By Dietitian Jill Place
The next part of “Your Good Gut Blueprint” is called “Clean Your Inner & Outer House”. Cleaning your outer house … preparing your environment for whatever change you want to make … is relatively easy.
On the hand, changing your inner house … coming to terms with your inner environment and belief system that keeps you enmired in all kinds of unhealthy paths … is no small feat.
It’s taken me my whole life to come to terms with mine. And I must admit that I’m still on the journey …
So … for this article … I’d rather cover a small part of that. Beginning the journey toward awareness, acceptance and understanding of your emotional make-up. And why it’s so important to come to terms with that part of you before delving deeper into your inner house.
Cleaning Your Outer House
As I said, this is the easy part. And one of the things that stuck with me when I read the revolutionary book, Changing for Good, years ago.
The book was one of the first to reveal the way people change and offer solutions on how implement personal positive transformation. But what stuck with me was an idea they called “environmental control”.
It was about getting stuff out of your environment that didn’t suit this positive change you wanted to make. And bringing in stuff that did.
For our good-gut purposes, here are some ideas for pitching things from your pantry and fridge … and ideas for foods that might inhabit your pantry and fridge instead …
That’s all well and good you’re probably thinking … but looking at a few cute pages and then doing something about what’s on them are two vastly different things.
Making a Choice
My advice … print out these two pages by clicking here and post them on your fridge. Then … check them out for about a week.
What sticks out for you as a change you’d like to make? Perhaps you’d like to put more fermented foods in your life?
That’s easy … merely go to the store and get some yogurt with active cultures, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, or kefir to name just a few.
But … if you’re interested in ditching dairy or gluten altogether … that’s a whole different story. To do that you’d have to try …
Tips for Cleaning Out Your House (ahem … Pantry and Fridge)
Know Yourself (AND Your Intention)
WHY are you making this change? Do you just want to get healthier? Or the issue might be something like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease of the thyroid that I treat a lot of) where changing lifestyles immediately might be crucial to healing
Perhaps the issue is about your loved one or your child. Would that change your haste or desire? Or strengthen your intention?
So now that you know WHY change might be a good idea … spend some time asking yourself which approaches have worked well for you in the past. Do you work well with all-or-nothing approaches? Or, does a more gradual approach work better for you and your family? Choose one …
Know What to Throw Away
This is totally variable depending how much or how little of a kitchen food sweep you’d like to do. Perhaps you’d just like to go Gluten Free … and switch out just your regular pasta for Gluten Free.
Then you want to try apps like The Gluten Free Scanner and Infood on the pasta in your kitchen. Or want a clean sweep (pun intended)? Here are some general guidelines …
- Get rid of any products that contain sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, rice syrup, aspartame, sucralose, splenda, or any other unnatural sweeteners
- Get rid of any products containing processed ingredients like granola bars, protein bars, frozen meals, crackers, snacks, cookies, etc.
- Trash vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower seed, etc)!
- Pitch any GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) like soy, aspartame, inorganic meat and dairy, zucchini and squash, papaya, cotton, corn, canola, alfalfa and sugar from sugar beets.
- Pitch things with chemicals and additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulfites, sulfates, carrageenan, food dyes , butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), splenda, guar gum, modified food starch, “natural and artificial flavors”, soy lecithin, malt extract or yeast
- If you can’t recognize or pronounce any of the ingredients … toss it!
Take Out Everything and Make Four Piles
I recently (ugh!) cleaned out my pantry … not to get healthier … but I hadn’t cleaned it since I moved into this house a little over three years ago. I HAD to take everything out …
Why? Because when you’ve got stuff that could potentially leak or spill in a confined area … you gotta! Then you can disinfect (which is what I did) or reline. And also so you can see everything.
Other option … take things out one at a time … and place in one of four places …
TRASH: Obviously PITCH EXPIRED PRODUCT! Or … if it looks off, smells off, is leaking or exposed, is simply too old to consider using (beans, rice, spices … and even sugar … get old), and you’re not going to eat it now or in the future … GO FOR IT!
COMPOST: Anything that falls into the above category but is compostable … i.e. unspoiled. Compost at home, give to neighbors or friends that compost, or look for a compost collection place near you.
DONATE: Anything that’s unexpired and you’re sure you’d never eat in the future. No opened containers here! Pile it all into a box and drop it off at your local food bank. Or … if you know someone on a fixed income or would welcome some free food … take it there!
KEEP: Foodstuffs or condiments you can imagine eating or using again. My cupboard is full of almond and coconut flour, stevia-sweetened chocolate and chips, nuts, and maple syrup.
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