If you want a clean body, you need a clean kitchen to start.
I’m not talking about hygiene clean, I’m talking about health clean.
Currently, you will not find one piece of chocolate in my kitchen, let alone my entire apartment. There’s no secret stash of candy in a random drawer. There’s no chocolate chips to nibble on. Not even “healthy” dessert options like, coconut chips, either.
And that’s because I detox my kitchen regularly, especially when sugary foods find their way into my apartment somehow.
But it wasn’t always like that.
I used to buy m&ms every week, thinking I’d eat a small handful of them a day. Yeah, no. They were gone in like, two seconds. Instead of trying to control myself, I simply stopped buying them.
You can’t eat what you don’t put on your plate (and in your kitchen).
Unhealthy foods sometimes appear in my kitchen, though.
The way it all happens is pretty sneaky. Maybe you came home with some leftover treats from a friends’ house. Maybe your mom made baked goods and forced you to take some (my mom does this). Or maybe inspiration struck at the grocery store and you decided to try a new brand of sweet snack. Hey, if it’s gluten free that means it’s not bad, right?
For me, it’s Talenti. Sometimes I take a detour through the frozen aisle just to gawk at all the amazing flavors. Sometimes I’ll even take out a pint and read the ingredients because I’m a food label nerd.
But I know better by now. My future self will be thrilled that my cravings for Talenti goodness didn’t win that internal battle in the frozen aisle.
These are the common unwelcome foods I find in my kitchen every once in awhile.
-hot chocolate packets (in the winter)
At this point, I’m damn good at grocery shopping, so it’s rare that I’ll ever pick up one of these items. But it still happens. I’m only human.
How you know when it’s time to detox your kitchen
You know it’s time to detox your kitchen when you’re going for the sugary crap over the healthy ingredients. Or when you have dessert five nights in a row and hate how you feel. For me, I can just tell by the way my pants fit in the morning after a night of snacking. At least, that’s when I know.
Deciding to detox your kitchen can be an emotional experience. I can remember a handful of nights, looking at my body in the mirror and hating it, and then immediately dumping out all my beers in the sink right away.
Don’t do this.
It’s wasteful and not deliberate. Hasty actions like that will more likely put you on the path to a quick relapse.
Think about what you’re getting rid of, why and the best way to go about it without being wasteful or emotional.
Not sure which items to ditch? Here’s a list to start as well as what to replace them with next time you go shopping.
This is about detoxing, NOT deprivation!
These are just a few of the many swaps to make when detoxing your kitchen.
How to get rid of “dirty” foods in your fridge and pantry without being wasteful
- Donate canned foods and non-perishables to food drives
- Give some of it away- like soda, beer, and candy
- Don’t worry about giving your unhealthy food items to someone else- they have the power to say no if they don’t want them.
- Finish the ice cream. There’s no way to give foods like ice cream away unless you have friends over and serve it to them, so just finish it and ENJOY it.
- Use the sugary pantry items, like granola, in baked goods and give those out. That way you’re simply using up the ingredient you want to get rid of AND giving free goodies to people.
Here’s what detoxing your kitchen SHOULDN’T involve:
- Throwing away food- that’s just wasteful!
- Overdoing it. There are some foods you should keep, like olive oil.
- Picking food out of the trash if you do throw things away- we’ve all done it, but let’s not.
Benefits of detoxing your kitchen and pantry
Having a regularly detoxed kitchen makes me feel better about indulging and “cheating” when you’re not at home.
When your kitchen is full of clean foods, you’ll be confident that no matter what you cook or prepare, it’s going to be healthier.
The amount of “clean” you want your kitchen to be is completely up to you. I’m not the world’s cleanest eater because I realized that I don’t have to be to maintain a body and lifestyle I’m happy with. I have ketchup and soy sauce in my fridge, even though ketchup is full of sugar and soy sauce is full of sodium. Because I use them in moderation, those ingredients are fine by me.
Clean eating exists on a spectrum. I used to be on the unhealthier side of the clean eating spectrum, and now I’m somewhere in the middle. It’s better than where I was before, and detoxing my kitchen helps me continually enjoy the changes in my body and the way I feel. Decide where you want to fall on the scale. You know what’s best for you.