Executive Chef Josh Tomson knows that eating a delicious meal is a given. But what makes a great meal even better is by boosting the nutritional value with each and every ingredient serving a purpose in his creative recipes. That starts with a healthy pantry. Even our health-conscious spa needs to get back to basics every once in a while and no better time than Spring Cleaning! To make sure that each meal is at its best, The Lodge at Woodloch teamed with nutritional counselor, Diane Hoch, founder of The Food Evolution, to do a clean sweep of the pantry. Here are some of their tips if you want to try a pantry cleanup at home:
Spring Cleanse Weekend is a great way to get back on track!
1: Read the Labels! Remove items with the following ingredients:
- Hydrogenated oils
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Bleached flour
- Traditional white and brown sugar as sweeteners
- Artificial sweeteners
- Vegetable oils (Soybean Oil, Canola (Rapeseed) Oil, Corn Oil, Sunflower Oil, etc)
- Empty calorie snacks (cookies, chips, cake mixes, muffins, etc.)
- Expired foods
- Spices purchased over 1 year ago
- Cans that are dented (and ideally cans that aren’t BPA free)
2: Beat the Wheat!
Replace white flour with spelt flour which is the easiest flour to substitute in baked goods. There are other great choices such as brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, quinoa flour and more. These alternative flours are often higher in protein, fiber, essential amino acids and vitamin B. These flours are also typically tolerated well by those that have wheat sensitivities (although not always gluten free).
- Find a Better Nut Butter
Replace conventional peanut butters that are filled with hydrogenated, rancid oils and white sugar. Organic nut butters such as almond, hazelnut and sunflower seed butter provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and essential fatty acids in addition to the protein!
When eating nuts, select organic raw nuts vs. their roasted counterparts. Roasted nuts are often sodium-heavy and the roasting/heating process may remove many of the health benefits of the healthy oils in raw nuts.
4: You’ve Upgraded the Oil you Put in Your Car, Now Upgrade the Oil You Put in Your Body!
Finding a healthy oil that is properly produced (ideally cold-pressed) can nourish the body and support both the brain and immune system. Typical grocery store oils are rancid, deodorized and devoid of nutrients. Wholesome oil choices include Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil and (uncooked) Hemp Oil have nutritious benefits. Don’t forget to store it in the refrigerator!
5: Satisfy a Sweet Tooth With Nutritional Benefits
Refined White Sugar (and often brown-sugars) are full of empty calories, cause tooth decay, deplete minerals and can even disrupt the balance of your hormones. Unless you’re planning on preparing an at-home body scrub, get rid of that sugar! Better options are coconut sap sweetener or palm sugar which contains a wide spectrum of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron.