A few weeks ago, I mentioned we were starting to eat down our pantry . We are making great progress! For example, this week I used up some c...

Pantry Progress

A few weeks ago, I mentioned we were starting to eat down our pantry. We are making great progress! For example, this week I used up some chickpeas, nuts and nutritional yeast making Mama Pea's Mmmm sauce. (Seriously, go make it. That woman has not disappointed me yet.)

For a double whammy, I enjoyed it over the last of our steel cut oats.

We've also managed to make great progress on our quinoa, and are down to four cans: black beans, chickpeas, tomatoes and beets. That last one should be a challenge.

A black lentil soup used up a good portion of our black lentils, although we didn't get organized enough to make naan with our bread flour.

I'm not writing just to brag, though. I'd also like to do some out-loud thinking. When we move, we will be restocking our pantry, and we'd like to have a game plan before we get to the store. Dan and I have made a lot of progress towards establishing our eating identity in the past year. Our household is now about 98% vegetarian, with a heavy emphasis on fruit, vegetables, dairy and grains.

But we'd like to make some changes.

These are the foods we'd like to feature in our new pantry:
1. Nuts and seeds, including nut and seed butters. In the past I've hesitated to purchase these because of the price. We've had our jar of almond butter for almost 4 months, though! Overall, worthwhile, and a great, filling snack. (Note: Nutella does not count.)

2. Legumes. Since we discovered the slow cooker method for cooking beans, we've started eating more of them. I still like having cans around, because they're easy. Right now our favorites are black beans, chickpeas and black lentils. I plan to always have these three on hand and buy other varieties as needed.

3. Whole grains. We bought a lot of white flour when we moved into our new place and we haven't really used much of it. After discovering white whole wheat flour, I don't bake nearly as many goods with white flour, so it's pretty much sat on the shelf. We'll also stock quinoa, rice and pasta.

4. Organic and non-dairy milk. The first one is easy--we go through about a gallon a week of milk. The organic stuff tastes better and I believe it is the right way to go. Still, we could use to incorporate a little bit more variety into our diets and non-dairy milk is an easy way to decrease our dependence on dairy. There are lots of options and lots of times it doesn't matter what you use--scrambled eggs, coffee, oatmeal, etc.

5. Tofu. I know soy has gotten some bad press. I'm skeptical, and I plan to continue eating soy. I love tofu, and it's a great source of protein. We usually buy the extra firm variety, but occasionally venture into silken tofu for smoothies.

6. Fruits and vegetables, heavy emphasis on the latter. I could eat grapes until the cows come home (which would be a long time in our home). Same with most types of fruit. I also love vegetables, but I'm not as great at eating them. I still get way more than the suggested number of daily servings, but I feel like that's a pretty low standard.

A few more glass containers is going to be crucial, and maybe the addition of a mini fridge. A lot of these foods require pre-cooking and/or refrigeration, especially for quick eating. And when there's oatmeal in the fridge, I'm much more likely to eat it.

The hope is that limiting our purchases of items not on this list (crackers, cold cereal and candy for example), we will be forced to adjust our eating habits.

Just as it took me a long time to get comfortable eating vegetarian food, I expect it will take adjustment to eating nuts, seeds and veggies as snacks. But if it gives me a 2% improvement in my training, it will be worth it. If it also improves our quality of life, even better.

More and more, I believe that you are what you eat. I want to give my body what it needs to be the best of the best. It's not going to be easy, but it's worth it.

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