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What’s in Kristen’s Pantry?


I’m firmly with Tish on this question of the week—I knew from the get-go that it would be a little embarrassing. But let me be clear—I’m not embarrassed about how I eat; I eat a lot of fresh fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy (with some treats tossed in for good measure, of course) from the fridge, and I have lots of good whole-grain bread in my breadbox, but my pantry is kind of a catch-all for random snacks and leftover non-perishables.

Also? It’s huge (the pictures here don’t even come close to showing the whole thing, but I didn’t think you needed to see the boxes of dog treats and 14 different types of tea I’ve managed to collect), so I have very little incentive to clean it out.

Excuses, excuses, I know. But, you guys, I just let Keri Glassman, who’s currently working with Arnold/Orowheat Sandwich Thins for its Smart Eating campaign, take a look at what’s in there, and the news wasn’t great, so, yeah. I’m going to do a bit of ‘splainin’.

The top couple of shelves got the most feedback from Glassman who said:

  • For cereal, make sure they are high in fiber and low in sugar—aim for at least 10 grams of fiber and no more than 6 grams of sugar, no HFCS and no coloring, no BHA or BHT.
  • For oatmeal, stick with the steel cut oats and ditch the other artificially flavored and sweetened
  • kinds.
  • Stick to plain nuts. You can even roast your own with cinnamon.
  • Use real organic maple syrup.

Certainly all are fantastic suggestions. I knew that my beloved Smart Start cereal had more than a little excess sugar (14 grams) and not a ton of fiber (3 grams), but it has a bit of protein and loads of vitamins, so I’ve always excused it. I might need to start shopping around, but, boy, it’s going to be hard to give up. Same with the oatmeal—I really just use the instant oatmeal when I need a quick hot meal before a run, even though I know the steel cut variety is way better for me.

I’m going to be honest—I don’t know if I’ll be able to make the switch to plain nuts all the time, and I think I’m too lazy to roast my own, so while I’ll definitely attempt to incorporate more plain nuts with what’s there, I really love having those flavored ones around as a quick snack. And I cannot stand natural maple syrup. I’m sorry. It’s just so thin and icky. For as little as I eat anything that requires syrup (seriously, almost never), I’m not sure I can talk myself (or my husband) into the natural stuff.

Fruits and veggies and, of course, extra salsa.

Glassman also suggested:

Ditch the fruit in the can and go for the real thing: fresh fruit or frozen fruit where the ingredients are only fruit!

No problem on this. I’m pretty sure the jarred fruit has been in the pantry since we moved from our last home three years ago, and it just kind of sits there, waiting for me to decide to do something with it. I got the Mandarin oranges because someone made me a salad with them and I wanted to recreate it, but I never did (hey, I already admitted I was lazy—this is also why there are frozen cranberries in my freezer from a year and a half ago, and I have yet to recreate the amazing cranberry relish/tomato/spinach sandwich I had at some restaurant). The peaches? No clue.

Hooo, boy, that was painful. I feel like I need to have something really good for me now. Hmm, maybe I’ll go make a sandwich.

Now that we’ve all bared our pantries (seriously, I think I would’ve rather bared my panties than do this), it’s your turn. Which FBG’s pantry does yours resemble? Mine, Jenn’s, Erin’s or Tish’s? —Kristen


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  1. Julia Haeger says:

    You know those mini muffin pans? I use them to portion and freeze steel cut oatmeal. I just make a huge batch every other week, freeze, and take 1 portion out to pop in the micreowave before the am run. So easy!

  2. Liz says:

    It is so interesting to think what we can learn about each other by opening the pantry door! I just posted my pantry on my blog and found this post while searching for information on other pantries. Mine is a list, but take a look. I have found I can make endless recipes from it.

  3. FBG Tish says:

    LOL Yep…I felt your pain. She’s a stickler, isn’t she? I think it would have been cool to show the dog treats. If she would have told you to stop eating those I would have had to make her my best friend.

  4. I know you feel guilty but if you saw mine you would feel better. And as you say it is kind of a catch all.

  5. Dianne says:

    Real maple syrup tastes great with real oatmeal, and there you have your flavored oatmeal. AFA quick meal, I cook a big batch of steel-cut oats on the weekend, then keep a tub of it in the fridge. 1 big scoop, a minute in the microwave, a little actual maple syrup (the dreaded “thin” texture actually helps loosen up the sticky oatmeal) and breakfast is ready. I usually add some walnuts and cranberries…I didn’t know they were boring until now.

  6. It sure sounds like your pantry is stocked up nicely. I enjoyed your handy tips about what types of food to stock. People need to become aware about healthier food options.

  7. brittany says:

    As someone who did the whole food pyramid, low-fat, “heart healthy whole grains” way of eating for years, you’re going to have a really hard time finding one meets the fiber/sugar requirements and DOESN’T taste like cardboard. Since there isn’t really much nutritional value in cereal anyway, toss it. Focus on good protein sources and veggies for breakfast instead — dinner leftovers are fantastic. (Plus cereal always left me hungry again an hour later, even the so-called “healthy” cereal options.)

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