Several weeks ago a challenge I am involved in asked us to clear out our cupboards and refrigerator to get rid of all bad stuff and replace it with only healthy stuff.
I went in, fully prepared to fill up a bin bag with things that weren’t exactly nutritionally sound or worth anything to anyone health wise and I literally had nothing to throw away. Nothing.
I can’t say this really surprises me. While it may sound like I’m up on a High Horse of Healthiness, I swear to you – we just don’t buy anything junky. Nothing. Maybe every once in a while some crisps or popcorn, but nothing on a regular basis that I would have to fight against cravings. This is what my cupboard looks like now. Almost the same as at the beginning of the month, when I checked.
I can’t say Hubs likes the fact that there is no junk food in the house. Before he met me he was the Nuts and Crisps King. And I’m not talking about peanuts, I’m talking about this:
And this was the guy who weighed about 65KG when I met him (though admittedly had a weight problem several years before, probably somewhere around 90KG). Sometime last year he was complaining that he was gaining weight. I replaced his Nuts with WW Chocolate bars. We made a few other changes too, so that he wouldn’t continue to gain weight (though his love for cooking Indian food is not helping, but he is by no means overweight).
I, on the other hand, have never been able to have something in the cupboard that is junky and NOT consume the whole thing. In fact, speaking of WW chocolate bars – I can’t buy them anymore, because I’ll eat all 5 that come in a box. Why? Honestly I do not know. A bag of crisps? Finished in one go. I have the same philosophy with these things as I do with wine – An Open Bottle is a Finished Bottle. Who eats a bag crisps in 3 or 4 settings?
My husband. That’s who. In fact, I know a lot of people who can just eat this stuff in the actual portion size. To me it’s weird. At my worst I remember it infuriating me that Hubs wouldn’t eat his bag of crisps while mine would be polished off in record-breaking speed. What is wrong with people who can’t eat a whole bag of crisps???
Huh. Funnily enough I realised there was nothing wrong with those people. There was something wrong with ME.
So, I don’t buy this stuff. Ever. That is, until something is planned and people come over.
After I’d checked the cupboard and discovered there was nothing in there to throw away, we planned a party for Hubs’ birthday (which was on Jan 12th, for those of you who want to put it in your calendars and send gifts next year) and we ended up buying crisps and nuts (cocktail peanuts) for people to enjoy after the meal he’d made for them. Of course we had a full range of drinks, adult and non-adult for everyone to chose from as well.
I received 2 Hostess Gifts. I don’t recall every receiving a hostess gift before (other than a bottle of wine or flowers, but this was Hubs’ party, not mine). These two gifts were of the food persuasion.
So as I’m looking through my cupboards again today, I discover one of the gifts.
It’s in a bag, probably hiding itself from all of the other stuff in the cupboard, knowing full well it doesn’t belong there. By the way, what does one DO with Marshmellow Fluff anyway??? (This gift came from a fell American-in-the-Netherlands who found it whilst shopping in Germany).
Can you believe I haven’t even cracked this open since receiving it on Jan 16th? (This gift came from a Brit-in-the-Netherlands, who actually works at an expat food shop). I am going to give this gift to my husband, or throw it away.
That’s right. I have no problem throwing this stuff away. Yes it’s a waste but why should I consume it??? What is the added value? Isn’t it more of a “waste” to eat it and regret it later?
Otherwise, I love my cupboard. It’s small, like the rest of my kitchen, but it has loads of things in it that we enjoy on a regular basis. Herbs and spices, eggs, bread, lentils, pasta, rice, olive oil, different vinegars, chili powder, tuna, onions, garlic, tinned tomatoes, and coffee just to name a few. It’s hard to fail at eating right if I work from my cupboard and plan out my meals. Maybe that’s why it feels easy to eat healthily almost all of the time – even on the weekends I can’t say that I struggle really – we don’t eat out much so there really is no temptation.
So what’s in your cupboard? Do you feel like you have set yourself up for success by having a healthy food pantry? If you struggle with staying away from junk food do you use others in your household as an excuse to buy it? I would love to hear your responses!
On that note, I think it’s time to TIDY up the cupboard. I didn’t realise how messy it looked until I took the photos!