Dr. Piazza’s Healthy Pantry Makeover

Image used via ashtreecottage.blogspot.com

The pantry is the soul of one’s kitchen, and we can all agree it is the epicenter of our diets. Countless times you’ve stood in front of the pantry, wondering what to eat, with all the ingredients staring back at you, offering their usual suggestions with no emphasis. 

These are the staples of your diet, fastening you to your mediocre health.

It’s time for a makeover.

I’m proposing a pantry over-haul, something to shake up your usual concept of typical ingredients. For some reason common knowledge is that it’s difficult to eat well. After compiling a list of alternative ingredients, and their many uses, I’ve come to the conclusion this just isn’t true.

Your options are many, and instead of looking at what you shouldn’t eat, look at the options for delicious meals that you never knew you had.

You’ll look at the pantry with all new hope, get excited to make new meals, and introduce your families to their classic favorites with a new twist.

Large food companies aren’t going to be forthcoming with healthy alternatives; you have to make the change for yourself. Let me share some of my suggestions with you, and discover that there’s hope for changing your life, one pantry item at a time. 

 Pantry Items

This is an abridged list of my pantry makeover items. I also offer a comprehensive pantry makeover as a part of my Nutrition Reform Program.

93% of canola oil is genetically modified (or GMO for short). It is made from a strain of rapeseed, a naturally toxic plant that’s been bred for consumption. Canola oil in your typical supermarket has been boiled, removing any nutrients it did have.

In the pursuit of putting natural, easy to absorb nutrients into your body, choose raw coconut oil, or cold pressed olive oil. Both work well when cooking, and make your food taste way better than canola oil!


Flour is a refined grain product, meaning it is ground without the outer shell, ensuring a longer shelf life, but taking out all the nutrients. What’s left is a food that, although easy to consume, wreaks havoc on your body with inflammation, spiked blood sugar levels, and a metabolism that, instead of burning fat, stores it.

A fantastic alternative is almond flour, which causes weight loss, improves the look of your skin, and lowers cholesterol. The nutrient intake is impressive with almonds, and the flavor compliments most meals!

Raw apple cider vinegar is a natural way to cure indigestion, clear skin, and soothe a sore throat. In cooking, it offers potassium, helping build muscle.

While reducing bad cholesterol, apple cider vinegar can also regulate blood pressure. It also breaks down fats, making weight loss a common side effect of consuming even just two table spoons a day!



e1032554c6609d868ede0501368b54c7Iodized salt has many consequences, only some of them being hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis, and kidney disorders.

Himalayan pink salt is a natural crystal found in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan. It is mined from there before distribution, and is known for its uses in healing, as well as it s84 natural minerals. It is easy to absorb, and and free of toxins.



There’s an alternative that satisfies your sweet tooth without the unhealthy implications of cane sugar. Cane sugar, which we consume about 180 lbs. of a year,  is one of the main causes of diabetes and obesity.

Stevia is a sweet plant that has many beneficial properties. It’s antibacterial, and is a common ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes (a sweetener that actually fights cavities!). Stevia also aids in the formation of calcium, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.


Grains take a lot of space up in anyone’s pantry, and are often a large part of many recipes. Your typical grains will be ground and devoid of nutritional value, like the flour described above. This is meant to elongate shelf life, and save money for the manufacturer.

Our alternative grains are oat groats, quinoa, and millet. All of these grains maintain their nutritional value through the little to no processing they undergo before hitting the shelf. All can be ground into their own respective flour, and can offer a multitude of alternatives for recipes.


Pretzels are made with the white flour that most breads are made with, meaning they do nothing for you while you consume them.

Unique Pretzels offer a snack that can allow you to eat without the guilt of your usual snack time.  Sprouted Splits, made by Unique Pretzels, has sprouted grains, filled with nutrients, and easy for your body to absorb.


Tomato sauce has multiple uses in different cuisines.  I cannot stress enough that any produce that is not grown and treated organically jeopardizes the health of you and your family. For a staple such as tomato sauce, you have to invest in organic product that will provide more nutrition with every dish.

This advice goes for any produce that you come across. Organic tomatoes offer the consumer a no-salt product, free of trans-fats and cholesterol. 



The pasta you buy in the supermarket is made of white flour. Since it is used in many different dishes, those who eat it tend to get high blood sugar, which creates the threat of diabetes, among other health problems.

Pasta can be made with the healthy and nutritious grains I discussed above, like quinoa. It can also be made with brown rice. There is even a sprouted variety! Incorporating these foods has little to no impact on the flavor of your dishes.


There is a way to change the eating habits of your household without rocking the boat too hard. What I’ve tried to stress in this post is that it’s possible to do this without losing the ingredients you need for family favorites. Give it a try; and be sure to share your experiences with us!