As you know I am trying to work out and eat healthier to get in better shape. I have the DVD set called Chalean Extreme and one of her DVDs is about eating right. She had a beautiful walk-in pantry and as she was standing there talking I noticed a few things that I wanted to implement in my own small pantry. It didn’t hurt that my pantry was also a huge mess and needed straightening up anyway. You know how bad they can get. I had a system so to speak but no one else would ever figure out where anything else was.
Here is a slightly before picture. I forgot to take one before I started pulling things out.
So the first step was to take everything out of the pantry. Whew. Thank goodness I had my son there willing to help with the demolition. My original thought was too put it into two piles. Staying and throwing out. As you can see from this picture I ended up with 3 piles because even though my pantry is small it was amazingly full.
The craziest thing I found in my pantry was this ball.
The stuff on the island was to be thrown out.
My reasons for throwing something out:
- out of date
- completely unhealthy
- an empty box (yes I actually had empty boxes in my pantry)
I ended up with 2 big trash bags of items to throw out. I also threw away boxes for some items that I was keeping. I took those items out to be organized into 3 boxes. In the video she was standing in front of beautiful wicker baskets. Well I didn’t have nice wicker baskets that I could use, nor did I want to go spend a bunch of money on them. I did however have one of those plastic 3 drawer systems that I wasn’t using for anything. So I took out the drawers. I knew I wanted to separate the food into 1 kid drawer and 1 adult drawer. My son has food allergies so I wanted him to have a drawer he could go into and know everything was safe for him to eat. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the 3rd drawer initially. I ended up using it as a second adult drawer.
Next I took items out of boxes and put them into the appropriate boxes. My son loves popcorn so I try to keep a box on hand for movie nights or a treat in the afternoon. Well I just bought a new box this weekend because I thought I was out. I actually had 3 boxes of popcorn in my pantry.
The other point I took away from her video was to get everything in proper portion sizes and ready to eat grab bags. I found my food scale that I had never used and quickly read the directions. It’s the Eat Smart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale. It was a snap to use. I would have liked to have put things in little snack bags but all I had were sandwich bags so that’s what I used. I took it a step further than the video and wrote on the baggie what was inside and how many calories you would be consuming by eating the snack. It was horrifying to see just how small a portion size was compared to how many calories something had. This little cashew trail mix had 190 calories! Do you think when eating this I would have ever stopped at this little bit? I could have easily eaten 3 of these and never realized I had just consumed close to 600 calories! Yikes. On the flip side look how many cracker crisps you can have in one serving.
The baggie system is also helpful because when I make my husband’s lunches in the morning I can just reach in and grab one and save a lot of time. Anything that makes things easier on me in the morning is a plus.
So here’s what my pantry now looks like. I also added my children’s picture to their box and my husband’s picture to our boxes. This way my kids know exactly which box is their’s and which one is not. It will be a great reminder for anyone coming over to watch my kids what they can safely give them for a snack. My husband loved the new system so it was a big hit. Now I’ll just have to keep it looking like this.
The other change I did was put my food scale in a top drawer where it will be easy to grab and use. I plan on weighing out more of my food so that I know exactly what is a portion size and cut back on overeating. I plan to organize my fridge this week so stayed tuned for that post.