It’s a new year and many of you are just starting out on our your new healthier lifestyle.  This time of year we are inundated with emails about how to get started, what recipes are the easiest to transition into and what foods should the pantry be stocked with.  Having a good base to work with in your pantry makes starting out a bit easier.  I swear, when my family first started eating this way, I was at the grocery store every other day getting this and that to make meals with.  I wish I had had a list of the basics to work with.  I now grocery shop once a week, mostly to stock up on fresh produce and I have a stocked up pantry that serves me well.  The list below is by no means complete or a one size fits all.  You may find that you need to substitute ingredients for food allergies or intolerances.  It’s here to provide a base for you to work off of to begin building a healthy and nutritious pantry that will make your transition into healthy eating smooth and seamless.



  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Garlic Gold Oil (This is a personal favorite of mine - not a necessity but so good to have!)
  • A high quality neutral oil like sunflower or grape seed
  • Peanut Oil

*When purchasing oils it’s important to look for both an organic and UNREFINED oil


  • Balsamic Vinegar (choose a good, high quality vinegar)
  • Brown Rice Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • Almond Flour/Meal

*When it comes to flour these are the 2 that I use most often.  That being said I have a pantry stocked with all sorts of flour - brown rice, quinoa, coconut, garbanzo bean.  While I don’t use them on a daily basis I keep them in a sealed container and stored in a cool temperature and they last for a very long time.  You’ll find that as you make recipes that call for these different flours that you’ll slowly build up your stock.  If you are gluten free make sure have a basic gluten free flour stocked in your pantry.

Whole Grains

  • Brown Rice
  • Whole Grain Oats (Gluten Free if needed)
  • Steel Cut Oats (if you are an oatmeal lover)
  • Quinoa
  • Kamut
  • Millet
  • Barley


  • Lentils
  • Black Beans (canned is fine, no salt added is preferred)
  • Garbanzo Beans (canned is fine, no salt added is preferred)
  • Kidney Beans (canned is fine, no salt added is preferred)
  • A neutral white bean like Cannellini or Great Northern (canned is fine, no salt added is preferred)

Other Canned and Jarred Items

  • Diced Tomatoes (no salt added is preferred)
  • Tomato Sauce (no salt added is preferred)
  • Tomato Paste (no salt added is preferred)
  • Coconut Milk (Both Lite and Full Fat are good to have on hand)
  • Natural Peanut Butter (no salt added is preferred, make sure there isn’t any added sugars)
  • Natural Jam or Jelly of your choice (look for a fruit sweetened brand)
  • Soy or Tamari Sauce (reduced sodium is preferred, gluten free if needed)


Dried Fruits, Nuts and Seeds

  • Raisins
  • Cranberries, blueberries, Goji Berries, Apriots or any of your favorite dried fruits (make sure you purchase unsweetened fruit)
  • Cashews, Peanuts, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios or any of your favorite nuts (roasted or raw is preferred)
  • Flax Seed, Chia Seed, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds or any of your favorite seeds (roasted or raw is preferred)


Miscellaneous Items

  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Vegetable Broth (reduced sodium preferred)
  • Sea Salt
  • Pasta of your choice (there are many good brown rice, quinoa or kamut varieties available)
  • Nutritional Yeast


  • The spices that you currently use are the same ones you’ll want to stick with.  I recommend slowly changing them all over to organic varieties.


Remember this list is just a guide.  You’ll find that over time you’ll easily add in your favorite pantry items.

I can’t state enough the importance of buying organic items.  Not only is this the only way to get a truly ‘clean’ product but you’ll also be helping to rid your body of unnecessary chemicals, pesticides and preservatives.

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  1. This is a great article, I was just looking at my pantry and thinking that i need to get mine together.

  2. Anne says:

    Just don’t forget that when you clean out your pantry, that you donate any unopened items to your local food bank. That way, it won’t go wasted and you’ll be helping those in need while improving your health!

    • Sarah says:

      Absolutely Anne! Great tip! Years ago when we went cold turkey on a clean diet we had 5 large bags of food that we donated. There are tons of places out there that are happy to receive pantry donations so please check them out and donate! Thanks for reminding me of this helpful tip.


  3. Gloria says:

    Thanks for this great post and for this great website! I noticed you did not include stevia in the sweeteners. Is Stevia bad? . I’m trying to make adjustments into my lifestyle and its been a little frustrating since there are lots of very misleading products labels. Thanks a lot for the shortcuts! Otherwise I would have never found out Agave was not a good option.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Gloria,

      The debate of clean sweeteners is always hotly debated and one that I try to stay out of. Do we use Stevia at all? No and I never plan to. There are those that think it is an acceptable sweetener and those that don’t. The sweeteners that we use on our site (coconut crystals, date sugar, honey, coconut nectar and maple syrup are the main ones) are the only sweeteners we use in our diets and those that we considered to be clean, healthy and nutritious. I’ve thought many times about writing an article on sweeteners but always end up scraping that idea as it’s always a sore subject with so many people. For any sweetener that you have questions about I always encourage you to do your research, look at reputable sites and come to a conclusion that is best for you. Sorry I couldn’t give you a more straight forward answer.



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