Sunday, May 22, 2011

Plant-Strong Success Tip #5: Rid Your Home of Crap/Fill Your Home with Good Real Food

Rid Your Home of Crap

Three and a half years ago I was home on maternity leave after the birth of my third child. I remember wanting to lose the "baby weight" that I was carrying around and at the same time feeling very strong urges to go into my kitchen and eat whatever was there. I was incredibly frustrated and I started thinking that something was really wrong with me. Why did I want to eat when I wasn't hungry? I was plagued by this question for most of my life.

I decided I was going to get rid of all of the sugar from my house. Why? Because I'm a "sugar person" and that's my go-to food for emotional eating (which can be any and all emotion I might add--good or bad).

I got out a big black garbage bag and I filled it to the brim. I was amazed at just how much of the food that was in my kitchen was sugary. I was depressing actually. I needed to get rid of it or I was going to eat it. I knew that. I am powerless when it comes to toxic food. I accept that and choose to arm myself with as many weapons as I can muster into my arsenal.

I didn't feel bad throwing it out either, because I knew at that moment that it was either going to be garbage in a landfill or be garbage in my body, so I let go of any guilt about throwing it away that I might have had. I mean, where would you want garbage to be? Your body or the dump?

It would still be another eighteen months until I was introduced to Volumetric, Nutritarian and Plant-strong eating. But I knew very well that there was a connection between processed and/or sugary food and my compulsion to overeat. I just didn't know that there was an antidote to it.

As much as I don't want garbage in my house, it has a way of making it's way back in time and again. Social events are a biggie. I use them as an excuse to get near my drug and abuse it. But as the years tick by, I have learned to be aware of myself. I know that if left alone with sugar, the sugar wins. So as soon as I recognize that I have a problem with a particular food, out it goes into the wastebasket. I refuse to bring home dessert leftovers from a party--only one thing can come of that and it's not pretty.

It's a learning curve and it takes years. I make mistakes and that's okay. I might start to binge on a food and then realize I have to get rid of it. Things that I would never have binged on years ago become new binge foods as the old stuff just isn't available to me anymore. I forgive myself and I move on. I know what my goal is, and I keep it in sight. I'm closer now than ever. My home has about nothing for me to binge on and that, my friends, is how I need it to be.

Fill Your Home With Good, Real Food

Just because it's Vegan doesn't mean it's good for you. Most processed/packaged food today that is labeled as "Vegan" is just more junk. I can see it's usefulness when transitioning from a heavily SAD diet to a plant-strong one, but it shouldn't be a crutch forever. Example? Even cookies, cake and candy are readily available now as vegan . . . come on! I know!

"Today with the number of people choosing to follow vegetarian or vegan diets increasing, there is a greater demand for products that cater to these consumers. Most major grocery stores are stocked with not only fake meats, but also butter, mayonnaise, milk, cheese and ice cream that contain not a drop of real milk or a milk by-product. In short, people like me can easily follow a parallel diet to everyone else – but ironically, some of these similar, yet different products are often more processed. This begs the question, are those of us who do eat a lot of those products really that much healthier than omnivores?" asks Andrew Wilder.

There's a great chapter in The Engine 2 Diet about how to read a food label. I really didn't know how do that until Rip put it on paper. But I quickly realized that most packaged food was going to be a thing of the past for me and my family.

So what does fill my refrigerator, freezer and pantry?

Veggies (fresh and frozen), fruit (fresh and frozen), beans and whole grains, primarily. Everything else is extra. It's a beautiful sight.

And not only that, my sugar fixation is pretty well gone. Over. Caput.

I'm finally free!

What's in your kitchen right now?

Have you done a mass clean out? Did it have an effect on you?


Brenna said...

I did a mass sugar clean out in January when I decided to give up sugar... again. It actually stuck this time, so it's been about 5 months since I've had sugar. It was really hard at first, but it was one of the best health decisions I've ever made. My favorite benefit of cleaning out the sugar is that fruit tastes so much better to me now.

Alipet813 said...

I have to do this but it overwhelms me and I put it off. My kids freak when I even bring it up.
I just sent this video to my hubby last week. Lol

Anonymous said...

What fruits fresh and frozen? What Veggies? Which beans, etc, are in your fridge and pantry? What do you eat for snacks? I have been veggie for a long time but have the "sugar thing". I have stopped many of my go-to foods but, as you point out, have replaced them with something else. What can we have without guilt? Is there some lightly crunchy thing that goes good with coffee?

Deer in the Headlights

Jen said...

I've done a partial clean out. I don't keep processed snacks or packaged sweets in the house, and have gotten rid of anything with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweetener, MSG or preservatives. I still have baking supply sugar & honey in the house & try to stick with Michael Pollan's food rule...if you want sweet baked goods, make it from scratch. I can't have it sticking around though, I either throw it out after special occasion, give it to guests to take home or make sure kids/hubby take it out of house next morning. For years the kids had to hide their Halloween candy (One year it went off to work in husband's car each day!) For my kids to snack with their friends, I buy Zevia or 50 cal Izze soda & pita, natural potato or tortilla chips and buy only on the day I know they'll be over. Kids also like defrosted frozen juice concentrate mixed into seltzer. I've lost 20 lbs on a Nutritarian diet & have 30 more to go. It has cured my cravings, too, but I know it's a slippery slope if I allow too large or repeated portions of starches or sugar back into my diet.

Anonymous said...

I have done the sugar clean out - and it was good for the whole family. I recently discovered that I needed to go the extra step and reorganize my refrigerator - instead of 'hiding' the veggies in a tiny produce drawer, I now 'hide' the things that my kids still eat in that small produce drawer - cheeses, sour cream, ketchup, open snacks, etc - and my real foods are FRONT and CENTER on the shelves right as you open the fridge door. When I open my fridge I see cut up Melon and Carrots and Apples and Oranges and that Kale that I need to cook as well as my lettuce spinner and spinach and on and on. They really need to re-design refrigerators with the idea of folks eating more REAL food.

Sue said...

I turned 59 yesterday. Today I had a doctor's appointment and my blood pressure is "borderline", recheck in a month. So. It's time to get serious. Great idea on putting all the sugary foods in a garbage bag and throwing them out. I also am powerless over my cravings. I LOVE the video!!
And yes on the re-design on refrigerators-they are made for large containers of milk, drawers of meat and cheese and very little in the way of veggies!! Will work on my own frig makeover!!

Angela said...

Wow, I was just telling a good friend about my sugar addiction yesterday. I too feel powerless when left alone with sugary treats. Especially homade treats. We don't keep processed foods or sugary treats in the house. We do have alot of dried fruit and dates (my new drug) though. I also find myself stopping by the bakery for a little treat or
ordering a brownie at my favorite restaurant after eating a huge Greek salad (no feta and tofu instead). I know this is why the last 25 pounds I have to lose are not budging. I was doing so well after reading ETL and lost 40 pounds and kept it off but I really want to lose the rest. So I decided last Friday after devouring a brownie to recommit to no sugar no matter where I am. Reading "Unprocessed" has helped give me the kick in the butt I needed. Thanks for the blog Wendy, I love it. I helps to know that there is a community of people out there eating the same way I do and loving it and overcoming sugar addiction.

katshealthcorner said...

I love your new pop-up for comments!

I had some little splurges recently, and they have really spiked my cravings and really messed with my insides, and it's not like I even had much of them. I know I am much happier when I eat less sugar. :) Just like you, sugar is a comfort food for me too, so I just have to make sure I get a variety of food groups, and not just fruit. Fruit is really good for you, but so are grains, beans, veggies, nuts, etc.

Amy said...

I really need to do a clean out and not add the next time I go shopping. My problem is not only sugar, but things that turn easily to sugar ie starches.

Anonymous said...

I love Anonymous' suggestion on how to arrange our refrigerators. What a simple yet fantastic idea. Thank you!

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