Pantry Purge, Weeding Out the Wardrobe, and Making Space

Pantry purge.

Weeding out the wardrobe.

Making space, both physically and mentally.

Back from our mini-vacation, and starting to put away the new things I acquired from Santa and my family, I realized I needed to make some room in  my closet.  Quite frankly, it was a mess.  A mess that begot a bigger mess, simply because it was difficult to put anything away.

I had started to weed out, thin out, my wardrobe before Christmas but due to the busyness of the season, never fully completed the task.  So today, while half my family was out getting groceries I started in on my closet.  The end result: three bags of clothes to give to charity, all the socks with holes tossed, storage boxes reorganized and re-stacked at the top of the closet, and enough room for new items and the ability to easily access my clothes – SUCCESS!

After a short break for lunch, then I was inspired to take on the refrigerator.  It happened organically – starting with throwing out a few containers of food that were left behind from our trip.  Then a need to wash a shelf, and so on from there.  It is good timing because on January 8th, I am starting (along with 20 or so friends) a 21 Day Sugar Detox, and coffee holiday, although I’m not sure how many will join me for the latter.

Now, not only do I have an abundance of food storage containers, I also have a clean and tidy fridge – with very few things that are not 21DSD “approved”.  In October, I did the same for the dry goods in the cupboards, and with the exception of some dark chocolate and a bit of coconut sugar, it is all clean food.

Cleaning out closets, refrigerators, and cupboards is, I think, a helpful exercise.  It clears physical clutter and for me at least, helps me clear my mind too (tomorrow I tackle my desk!).  It also seems like a natural thing to do at the end of a year or at the change of a season.  Removing unwanted or less than healthy foods is also very practical when about to embark on a journey to change your food habits!  And, as I’ve learned through numerous Whole30’s and one 21 day sugar detox, it lessens the temptation to return to old habits.

So what is the point of this post, you might be wondering? (Thanks for reading this far!)  Well, I want to share with you some things I’ve learned that are applicable to the 21 DSD I am about to embark on.

Practical tips:

  • Remove tempting foods from your home.  And no, hiding the bag of chips in the garage or behind the cat food will not help you forget that it is in your home.
  • Make a meal plan before you start.  Don’t leave what you are going to have for dinner on Wednesday after a long day at work to chance. It’s harder to make decisions when you are hungry and your willpower is also probably the weakest at this point.  Use the KISS principle in your meal planning.
  • Clean out your refrigerator so you can actually see what’s in it.  And then fill it with colourful, fresh vegetables, sustainably raised/ethically sourced meat, and some fruit (depending on your particular version of the Whole30 or 21 DSD).
  • Prep your vegetables and cook some protein on the weekend to save time during the week.  Worst case: you eat salad/raw vegetables and meat every day…

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Changing your lifestyle/food habits can be challenging, which is why I think groups are the best support system.
  • Understand WHY you are doing this.  Is it because of the way you feel right now and the desire to change that? Or do you think it’s something you should do?
  • The nutrition reset/sugar detox is short term but designed to help you create new habits and kick any ones you want to leave behind as you move into 2015.  It’s only 21 days.  You can survive 21 days without sugar.  You may find that on day 22, you don’t care about it anymore.
  • What happens after 21 days?  Your new habits continue 80-90% of the time. So yes, I eat cake from time to time, preferably the grain-free kind, but I understand why I want to eat it, how I might feel if I eat it and then, if I eat it, I really focus on enjoying the food and the moment. You create your own flexible rules.  For example, I don’t usually eat legumes but if it’s served to me while out for dinner, I’m not going to worry about it.
  • It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. To me, a diet involves deprivation and feeling hungry ALL THE TIME.  That’s not what this is – it’s all about eating good, whole food, including fat.  That’s right, eating!
  • Sleep!  Don’t underestimate the power of sleep.  If you have to drag yourself out of bed every morning, you might want to review your sleep habits.
  • Everyday is a new day with new opportunities.  Focus on your goal and your why, and positive things will happen.

Got any more tips or advice you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below!

And if you’d like to join me on a 21 day sugar detox, starting Jan 8th, leave a comment below.

If you want to purchase the book 21 Day Sugar Detox, click here (affiliate link).  It’s a great resource to have in your bookcase!


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