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Preparation Day 2 part 1: 5 Kitchen Clean-out Strategies

Time to clean out your kitchen in preparation for a low carb or keto diet! The goal for today is to remove anything but ‘real food' from the house.

I will be honest with you, this day can be overwhelming. I did this cupboard clean out for the first time 4 years ago and at the end of the day, I couldn't even figure out what we should eat for dinner! These type of feelings are normal. You're making actual changes in your house today and it can be unsettling, especially if you're against ‘wasting' food.

So because of that here are 5 Kitchen Cleanout Strategies for today if you're having problems throwing some things away:

1. Plan meals for the next three days BEFORE you start the cupboard/freezer/fridge cleanout

This will help immensely because you have a plan, and we all feel better when plans are made. If you want to, use some of the food in your meals that you would have thrown away or given away. Just set them aside for now. Even go so far as to mark on them with a Sharpie ‘Tuesday lunch' or ‘Thursday dinner'. If you have children, you may also want to plan out what they will eat for snacks.

Do NOT proceed with the cleanout until this first step is completed for the entire 3 days.

2. If you don't want to throw away, GIVE away

Some people have issues with this, because if we shouldn't eat the food than who should? I do think that some foods could be given away to a food bank or friends/family. For food bank donation, also consider giving some healthy basic items along with the other food such as dried beans or toiletries. Many people that have little will appreciate this donation.

Some things can't be donated though, since they are partial packages or not sealed. What to do with these? Set them aside and if you can't find family or friends that want these items after 3 days, then recycle the packages and throw the contents away.

3. Communicate with your partner or other adults in your household

Please do not do what I did, which was clean out the house without telling my husband. This can bring up resentment and oh-not-so-good feelings up to the surface once they find out. Yes we are still married and yes he forgave me, but I could have handled it a lot better! It's amazing what feelings a big strong guy will feel when you threaten to take away his <insert processed food loved since childhood here>. Sit down with your partner prior to clean out and decide if there's any foods that are ‘off limits' for now. If they will be tempting for you, have a special place to keep them that will be out of your line of sight.

For us it was Nalley's canned chili. My husband said, “I will ALWAYS eat this chili!!” and he was very adamant about it. It's four years later and we STILL have chili in the house, but I bought it for him a year ago and it hasn't been eaten yet! He lost his taste for MSG laden GMO soy mixed with meat pretending to be food! So, the lesson here is certain things can take a long time and the most important thing is to preserve your relationship. Food perfectionism cannot be maintained, just like perfectionism in any other area of our lives.

We are going for progress here, not perfection!

4. Don't Forget to Recycle

PLEASE recycle your packaging and just throw away the contents only. Not only will this save room in your trash can but it's better for the environment!

5. Last but not Least, Be Nice to Yourself

Everyone is starting this adventure at a different place, and some have more changes to make than others who have already been working for years. If you are just starting your real food adventure, keep this in mind. Look at the progress you've made and NOT what you haven't done. It's so easy to focus on the negative and not look at the things that have changed. If you want it to happen, it will come in time, I promise!

Ok, are you ready for the first part of the cleanout? See my next post for a list of items that you should clean out of your cupboards

Photo courtesy of mike lowe on Flickr