A Cupboard Cleaning to Kick-Start your New Year

A Cupboard Cleaning to Kick-Start your New Year

As we embark in a New Year, now’s as good a time as any to cleanse our closets, our bodies, but also… our cupboards. Aside from spiderwebs, there’s other nefarious things dwelling in your cabinets/refrigerator that would make me a very sad dietitian. That’s why Essence Nutrition offers a pantry makeover as part of all of our nutrition packages. We’ll come to (read: invade) your home and toss out the nutrition losers (store-bought salad dressings, Fritos that are “for the kids”), praise the allstars (canned beans, raw nuts), and create a customized grocery list to perfect your pantry zen.

Out with the old, in with the new! Essence Nutrition is happy to supervise. We will also confiscate any and all Nutella we happen to unearth for, err, scientific research.

Here’s some help for a healthier home in 2016

IMG_6416 (1)

IMG_6406Toss The Following

  • Chips (unless you’re playing poker)
  • Pretzels (they raise your blood sugar faster than a Taylor Swift concert sells out)
  • Crackers (OK OK, we like SOME brands…)
  • Cookies (zillions of better alternatives you can create yourself. See our Pinterest page!)
  • Popcorn (unless you’re already a rockstar buying organic, unflavored varieties and then adding your own yurmeric/cinnamon/cayenne/coconut flakes? Nah? then it goes!)
  • Mayonnaise (SO easy to replicate with Greek yogurt)
  • Salad dressings and sauces (we’ll teach you how to make your own clean versions of these!)
  • Granola bars (Oats adulterated with sugars. Sigh.)
  • ALL OF YOUR CEREAL (yep, you heard us. Again, allow us to assist you in concocting the cereal of your dreams!)
  • Flavored oatmeal (Fare thee well, dinosaur eggs)
  • Store-bought peanut butter (Nope. nope. nope. Get the freshly ground kind.)
  • Store-bought pudding (I swear this stuff will survive the nuclear apocalypse)
  • Frozen meals/waffles (There are SOME kinds we like… we’ll chat.)
    Any cheese in a wrapper (These are CHEESE IMPOSTORS)
  • Any flavored yogurt
  • Skim Milk (1. there’s no fat to combat the insulin spike from the lactose OR to help you absorb any fat-soluble vitamins and 2. ew it tastes like dirty water!)
  • White flour (bake with coconut flour, almond flour, buckwheat, etc. instead!)
  • Pancake syrup (Aunt Jemima, isn’t it time you retire? REAL maple syrup is way better)
  • Dried cranberries (Pure sugar. No nutrients. Lame. Buy raisins, goji berries, dates or dried figs instead.)
  • Non-organic eggs (No brainer. Google this.)
  • Juice (You’re not a toddler. So don’t drink juice. Unless it’s in a mimosa.)
  • Deli meats (No esophageal/stomach cancer for me in 2016, please)
  • Breads not from a bakery (You haven’t tasted REAL bread until you buy FRESH bread from Zak the Baker or True Loaf. You’ve been living a processed LIE.)
  • White potatoes (the famine is OVER, y’all. Opt for sweet potato, squash, cassava, or roasted yuca instead.)

Introduce These New Babes

  • Frozen fruits and veggies (Cheap. Organic. Lasts for MONTHS. Same nutrition as the fresh stuff! And you don’t get #raspberryanxiety. You know – OMG I ONLY HAVE THREE DAYS TO EAT THESE RASPBERRIES BEFORE THEY SPOIL!!)
    Organic Cottage Cheese (Powerhouse of protein and calcium!)
  • Molasses/REAL maple syrup (Yes, worth the pretty pennies. They have magnesium, zinc, traces of B vitamins. AND they are flavorful. AND you only have to use a little because they are so remarkably sweet.)
  • Yogurt (plain ONLY. Try coconut yogurt. Swoon.)
  • Kefir (Probiotic Party!!! This is essentially a drinkable yogurt packed with billions of tummy-happy microorganisms)
  • Teff (the new protein-packed grain on the block)
  • Gourmet cheeses (Splurge on some brie from a French bakery, sacre bleu)
  • Canned beans/beets (Easy way to blend ‘em up with spice and create a quick hummus!)
  • Dijon mustard (Minimally processed and a solid base for salad dressings, dips, and sauces)
  • Avocado oil (Cook with this stuff. It’s got lots of healthy fat and a mild flavor)
  • Coconut Oil (Ditto above, and you can also use it on your hair)
  • Cashew Butter (Because almond butter is so overdone)
  • Turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, oregano (Fight inflammation with these spice girls!)
  • Canned chunk light tuna (Quick, lower mercury lunch option)
  • Canned salmon (ditto! And ouh la la omega-3s)
  • Figs (They are in season!!! They are so versatile. They love to bathe on your homemade pizzas, swim in your salads/oatmeal, etc.)
  • Rolled Oats (Overnight oats, anyone?)
  • Unsweetened coconut milk (Dairy-free and MCT – happy nutrition rhymes)
  • 2% organic milk (You need a little fat in your life, trust us)
  • Cacao nibs (Phytochemical punch + chocolate flavor = decadent morning oatmeal)
  • Organic rotisserie chicken (Easiest dinner EVER)
  • Raw nuts (Need we say more? You don’t need to assault with salt)
  • Cucumbers and citrus (to slice and drop in your water bottle. TREAT YOSELF, 2016.)

For oodles of products we adore, come swing by the Essence office in Coral Gables. We’ve created the “Great Wall of Snacks” complete with dietitian-curated approved snack items on display. It was a rough job eating our way through Whole Foods to harvest the boxes…but someone had to do it.

Above all, wishing you a very happy and healthy 2016. Essence launches January 4th; just in time for you to follow through with those Veuve-inspired New Year’s Resolutions you made at 3 AM on the 31st, eh?



Monica Heather Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N is the Owner of Essence Nutrition, LLC launching January 4th 2016 in Coral Gables. Essence is a boutique luxury private nutrition consulting practice serving individuals and corporations. She previously was a clinical dietitian at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Today she is the official “nutritionist-a” to the “Brickellista”!

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