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.
And the reason the spices are in the cupboard is because we only have so much space on the shelves (which seem to be bowing…)
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).
Then I remembered the other gift.
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!
Hi there! I saw one of your comments on Bitchcakes’ blog and was intrigued by your name.
I’m a Canadian (via the US) expat living in Moscow. I find it interesting to see how expats live in other countries, especially diet/food-wise!
Just a question–is it safe to keep eggs in the cupboard? In North America, eggs are refridgerated. Here in Russia, not so much. I know chickens sit on them, of course, but that’s usually to hatch it…so I was just wondering if you knew something I don’t about egg storage!
Hey Debbie! another fellow expat, how cool!
so here in the netherlands it is really common to keep your eggs in the cupboard and not in the refrigerator. At first I always stored my eggs in the fridge, as I found it very strange NOT to keep them cool. I have heard conflicting answers to this question to be perfectly honest and nowadays always keep them in the cupboard. Mainly because 1) it’s a constant temp (dark and cool) and I use them up pretty quickly anyway (if I make omelets I use 4 or more for the egg whites, for example). Hubs uses his eggs in recipes and they tend to be better at room temp.
As I’ve been storing eggs in the cupboard now for well over 10 years and I haven’t gotten sick or keeled over yet, I assume it’s perfectly ok to do so!
I bet Russia has some different food/eating habitS!
You know it honestly never occurred to me not to put my eggs in the fridge.
haha! really Amanda? did you leave them in your cupboard back home too?
I know EXACTLY What you do with marshmallow fluff… and it isn’t pretty. It isn’t pretty at all. Nope nope nope. None of the uses are good.
SOME PEOPLE (not me) would use it to make a peanut butter, banana and marshmallow fluff sandwich.
I used to grab a spoonful here and there for a sugary treat. (not anymore)
MANY PEOPLE (including me, back in the day) use it to make fudge.
The stuff is mildly akin to the devil.
Also, I never heard of not keeping eggs in the fridge until I had a student teacher last year bring me fresh eggs and they were room temperature and I was all like “uhhh, thanks for the partially spoiled eggs?” And then she explained how eggs don’t really have to be kept cold.
well… I got rid of it. I didn’t even open it up because I was very, VERY afraid. I hear a lot of American expats over here talking about it but I’ve seriously never had it in my life.
Now. If what she had given me were Peeps would be an ENTIRELY different story!
So funny about the eggs. I know we used to ALWAYS keep them in the fridge. Apparently, depending on how often you open and close your fridge, that can actually spoil your eggs!
I’m all out of eggs now. I honestly think I’m having a breast of chicken for breakfast tomorrow!
I like your cupboard! I covet the well-organized spice bottles. Mine are just jumbled up in the cabinet all together, sort of like how things are in my head. I don’t buy crap either. I just figure, why wave the red flag at myself???? It’s easier to eat clean and healthy if that’s all you have in the house. Like your blog :-), I added it to my sidebar.
you would love the cupboard now! I’ve reorganised everything and there are even more spices in jars! I think spice is 80% of what I love most about food and I couldn’t live without it.
Totally agree with you on the red flag! And thanks for adding me! I’ll go check yours!
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