The 90/10 Rule: Healthy Hints For Your Home

Feature by Milla Maria

Milla Maria Founder of Casper & Casper

Milla Maria Founder of Casper & Casper

Eating healthy has become a huge part of our social culture. Where it was once seen as strange, ordering an almond milk latte and switching from sourdough to gluten free has quickly become the new norm. To keep up with this ongoing evolution of wellbeing, most cafes and restaurants today can accommodate for every kind of food preference, intolerance, allergy or diet.  

But in the privacy of our own home, diets have the tendency to crumble (much like those cookies in the pantry). Somehow, our home-made avocado on mash seems slightly less enticing than the one served up by that quirky cafe down the road, and so it’s easy to turn to those sweet store-bought treats lurking behind the rye crisps in the pantry.


So, to save ourselves from mindless snacking, from the tastebud-teasing tendencies of usual culprits like chips and chocolate, we introduce a simple standard: the 90/10 rule. Because the key to healthy eating habits starts with a well-stocked kitchen.

This rule is easy to follow: stock the pantry with 90% whole foods (more info Whole Food) and 10% treats. This helps to maintain a nutritional and balanced diet, while allowing us to indulge in those guilty pleasures from time to time.

So before you start tossing out all your favourite delights, start by replacing each item with a whole food equivalent. Being subtle in your approach is essential. This will allow your psyche and tastebuds to adjust and adapt slowly, rather than feel deprived. This smooth transition is best for the long term, as it will eventually help to develop healthy and mindful eating habits, especially around children (who seem to squirm at the sight of seeds – remember: subtle is crucial).

Some helpful suggestions to get you started:

•      Don’t fret if 20% of the pantry is stocked with naughty foods (chips, biscuits, lollies, processed foods, soft drinks). Pack away most of it so that only 10% remains, then restock the naughties once a week or as needed. Over time and as you adjust, that 10% will last longer and longer.

•      Replace all white foods with brown or light brown. This might include flour, rice, sugar and
salt. (In salt’s case, pink or cream works fine.)

• Swap two-minute noodles with soba noodles or brown rice noodles.

•      Frozen fruits and veggies are great, but natural and fresh are always better.

•      Check sugar and salt content in canned and jarred vegetables. This might include tomatoes, corn, peas, tuna, salmon, pickles and so on.

•      Swap canola and vegetable oil with extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil or organic coconut oil.

•      Swap margarine with butter.

•      Instead of processed cheese, try fresh ricotta, feta or goats cheese.

•      Food labels often have hidden preservatives, colours, thickening agents or stabilisers. If it reads like a chemistry lab, chances are it’s made in one, so take it out of the trolley!

•      The less human interaction with the food the better. This means that the less it’s been handled by human hands, the better it’ll be for your pantry.

•      Buy local and organic as much as you can.

•      Replace fizzy drinks with soda or sparkling water. Add some fruit, or cucumber to change it up a little.

•      Look for organic grass fed meats that are hormone and antibiotic free.

•      All fish is excellent as long as its sourced sustainably (more info

Scroll down for my whole foods shopping list and helpful links:


Swap for Summer!

Start your summer right and swap out the bad for the good in your pantry.

Photos by Jess Middleton
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