off. That beast needs cleaned out and organized! I know it might sound like a daunting task, but it's time to woman up and do the deed. 

When you open your pantry, you don't want dozens of ways to crash and burn. You want it to help you make good decisions. A healthy and organized pantry will be your BFF in the kitchen. 

Most importantly, a healthy and organized pantry will help you lose weight!

Okay, how do you tackle this project? Well actually, it's easier than you think. I'm going to walk you through it by showing you my pantry. Hopefully it will inspire you to come up with your own ideas that will suit you and your family's needs perfectly just as mine does for me and my household.

Let's get this party started! I'll show you detailed pictures of my pantry, but first here's your...

6 Steps To A Perfect Pantry:

1. Crank up some tunes.

This is something you need to dedicate a good chunk of your day to. Accept it, throw yourself a jam session, and get excited about taking an enormous step in getting healthy once and for all!

2. Take EVERYTHING out of your pantry.

Yes, you heard me. Clear off your table or even the floor to make room for everything. 

*Check expiration dates as you go and toss out anything outdated. Trust me, you're going to find stuff in there that should've been thrown out like two driver licenses ago.

3. Throw away (or give away) the junk.

If you're serious about getting healthy and losing weight, you can't have junk in your house. These foods are triggers and it's impossible to ignore them. It only takes 10 seconds to binge like a mutha and wipe out three healthy days. I lost over 120 pounds and have kept my weight off for over six years and yet, I too can't have this stuff in my house. That stuff is the devil. Don't dangle that temptation in your face everyday. Just get rid of it and be done with it.

4. Organize in groups of likeness.

As you're taking everything out, bunch your foods in groups. Put all of the baking items in one group, put all of the snacks in another, and so on.

5. Store foods in containers.

This keeps your foods and ingredients fresh longer AND it makes them easy to locate. You can use containers, boxes, and jars that you already have or you can buy some new containers to help you organize more neatly. 

{This article contains affiliate links. See bottom of page for details.}

Any containers with lids will do. Mason jars are an easy solution if you already have some at home.

I really like the Better Homes and Gardens brand because the containers are crystal clear and the lids lock in place. These containers are my new favorite kitchen thing!

I use these open containers for easy access. Great for grabbing a quick snack and you can clearly see what's in there.

Removable stickers are a great idea too in case you want to change the contents.

I use the little stickers to write the expiration dates on the back of the container.

6. When restocking your pantry, keep like items together.

Each group should have their own shelf. For example, here's my baking shelf:

Okay my peeps, now that we're done with the organizational tips, I'm going to show you how I rock my pantry and some of the essential healthy basic staples I keep on hand. I'm also going to include links to some of my recipes that I make regularly with these wholesome and delicious pantry items.

I am constantly asked about what I eat and what kind of food I keep in the house. I usually only talk about the foods in my fridge. This is the first time I'm diving into some pantry talk.

LET'S DO THIS SHIZ.

This is my pantry, my BFF. Well I mean I can't go dancing with her or anything, but she sure helps me fit into my little party dress when I do go dancing. Okay so here she is:

The Outside Pantry

There you are, baby girl. Mama is about to show you off. 

Yes, that is a Wonder Woman apron. It is one of my most favorite things ever! Wonder Woman has been my idol since I was a kid. I heart her.

Hells yeah, baby. You know you want one.

The Inside Pantry

Ooohhh yeah, baby. Pantry Porn.

I'm gonna start with the outside shelves first. Let's start with the right side. This is everyone's favorite part of the pantry... 

SNACKS!

It's essential to keep healthy (and yummy) snacks on hand. Snacks help you feel like you're not dieting. I mean I love me some crunchy carrots, but I want to feel like a normal human being and snack on stuff that looks more like, well... like snacks.  Our snacks change slightly with each grocery visit, but this is what my pantry is stocked with at the moment.

HEALTHY PANTRY SNACKS:

GOOD FATS:

Nuts

Seeds

 

PANTRY FRUIT:

Apple Chips (Welch’s)

Dates

Unsweetened Applesauce

Larabars

 

SWEET TREATS:

Dark Chocolate Bars (Ghirardelli and Lindt)

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds (Orchard Valley)

 

SALTY SNACKS:

Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies

Triscuits (Hint of Salt)

SkinnyPop Popcorn

Homemade Popcorn Bar

 

DRINKS:

Stevia-Sweetened Drink Mixes

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN:

NUTS AND SEEDS

Nuts and seeds are loaded with good fats and should be a part of your diet; however, pay attention to portion size. They might pack a mighty healthy punch, but they also pack a calorie punch if you're not aware of how much you're eating. Nuts and seeds don't make for wise tv snacking. They should be paired with a fruit throughout the day as a snack in between meals.

I only buy the low sodium pumpkin seeds. Our absolute favorite pumpkin seeds are the ones that we make in the fall from fresh pumpkins. Try my perfect roasted pumpkin seed recipe.

APPLE CHIPS

We all love apple chips in our house! Our fav brand is Welch's.

 Just make sure you buy non-GMO! 

DATES

Dates are not only yummy, sweet snacks but I use them in baking too. They are great in energy bars.

UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE

My girls (and me too!) love unsweetened applesauce. Honestly, it is so naturally sweet from the apples, it is completely unnecessary to buy applesauce with added sugar. Your kids won't know the difference!

LARABARS

I keep Larabars in my home at all times. We all love them and they're only made with a few ingredients. All larabars are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher. There are tons of flavors. You are sure to find one (or 10) that you like!

*My sincere apologies to all of you OCD babes out there. My own OCD had me twitching when I saw the upside down Larabar...but apparently not enough to retake the picture ;)

DARK CHOCOLATE

Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and is good for you. I try to keep it on hand at all times for when I have a chocolate craving, which let's be honest... is pretty much a constant state for me. I don't love dark chocolate as much as it's unhealthy cousin, milk chocolate, but that's probably a good thing so I can more easily stick to a healthy portion size.

ANNIE'S CHEDDAR BUNNIES

This is probably the most processed of all the snacks I buy. But these are an excellent alternative to the classic cheddar Goldfish Crackers. Annie's are organic and overall are a much healthier option than the Goldfish. 

**Did you know that Pepperidge Goldfish Crackers contain GMO soybean oils and MSG (an excitotoxin that can cause cellular brain damage). They were also slapped with a lawsuit for falsely claiming to be 'natural'.

TRISCUITS

I buy the Hint of Salt Triscuits (low sodium). My girls really like them and they only have 3 ingredients. A general rule to stick to when trying to eat healthier is the fewer ingredients, the better.

My girls love spreading hummus on their Triscuits, which makes it that much healthier of a snack for them. Man, do I love me some hummus.

SKINNYPOP POPCORN

This is my personal favorite. It's perfect for when my daughter has softball games. I just grab a few bags to munch on so I don't succumb to the greasy concession stand foods. It's also my favorite tv snacking snack. I buy the big boxes at Sam's Club and yes, I dedicate an entire pantry shelf to my SkinnyPop. 

I cut the top flaps off of the box and just plop the big box on the shelf so we can quickly grab them. 

SkinnyPop is a wonderful popcorn option because it is made from non-GMO corn and oil.

My daughters' favorite part of our snack section is our:

Healthy and Homemade Popcorn Bar

I made a healthy popcorn bar on one of our pantry shelves so that my girls (9 and 12) can make their very own SAFE microwavable popcorn. They love it! They make popcorn every single day and when they have friends over, they teach them how to make it too!

I will not bring the chemical-laden processed crap that is store-bought microwave popcorn into my home. You shouldn't either! 

**Microwave popcorn bags are lined with PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked to infertility, cancer, and other diseases and the EPA has listed it as a carcinogen. Here's just a few more popular microwave popcorn ingredients: TBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone (made from toxic butane gas), dactyl artificial butter flavoring, and beavers' anal glands (yes, you read that right!). Another thing to keep in mind is that corn is the number one GMO crop in the US. So you want to make sure you are buying non-GMO corn products!

HOMEMADE MICROWAVE POPCORN IS SUPER EASY TO MAKE! 

I have the directions taped right onto the back of the popcorn kernel containers. But believe me, my girls have memorized the recipe.

*Note: Everyone's microwave cooks a little bit different. For ours, 85 seconds is the perfect amount for all the kernels to pop and none of them to burn.

Peach Lemonade Drink Mix (True Lemon)

My girls mostly drink water (they prefer it), but sometimes I'll buy the powdered drink mixes for water bottles. However, I will ONLY buy ones sweetened with stevia. We do not consume artificial sweeteners in my house. I pick my battles with other things, but artificial sweeteners are just too harmful and they are on our never list. True Lemon has a few stevia-sweetened drink mixes, but not all of them are made with stevia so make sure you read labels.

MY PROTEIN SECTION

I am a big protein eater. However, I do get most of my protein from food and not powders and bars. But life is busy and sometimes I need a quick way to get some protein in me. I'm not a believer in replacing multiple meals with shakes and bars, but every once in a while it's a big help when I'm short on time. Summer is so busy for us. We practically live on the softball fields and with all the extra gatherings it seems we are never home and always zipping from one place to another. I keep a couple protein bars in my purse at all times in case I get stuck somewhere hungry. The quick zap of protein will tide me over until I can get home and eat a healthy meal. 

I use the PB powder in smoothies and will mix it in my plain greek yogurt with some stevia. For after my extra intense strength-training workouts, I'll make a protein shake by mixing my whey protein isolate with about 6 oz of almond milk, 1-2 TBS of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 2-3 packets of stevia.

MY COFFEE AND TEA SECTION

I'm pretty sure if you'd cut me, I'd bleed caffeine. But I do make a lot of decaf iced tea for the kids and at night I always drink decaf Organic Chamomile Lemon Numi Tea.

Guess what time it is? It's time to actually open the pantry!

What the hell is in there?

LET'S BREAK IT DOWN:

TOP SHELF: STAPLE GRAINS

These are my staple grains I use nearly everyday. Steel cut oats are a big breakfast item in our home. The girls love their oats with milk and honey. I make quinoa (KEEN-wah) and brown rice as supper sides all through the week. They are great alone, but I mostly use them in stir-fries or I'll mix them with veggies and/or beans. I don't make white rice that often, but even more reason to keep it fresh in a sealed container. I bet a lot of you have rice in your pantry with the paper flap-lid sticking up, open to the air and accessible to bugs.

2nd SHELF: CANNED GOODS / JAR VEGGIES

  • Beans (all varieties)
  • Olives (all varieties)
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Yellow Banana Peppers
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Canned Veggies

Beans are a big part of our diet in my home. I mix beans with rice a lot for dinner sides. I make a lot of turkey chili, hummus, and a ton of Crack Salsa.

Believe me, it's called Crack Salsa for a reason. Omg yum!

I use a lot of olives and peppers in my recipes. They are great for throwing in a skillet when making eggs too! In my opinion, olives and peppers just about make anything taste better. And with olives, I'll just eat them straight out of the jar. Oh yes I will.

3RD SHELF: PASTA / BOXED DINNER SIDES / SEASONINGS

Boxed dinner sides are great for time savers. Unfortunately most of them aren't very good for you. Thankfully I have been able to find some healthy options. Ancient Harvest, Seeds of Change, and Washburn Mills brands have some delicious boxed sides. Even Minute Rice has a multi-grain medley that is very tasty.

My pasta of choice these days is brown rice pasta. I have a sensitivity to gluten so this makes a perfect fit for me. And my hubs and kids didn't even notice a difference until I told them.

I'm not a big fan of canned veggies. 99.5% of the veggies we eat in my house are either fresh or frozen. I only buy canned green beans because my kids like to snack on them. Water chestnuts are awesome in stir fries. Sometimes I'll simply add them to a side of rice for a little crunch.

Above my range, I have a spice cabinet, but there are some seasonings I use often enough to keep in my pantry where it's easier to reach.

Himalayan Pink salt basically goes on everything I eat. I long ago threw out the table salt and sea salt and replaced it with pink salt.

Many people think sea salt is a healthy option but it is most often processed to some degree and it will affect the body much like table salt.

Pink salt has countless health benefits. It even LOWERS blood pressure whereas white salt can increase it. I love pink salt in the course grinders but I also buy it fine so that it can go in our regular salt shaker.

I throw hemp seeds in all my stir-fries, salads, and rice medleys. Hemp seeds are high in protein as well as omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids. My family has no idea I use them (well I guess if the hubs reads this, then the jig is up). I sneak a lot of healthy stuff into their foods. Sometimes when they know that there's something healthy in their food, it makes them think it tastes different. It's funny how if I don't say anything, they never say a word. 

I sprinkle nutritional yeast seasoning in much of the same things I do with hemp seeds. Nutritional yeast blends well with hot foods. Most people say it tastes cheesy. I don't agree with that. I actually don't really like the taste of it by itself but it stays hidden in a lot of foods. That way I still get all the health benefits. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein. It also contains a significant amount of minerals like iron, selenium, and zinc. Just 1/2 tbs will give you a day's worth of B vitamins.

4th SHELF: BAKING INGREDIENTS

We LOVE baked goods in our house! So instead of cutting them out, I just learned how to make them healthy. There's no way I'm giving up 'carb-y' treats. Screw that.

I don't use white flour or sugar when I bake. For flour, I mostly use oats that I pulverize in the blender or FP. But on occasion, I will also use brown rice flour, almond meal, or coconut flour when I bake. All are worlds healthier than white flour. For sugar, I use baking stevia. 

When I serve baked goods to house guests, they have no idea that I didn't use regular cane sugar. 

Aaaand sometimes I don't even tell them. I'm sneaky like that. I will get you healthier even if you don't know it. Hah! So there!

Muffins are a big hit in our house. Blueberry muffins,  apple pie muffins, and pumpkin muffins are a few of our favorites. Chia pudding is another popular treat in my house. I use cacao nibs in cookies and muffins, but our favorite way to eat them is on peanut butter banana halves. 

...So natural PB and cacao nibs are always in our pantry!

Here's what's lurking behind all of my baking canisters:

Arrowroot is a great thickener and works great as a binder. You can substitute arrowroot in anything you would normally use cornstarch for. Corn starch is usually made from GMO corn and is extracted by a very harsh chemical process. Arrowroot is a much healthier option. 

Dark chocolate chips and cacao powder go in many of my yummy baked goods. I may or may not rip open that bag like an animal and grab a handful of chocolate chips when I'm rooting around in the pantry.

I use coconut milk when baking and it's super yummy when you use it for chia seed pudding. Pure pumpkin puree is a great way to add some major vitamins to recipes for very little calories. It also has tons of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. 

I love anything pumpkin! But if you happen to be one of the three people on the planet that doesn't like it, then try my pumpkin chili. The pumpkin taste is completely hidden, but it makes the chili extra thick and delicious!

In addition to baking stevia, I will sometimes also use pure honey and organic vanilla to help sweeten up some recipes.

One of our family's favorite treats is my delicious protein gummies. I make mine with grass-fed gelatin. You'd never guess they're healthy! 

Did you know that gelatin is a superfood?

Oh yes it is.

BOTTON SHELF: OILS / VINEGARS / EXTRAS

THE GOOD FATS

I use coconut oil like it's going out of style. Tresomega Organic Coconut Oil is my favorite. I've replaced all of the cooking sprays with coconut oil. I also grease all my baking dishes with coconut oil. 

And most importantly... 

FUDGE.

I make a crap-ton of fudge with coconut oil. Our favs are chocolate walnut fudge, peanut butter fudge, and coconut bars.

Grapeseed oil is the magic ingredient in my crack salsa. No other oil will do in that recipe. It is definitely what gives it it's abracadabra.

So that there, folks, is my pantry.

I hope I gave you a few ideas on not only how to organize your pantry to help you lose weight, but on some of the foods to start stocking up on to help you as well.

 Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is SOOO much easier when you are organized! It helps your brain not hurt so much constantly trying to think of what foods to make. Plus, when you open a perfectly organized pantry, well... it just straight up makes you happy. 

And being happy is where it's at.

Take an afternoon and create some pantry porn of your own. 

 

~~~

 

Resource links:

*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Please Note: The affiliate links provided in this article are for products that I purchased and use regularly. I did not receive these products free nor was I asked to do a product review.

*Affiliate Disclaimer: Half of Gabby has recently become an Amazon Affiliate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all affiliates to put a disclaimer on their website/blog. Most disclaimers are so filled with confusing lingo that you don’t even understand what they're saying. I’m going to break it down for you the way I'd want it to be broken down for me. I’m not a fan of complicated and unclear regulation jargon. So here’s the dealio. Half of Gabby takes up a tremendous amount of my time. But because I love it so much, I really want to continue dedicating my time to it. For six years now, I have been providing product links to products that I use and love and in turn recommend them to my readers. These products have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or improve my family life. I have helped sell countless products for six years and have never received any commissions… Until now. As of September 15, 2016, I will be providing links just as I've always done, but now will receive a very small commission if you purchase an item through the affiliate link that I provide. An affiliate link is simply a link that brings you to a place where you can buy that product. I will not earn a commission by you simply clicking on the link, you must actually purchase the item(s) within 24 hours of putting it in your Amazon cart. Prices are exactly the same for you if you purchase through an affiliate link on Half of Gabby. You will NOT pay more by clicking through the link. My promise to you is that I will never recommend a product that I don’t fully 100% believe in and/or use myself and recommend to close friends and family. This will allow me to continue working hard on Half of Gabby without it using up time that I need to otherwise dedicate to contributing to my household. I'm happy to be able to continue my blog and to continue talking with, meeting, and helping people all over the world with their health journeys!

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