The Hot Sauce Stands Alone (Kitchen Clean Out)

Last night I started my first official, no-turning-back-now Whole30 prep: cleaning out the kitchen. I dedicated the entire evening to going through every pantry, fridge and freezer shelf to remove or hide any non-approved food item (I’ve been calling it contraband for added dramatic effect).

I knew this would be time consuming, so I pulled out a soon-to-be-illegal beer (or three, whatever) to enjoy during the process. I grabbed some boxes and shopping bags and got to unloading. Okay… I knew a lot of items would have to go. But I still maintain that Tim and I have been eating pretty healthy, so how bad could it really be?

Here were my self-imposed rules for dealing with Whole30 violating foods:

a) If it’s insanely processed, it goes in the garbage. No matter what.
b) If it’s somewhat healthy, unopened and shelf-stable I’ll keep it for possible food shelf donation.
c) If it’s a food we might decide to reincorporate and it will keep for 30 days (i.e. brown rice), it goes into a bag/box for the basement.
d) Hide all of the refrigerated/frozen food that can’t go in the basement in opaque bags. Out of sight, out of mind?

I should also note that I threw away a ridiculous amount of expired products. I actually found a jar of pickles that expired in October 2012… #yuck. I feel like cleaning the kitchen out of expired products was worth it alone.

So, what were the results? I’ll let the whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” cliche do the majority of talking for me:

Refrigerator contraband! Yes, those bags are full of beer.

Refrigerator contraband! Yes, those bags are full of beer.

Goodbye, pantry foods.

Goodbye, pantry foods.

Sad, lonely pantry.

Sad, lonely pantry.

The results were eye-opening, to say the least and I have to admit that it was a liberating experience. It felt good to take concrete steps towards a new lifestyle and better health. Uncharacteristic amounts of willpower were required to put a food that I really enjoy in the trash, but I was able to do it without much remorse. Overall, I think this was a big win and made me feel way more empowered to kick this off on Sunday.

Whole30 Kitchen Clean Out Resources:

Meatified: Prepping Your Kitchen for Whole30
Video: Cleaning Out the Kitchen

Next up… I try out a CSA and attempt Whole30 grocery shopping!

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