It can be your catalyst for change.
It can be the beacon of hope that your nutritarian lifestyle will endure–even when you have nothing prepped, no fresh veggies in the house, and you need an on-plan meal ASAP!
I’m going to show you how to set it up, right here, right now!
Let’s talk about:
- finding the space for your pantry (it doesn’t need to be a pantry at all!)
- removing or relocating foods that work against your lifestyle
- eat to live pantry items you need now
- half my pantry is dedicated to food prep containers
- nutritarian spice rack
- get your Eat to Live Pantry Shopping List here (free printable download)
- GIVEAWAY!! (win a basket of my favorite pantry items–winner will be announced on Friday, Sept. 30th)
I’m ready to bare all for you! Well, at least pantry-wise.
Let’s do this…
When I open those cabinet doors I can’t help but hear a symphony of angelic I-love-my-nutritarian-pantry choir music crescendo in my head! Don’t worry, after this, you’re going to hear it too.
The two most important things I’ve learned on my four-year nutritarian journey are: organization gives you power and preparation sets you free.
What kind of power, exactly? All the best kinds: willpower, staying power, the power to make consistently better choices.
And that’s exactly what I call results: making consistently better choices.
One day I looked at my jumbled-up, stick-this-here, shove-this-there, hodge-podge of a pantry and I knew I could do better.
I could make my pantry over and it would mirror a message back to me: I’m in it to win it! This lifestyle isn’t a fad, it’s a priority.
Revamping my pantry made an impact supporting my nutritarian lifestyle, and now I’m going to help you do the same!
Claim Your Space
pan·try /ˈpantrē/ noun
noun: pantry; plural noun: pantries 1. a small room or closet in which food, dishes, and utensils are kept
Guess what? I don’t really have a pantry. Not according to Webster’s at least.
Our cozy 1960s home has a small galley kitchen. The previous owners drywalled over what used to be the pantry door. They used the old pantry space to house the stacked washer and dryer in the garage.
Yup, not the choices I would have made.
We soon discovered we needed loads more storage. Why oh why did they take that pantry away from us!
The solution was to head over to Ikea, stat. We created this half-pantry-half-china-cabinet (that I like to call Bessie) from the Besta storage series (kinda like this one).
I love Bessie with all my heart. And I used to actually share her with the rest of my family.
But not anymore…
Unapologetically claim your eat to live pantry space!
That’s right, I’m giving you full permission to eminent-domain some cabinet space that is JUST. FOR. YOU.
If you have a pantry, perfect! Go ahead and claim 2 or 3 shelves for yourself. Take the shelves that are easiest to access, mark them up with labels, tell everyone in the house: This is my area!
That’s right–because your healthy eating is a priority. And until everyone else joins in on the mission, their food is going to be second-class. And that’s just the way it has to be.
Confiscate some shelves, an entire cabinet or two, or go forth and find something you love to house your nutritarian dry goods in your kitchen!
The point is: be bold, take as much as you need (even if it feels like it’s too much). Create a safe space in your kitchen that is your nutritarian refuge.
Now let’s clean it out…
Junk Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
This may go without saying, but you need to get rid of all non-nutritarian foods from your “pantry” space.
It’s not going to be hard. There’s a handy shopping list for you at the end of this post, so you can just go down the list and get rid of anything that’s off-plan.
If it’s just you–throw away or donate. If you have non-nutritarians in the house, relocate those foods to a different space in the kitchen.
I have two non-nutritarian kids, (4 and 7) and a quasi-nutritarian hubby who eats with me about 75% of the time. I took all of my kids’ foods out of our pantry and into one of the cabinets near the stove. This makes it easier for me while cooking but still gives me that all-about-me space I need.
Remember, you’re creating a space that’s your refuge, your mirror back to yourself that you are committed to eating to live.
Now, let’s talk about what to put into that pantry…
What You Need in Your Eat to Live Pantry
We’re going to go through this shelf by shelf:
This is pretty much the healthy fats department of the pantry.
Since nutritarians don’t use oil we get our fats from seeds and nuts (for further reading on this check out: Top 6 Nutritarian Superfoods).
You’re going to use these nuts and seeds to make yummy oil-free dressings, sauces, jams and puddings. Yeah, this is my favorite shelf.
What to have on hand:
- raw cashews
- raw almonds
- raw walnuts
- raw sunflower seeds
- raw pumpkin seeds
- raw chia seeds (you can also store these in the fridge)
- nutritional yeast
- raisins and other dried fruits (make sure they’re unsulfered without added oil, salt or sugar)
On the far left of the shelf you’ll see a canister of my nutritional yeast reserves.
I have a spice cabinet near the stove where I keep my “everyday” nutritional yeast and I keep a tub up on this shelf for easy refilling. I have even more “nooch” at the bottom of the pantry because there is no worse feeling than getting ready to make a recipe and discovering you’re out of nutritional yeast!
Be mindful of the yeast you buy. Dr. Fuhrman warns against using fortified nutritional yeast as supplementing with folic acid can be harmful (for more information see: The Nutritarian Vitamin Guide)
I use this Sari Foods brand:
To store my nuts and seeds I use some old glass jars that I collected when my son went through a Trader Joe’s canned peaches phase (when he was 3). I couldn’t bear to throw them away so I peeled off the labels and re-purposed.
The smaller jars are from Trader Joe’s roasted red peppers (that I use to make nutritarian cheese sauce and other sauces).
The little plastic basket on the right is where I keep any nut, seed or dried fruit remnants.
Okay, this actually might be my favorite shelf…
Whole grains are like your “treat” on the nutritarian plan. You only get 1 cup daily but, boy, do I ever look forward to that ration!
For a full write-up on nutritarian-friendly, gluten-free pastas and bean pastas, check out: Nutritarian Pasta Primer
What to have on hand:
- your favorite dried beans (I like to keep red & green lentils and split peas)
- brown rice
- bean, rice and / or quinoa pastas
Using food canisters can really help you save by buying in bulk. Dry beans are cheaper than canned but remember for black beans, red beans, pinto beans and other larger beans you’ll need to soak them before cooking.
And that’s a big reason why I like to have good stash of cans…
It’s always a good idea to have canned beans ready-to-go at all times. Beans are unlimited on the plan, they fill you up and provide protein and fiber–so yeah, they rock!
Low-sodium veggie stock is the nutritarian equivalent to cooking oil. You use this to water-saute veggies, create soup bases and sauces. I always have one carton of stock open in the fridge and plenty of reserves.
What to have on hand:
- low sodium vegetable stock
- no salt added marinara sauce
- diced no salt fire-roasted tomatoes
- lite coconut milk
- canned beans (black, garbanzo, northern white)
- roasted red peppers
- dijon mustard
- unopened raw nut butters (almond, cashew, sunflower)
Now I hope you can see that if you came home form work, with nothing prepped, you could easily head to your pantry and eat on-plan. Boil some bean pasta, add no-salt marinara and a sprinkle of walnuts and roasted red peppers–voila!
Vinegar is important.
Giant main-course salads are the cornerstone of the nutritarian plan and there’s nothing easier than using vinegar for your dressings!
At the time of this pic I had all my flavored vinegar opened and in my fridge or spice cabinet. Buying a bulk-sized white vinegar will always be helpful since you can quickly add some spices and herbs to make a quick dressing.
We buy coconut water in bulk because we all love smoothies. Check out my go-to green smoothie recipe here!
What to have on hand:
- vinegar reserves (white, balsamic, red wine, apple cider)
- coconut water
You will find a handy printable pantry shopping list at the end of this post, but first let’s talk about the other half of this pantry…
I’m all about nutritarian food prepping.
I might even promote myself to full-fledged nutritarian-food-prep-fanatic. It’s a deserving title now that I’m waist-deep in writing a 100-page ebook on weekly eat to live food prep (you can read more about the upcoming ebook here).
The number one most read post this year on this blog is: The Eat to Live Food Prep Guide. As of today it’s been read/viewed 48,460 times on this site and shared over 10,000 times on Pinterest!
I can’t emphasize this enough: weekly food prep will set you free!
And I’m sorry but I’ll always choose 2 days of cooking over 7 days of cooking. That’s a complete no-brainer.
So, that’s why I’ve dedicated a whole half of my eat to live pantry to food prep tools and containers. This is typically what the pantry looks like on Saturday before the food prepping festivities commence!
- a container for my measuring spoons & cups (far left)
- parchment paper (I love this natural, pre-cut kind)
- bulk-sized plastic wrap (used by the whole family)
- small paper baggies (for the kids’ lunches)
My collection of Pyrex Snapware that I used for cooked food storage (soups, roasted veggies, tofu dishes).
- If you’re looking for a good place to start, this is a great starter set:
I like the extra long containers for roasted veggies (you can even roast them right in the container).
- I started with this exact set that I found at Costco about a year ago:
This set has a few extras like a steamer try and raised trays for storing berries.
- Then I supplemented with two sets very similar to this one (that I found at Costco about 3 months ago):
This shelf is all about salad and sauces.
- I use these wide-mouth 16-ounce Mason jars for dressings, hummus and dips:
I’ve found these to be the absolute best at keeping sauces, dips and dressings the freshest the longest! I also love using these jars for housing single-portions of soups–especially for eating on the go.
- I also have the smaller half-pint versions:
These are great for prepping easy-to-heat-up oatmeal int he mornings!
Really if you’re on a budget, you could buy a few packs of the 16-ounce and a few packs of the half-pint wide-mouth mason jars and use them for all your food prepping needs!
- I use these white plastic tops instead of the aluminum ones the jars come with (since I don’t use them for canning):
- Finally, I have my original set of Glasslock storage containers (I found the green-lid set at Costco about 2 years ago):
I use this set to store my fresh-cut veggies for salads–for no particular reason other than I always have. The Glasslock and Pyrex brands are really no different in quality.
If you’re just starting out as a nutritarian, this section is for you! Especially if cooking isn’t your #1 favorite pastime.
It can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out to think about spices.
The good news is you can go a very, very long way with what I like to call the nutritarian spice trifecta:
- no-salt seasoning
- garlic powder
These three spices are going to give you the most flavor right off the bat. No-salt seasoning makes everything better, same with garlic powder.
Cinnamon will help with a sweet tooth–you can literally slice an apple or banana and transform it with just some sprinkled cinnamon!
If you’re going to start your spice collection anywhere, start with these three.
After that I would layer on a few dried herbs:
For some bold flavor I would then add on:
- ground ginger
- curry powder / turmeric
With these 9 spices you would have a pretty-well rounded, starter spice rack.
When you’re more comfortable cooking you might want to add on:
- onion powder
- chili flakes
- dried chives
- Paprika / Cayenne pepper
For a great resource on spices and their individual flavor profiles check out this guide!
Okay, you’ve stuck with me this whole time and now, my friend, you shall be rewarded…
Lists just make life better, don’t they?
There’s something so innately psychologically pleasing about checking off boxes…
Well, it’s cause you’re getting things done! Especially with this list. Because you’re investing in yourself and being proactive about creating the lifestyle you want to lead.
It doesn’t matter where you are right now. If you’re here and you’re ready for change you literally have everything at your fingertips to make that happen!
Start by downloading this: Eat to Live Pantry Shopping List by MMTM
Take action with what you’ve learned today, and keep going:
- get your refrigerator in check
- start learning about nutritarian food prep
- worried about falling off track? Read this!
The point is, you’re here for a reason. You’ve read this far because you’re serious.
I’ve worked hard creating this site so you can have every advantage in implementing a nutritarian lifestyle!
I want you to believe in yourself. I want you to take action.
Let’s do better together!
Wait! Before you go, I promised you a giveaway…
I’m celebrating the opening of the MMTM Amazon Store and I want to spoil you with some of my favorite nutritarian pantry finds!
One lucky reader will win:
- Once Again Organic Tahini
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- Banza Chickpea Pasta
- Rhythm Superfoods Naked Beet Chips
- Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa
- one Key Lime LARA bar
It’s super-simple to enter:
- Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite tip or one of your own favorite nutritarian pantry staples!
- Follow MMTM on Facebook and leave a comment on the giveaway post!
The winner will be announced on Friday, September 30th at 6:00 PM (PST) on Facebook.
This is my thank you for all your support, encouragement and love!
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