This is going to be the first of several posts relating to nutrition and cleansing. Step by step, we are going to work our way through your kitchen into your daily food planning and then we will talk nutritional detox.
Most of us like to skip right to the detox program and we are surprised on day two when we hit the wall of confusion and start to rear off track. Most of the time the rearing off track is because we did not prepare and plan properly. One of the easiest and most important pieces of getting started is setting up properly.
Today we are going to start with the refrigerator! We are going to dive right in and clean that big box out! Hold on to the freezer, you will tackle that another day. One step at a time!
Prepare for the Purge:
Grab a garbage bag.
Clear off space next to the sink.
Have clean counter space to place food on.
Have a cooler handy for items you are worried with sitting out too long.
Clean your kitchen floor - you may be sitting and kneeling on it.
Empty and clear EVERYTHING out.
As you empty all the shelves, immediately trash anything that has expired and gone bad. That space next to the sink can be for food to go down the garbage disposal or those containers that have been way back in the corner for we don't know how long. (Don't worry. You are not alone on that one.) Get it all out. Toss the open baking soda. Time for a new one.
Grab a dust buster before you start wetting the surfaces and get any lingering crumbs out. Pull out all draws and shelves - you will get a much better clean taking them out. Spray everything down with our favorite natural cleaner - Basic H. Once you have everything cleaned off, replace the drawers and shelving and give just one more quick spray and wipe. Don't worry - your Basic H kills the germs and is safe around food!
Check out your display. You should be left with fresh produce, condiments, still good left overs, etc. Categorize items if they are not so you can visually see how they should go back in the refrigerator. Everyone does this differently so do what makes sense to you.
One more Purge.
Double Check expiration dates.
Throw out any condiment with these ingredients:
- food coloring (anything that says red, yellow, blue followed by a number)
- sucralose, neotame, aspartame
- artificial (if it contains the word, toss it)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
*Start with this simple list. Don't get nervous if you find yourself tossing a lot of your condiments away. There are healthier alternatives and brands that taste just as good and even better.
Fill it back up!
Take everything you pulled out and place it back in in a way that works for you and your family.
Does it look a little sparse!? That is OK because now you are going to make a shopping list of what you need. Start with the condiments and dressing. (Tip: We love Hunts Ketchup and Newman's Own and Trader Joe's Dressings). Once you have the condiments/dressing list and those refrigerator staples, take inventory of your produce.
Don't go overboard on the inventory list.
Don't go crazy here. The biggest mistake people make is stock filling the refrigerator up with healthy vegetables and fruits and then at the end of the week, they are tossing food gone bad in the garbage. This results in negative feelings about eating healthy. Think ahead to your next 3 days and write down quantities next to the produce. Purchase just enough for your family to eat over the next couple of days. Reevaluate after a couple of days - did you go through it all? Did you barely make a dent? Give yourself a week to be mindful of how quickly you go through certain items in the refrigerator and write down what a good quantity of each would be in between your shopping trips. Don't buy what you think you should buy. Buy what you will eat.
Enjoy a clean and healthy refrigerator!