March is National Nutrition Month, in honor of let’s talk about doing a Spring overhaul to the one place in your home where all the action is, your kitchen. We can shake out the cobwebs and dust off the shelves to give your kitchen the TLC it needs. Let’s hope we are done with the long dreary days of snow and cold weather. We can clean the windows and start to let the sunshine in. For the first step, we can start by cleaning the shelves in the pantries, give them a major renovation by taking out the high calorie, nutrient empty, processed foods on your shelves and bring in some new nutrient dense, energy packed, whole foods. This will start to pave the way for your family to change their way of eating. Get them ready for some new healthy nutritional eating habits. In addition, to clearing the cabinets of all the junk food also check the dates of the prepackaged foods to make sure nothing has expired. The best way to determine if these items are still good is to smell them. Spices: Most dry spices stay fresh for six months to a year. The easiest way to know if your spices are past their prime is to smell them. If they have lost their strength, or they don’t let off a strong odor, it is safe to toss them. Oils: Unsaturated oils like olive, canola, grapeseed, vegetable and peanut are perishable and turn rancid over time. When oil is bad your nose will know. Just smell, and if you question it, toss it. Nuts, Seeds and Grains: The oils in nuts, seeds, and grains can also go rancid. Smell your supply. Heat, light and oxygen are the enemies of these foods. If you want a longer shelf life for expensive nuts and seeds, store them in your fridge or freezer. Doing this will now take temptation for you and your family out of arms reach and create space for more healthy and wholesome foods. Most of the foods that need to go are the chips, cookies, prepackaged box foods etc. Not that you can never have them but let’s remove them for now. Once the cabinets are empty get a bucket of my favorite white vinegar and warm water. Wash the cabinet’s down with a rag. Then you are ready to restock. I love that smell….. Now that your kitchen is spic and span and ready for a makeover we can now re-fill your cabinets with clean and healthy foods. Think a about whole grains, low fat, fresh produce nuts and spice when shopping to re-stock.