Healthy Pantry Conversion

Converting to a healthy pantry can be confusing and costly. In order to prepare healthier foods at home, it’s time for a pantry makeover! The goal is to reach the point in your transition that -- regardless of what you prepare from your kitchen -- it will be much healthier than it is today. Even your snack-hunt will yield a guiltless option. “Pantry” refers to whatever type of storage is appropriate for a given item:  cabinet, refrigerator or freezer.

Here is a way to get the basics and build on it over time. It is not a good idea to take the "trash bag" approach. The trash bag approach is when you throw away almost everything in the refrigerator, freezers and cabinets and then go shopping for full replacement. Doing this puts your new healthy eating behavior at  risk of failure. It could be a financial burden, and add a level of stress due to lack of knowledge as to what to do with these newly purchased items.

Pantry includes cupboards, closet, refrigerator, freezer or any place where food is stored.

What we present here is a list of things that should ultimately be in your healthy pantry.  We suggest using the phased approach. This approach is when you run out of an item currently in your pantry, instead of replacing it, replace it with a healthier item.  There are some exceptions to this approach (1 years worth of canned high sodium, high fat soup), which we suggest discarding or donating as soon as possible.

When you use the last of an item, seek a healthier alternative

Healthy Ingredient Glossary

Alternative Milks

Standard Shopping List for Healthy Pantry Conversion


[] Tortilla (whole grain)

[] Whole Grain (wheat, barley, sprouted, etc.

[] Whole Wheat Pita or Flat Bread


[] Whole Wheat

[] Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

[] Organic Yellow Whole Corn Meal

[] Buckwheat Pancake

What Are Whole Grains?   read more

Pasta and Grains

[] Whole Wheat Spaghetti

[] Brown Rice, Long or Short

[] Veggie Crumbles or Ground Vegetable Protein

[] Whole Grain Cereals - Organic Flakes

[] Tempeh [] Tofu

Beans and Legumes

[] Black Beans (dried, low sodium canned)

[] Red Beans

[] Chickpeas


[] Cabbage

[] Carrots

[] Dark leafy (spinach, kale, collards, romaine)

[] _________________

Fruits & Nuts

[]Seasonal Fruit

[] Apples (Granny Smith, red, etc.)

[] Raisins [] Avocado

[] Almonds [] Nut Butters [] ___________

Milk and Cheese

[] Rice Milk [] Soy Milk [] Almond Milk

Instant Organics

[] Re-fried Beans

[] Hummus

[] Couscous

Oils *refrigerate

[] Olive [] *Safflower [] *Canola

Meats & Meat Substitute

[] Veggie Hot Dogs [] Veggie Sausage

Frozen Foods

[] Burgers (mushroom, rice, lentil or veggie)

[] Organic Vegetables

[]  _________________


[] Pure Maple Syrup [] Black Strap Molasses

[] Salsa  [] Apple Cider Vinegar

[] Low Sodium Tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos

[] Vegetable Bouillion or Soup Starter

[] Raw Unfiltered honey

[] Dehydrated Vegetable Protein

[] Nutritional Yeast Flakes

[] Dried Fruit (without Sulfur)

[] Low Sodium Organic Snacks

[] Roasted Barley (coffee replacement)

[] Green and Herbal Teas

Non-Food Items

[] Vegetable Wash

[] Environmentally Friendly air freshener


Start Living Recipes by Surina Ann Jordan, Zima Health Publishers, 2010, 

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Eat to Live Well.

 Healthy Recipe Tips

Ingredient Glossary