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2010 Copyright Joy Kettler Gurgevich
J   Y of FOOD & YOGA
Joy Kettler Gurgevich - Behavioral Nutrition
     Pantry Purging 
When diet 
is wrong, 
medicine is
of no use.
When diet
 is correct, 
medicine is 
of no need. 

~ancient Ayurvedic proverb
5215 N. Sabino Canyon Road 
Tucson, AZ 85750
Keep in mind that the food you want in your pantry (and ultimately on your plate) is the highest quality that you can afford.

High quality means:  fresh, whole, locally grown if possible, seasonal, homemade, nutrient dense, organic (grown without the use of conventional agrichemicals such as pesticides, growth hormones, prophylactic antibiotics, etc), and appetizing with real flavor (not masked with chemical flavors and artificial colors).

The most wholesome foods, the foods that nourish our bodies the best, are closest to nature.  These foods are fresh, alive with vibrant colors and aromas and flavors.  They are minimally processed; they are not 
canned, not frozen, not preserved, not artificially flavored, not colored with coloring agents, not hydrogenated, not genetically engineered, not sprayed with pesticides, not raised with agrichemicals, not  heat treated, not homogenized.   They are closest to nature.

Take an honest look in your pantry and refrigerator. Start reading a few of the Ingredients labels.  Now is the time to get rid of the foods that do not belong there, that you know do not promote your health.  When you “purge your pantry” you make room for the nourishing, fresh foods that you will be buying on your next grocery shopping trip. 
Consider putting in a cardboard box foods containing refined white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or corn syrup of any type, glucose and artificial sweeteners. The average American consumes 2 pounds of sugar weekly.  This is not only in the form of refined white sugar, so just throwing away the sugar bowl isn’t going to work. White sugar has many disguises:  brown sugar which is usually just refined sugar sprayed lightly with molasses to give it a healthy look, turbinado sugar which is only one refining step away from white sugar; again with just a healthier look but negligible nutrition.  Corn syrups such as high fructose corn syrup and the light and dark corn syrup bottles are another refined sugar in disguise.  They are chemically purified corn starch, hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, and water.  Corn syrup is in soft drinks and candy, bakery items of all sorts, fruit juices, bottled spaghetti sauces and ketchup, to name just a few.  The average American consumes 79 pounds of corn sweeteners every year.  Read the Ingredients labels in your pantry closely.
If we could eliminate one item from the American diet, it would be chemical sweeteners 
which are used in diet soda pops, sugar free candies and gums, the pink Sweet and Low, Equal, and NutraSweet.  Chemical sweeteners are 
a “no” for our bodies.  Don’t be fooled by diet sodas and other sugar free foods.  They only give false hope. A  study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio revealed that people who drink one diet soda every day have 
a 55% chance of becoming overweight anyway.  This 
is 22% more than regular 
soda drinkers.  It seems that diet soda drinkers often indulge in extra calories elsewhere. Just stop drinking diet sodas right now.
Consider putting in a cardboard box foods made with white flour, such as donuts and pastries, conventionally produced crackers, cookies, breads, and muffins. White flour and products made with white flour are devoid of nutrients, as those nutrients have been eliminated during the processing of the grain.  You are about to begin tasting a variety of grains:  kasha, barley, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, rye, kamut, oats, etc.  Many ready-to-eat breakfast cereals contain these grains, and there are many bakeries that bake bread with these grains.  Whole grains and legumes  are the only food which contain all the macro nutrients.  They are nutritional powerhouses.  They have protein, carbohydrate, good oil, B vitamins, and vitamin E, and fiber.  

In 500 years when historians are studying our American culture, 
we bet that they will label us the “wheat people”.  We have 
bagels and donuts for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, 
and pasta or pizza for dinner, all made from wheat. 

Consider putting in a cardboard box food containing poor-quality fats. This includes hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, margarines, cottonseed oil, and products containing them, such as microwave popcorn, most conventional crackers and cookies, cakes, pastries, potato chips, left-over fast food, etc.  You will replace these inferior products with delicious and satisfying foods made with healthful oils.  Once your eye learns to spot these unhealthy oils on the Ingredients label, you will quickly discover healthy alternatives, perhaps sitting on the same shelf in the grocery store.
Consider putting in a cardboard box non-organic dairy and meats. All conventionally raised dairy and meats in America are full of harmful agrichemicals. Choose grass fed beef and free-range poultry and eggs if you choose to eat animal products. We should eat a minimum of dairy and limit that consumption to organically produced milk, cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and butter. Dairy products signal trouble for many people.  You may be one of them.  The fat in dairy is saturated, so if used in excess it can create heart health problems. Ice cream; we all look for low fat milk but forget about the fat in ice cream.  One of the proteins in dairy, casein, is an allergy trigger for many people.  The carbohydrate or sugar in dairy, lactose, frequently causes uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms because many people lack the digestive enzyme lactase.  Be mindful of your dairy consumption and listen to your body’s reactions.

Increase plant protein 
foods and decrease animal protein in your diet.  

Research shows that a low fat, whole food diet which is mostly vegetarian is health promotion at its finest whereas the high fat, high protein standard American diet is dangerous to health.  
In addition, from a global perspective, if Americans reduced their meat intake by 
10%, 60,000,000 people could 
be fed adequately with the 
grain that would be saved. So 
the bottom line here is to 
use meat as a condiment or a 
side dish rather than an entrée.  When I say meat, I mean beef, pork, and chicken.  We don’t need to eat a steak so big that it laps over both sides of the plate. 
Consider putting in a cardboard box foods containing caffeine.  Coffee, black teas, sodas, and chocolate are all high in caffeine, which causes great fluctuation in blood sugar levels.  In turn, this can lead to anxiety, sleep disorders, hypertension, and a myriad of other symptoms.  These foods should be used very judiciously, if at all.  A good dark chocolate, containing at least 70% cocoa, is an exception.  Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, flavonols, that help our bodies fend off free radicals, some of which are naturally generated in our bodies, but more are also created when we eat unhealthy hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats found in highly processed foods.  Flavonols also help boost the healthy HDL cholesterol and lower the not-so-healthy LDL cholesterol levels in our bodies.

Most probably, there are some very favorite foods in the pantry that you are discovering are taboo and, if you live with other people, there are probably foods in your pantry and frig that are someone else’s favorites. Everyone near and dear to you needs to eat more wholesome foods, not just you.

Make gradual changes (remember, small simple “tastes” at the beginning) for some of these favorites.  Buy frozen yogurt to replace the ice-cream.  Slowly replace chips and cookies with nuts and whole grain crackers and cookies. Buy frozen cherries and pineapple pieces to replace the artificially flavored popsicles.  Buy whole grain frozen waffles to replace the cinnamon rolls made with white flour.  Buy turkey (organic!) hot dogs to replace the high-fat, nitrated all-beef hot dogs.  Buy one of the excellent herbal coffee substitutes, and have one cup of regular coffee and one cup of an herbal drink.  A latte is delicious made with one of these botanicals.  Or simply buy a decaffeinated coffee, as a first “taste”.  Remember, everyone near and dear to you needs to eat more wholesome foods, not just you.

Example is not the main thing influencing others, it’s the only thing
- Albert Schweitzer
 

Choosing wholesome foods always gives the body an opportunity to function optimally.  If you don’t pump the highest grade fuel into your Ferrari, the engine will start to bump and you won’t get the best mileage. It’s the same with our bodies.  We often take better care of our vehicles than our human bodies.  It doesn’t make sense.  We can go out and buy a new car, but we can’t buy a new body.   JKG