Sunday, January 9, 2011

Diving right in...

With the holiday season just behind me and a nasty bug visiting the house, I was feeling a tad overwhelmed. I get that way when my little "non-routine" routine gets thrown out of whack. So, I found myself looking for some order to help me feel "right" again and my kitchen seemed to be the center of disorder. There was an incredible desire to attack and conquer the clutter. Possibly this was because I was desperately trying to stay out of all germ infested rooms and my kitchen was the safest! (there was no way I had allowed any sick person to touch anything in my kitchen) OR...maybe it had to do with the fact that I was determined we were going to eat healthier this year. That determination had me going to several different grocery stores and buying all sorts of healthy ingredients to make all the recipes I had found. With the hustle of the season, all those ingredients had then been stuffed into cabinets. Honestly, I had no clue as to what I had purchased, what I still needed, what was overstocked or what was running low. It was time to tackle the hot mess and I did so the only way I knew how and that was by diving right in, of course!

First step was to pull all food items out of the cabinets. I discovered that I had pasta in the tall black cabinet and in the corner cabinet. I had baking ingredients in three cabinets. I told you...a HOT mess!

These containers were all holding little bits of stuff past it's prime. They will all be placed back into commission once they go through a little clean up time.

It was time to get some containers labeled clearly, especially ones that I want to stay gluten free.

Here are some of the goodies I purchased on my shopping spree. I have high hopes for the yumminess that will be cooked up with these ingredients. These are all now listed on my inventory sheet that will help me know if I have what I need next time I discover a recipe.

I had no clue that I was running dangerously low on one of my staple items.
That is something you do not want to find out just as you are making a quick dinner!

I also discovered I was way overstocked on sugar. Since one of our goals is to cut the sugar consumption way down, I won't be needing to buy this for a while. Maybe we can make some sugar scrubs for bath time.

Having everything pulled out at once, allowed me to group similar items together.

Also, you want to take the time to consolidate if you can. I found two opened bottles of rice vinegar and it worked to just dump one into the other. I use it often enough, that I don't have to worry about it going bad.

Now, it was time to start putting things back. This cabinet will look even sharper when I put those containers above to work in here. Right now, I'm just happy that I know what is in here and that the items are grouped together.

This was a big relief to get this cabinet stocked and to know that all pasta is together once again!

Putting this cabinet back together was probably the most satisfying. I was able to really make sense of what went into here. Also, by grouping things together I was able to eliminate the need for taking up space in yet another cabinet.

Best part....I still have some growing room.

That time spent in the kitchen really did help me gain a sense of control. I was able to make menu plans and grocery lists knowing exactly what I was doing. As we get rid of processed stuff in the kitchen, my goal is to replace it with more whole ingredients. I love knowing exactly what goes into the food we are eating. It's also easier to control my diet and keep unwanted gluten and casein out.

I plan to take a look at my kitchen again in the summer to see how far I've come in my quest to get rid of junk in our diet. I'll be sure to share here.


Mr. G's Mrs. G said...

Looks like wonderful progress Tam! I love your pasta cabinette too! It's beautiful!

With your food allergies, do you also cut out peanut butter? I didn't notice it sitting on your counter. I noticed also that you do have quite a bit of coconut and almond milk. I'm assuming that's due to a milk allergy. Do you take a calcium suppliment or do you try to get enough calcium in your diet to cover that?

When you're able to, would you mind posting your recipes? We have a young man who has celiacs and is diabetic in our congregation. I like the recipes you've posted on facebook and have passed those on to him for his mom to use.

So glad you're all beginning to feel better!


Kympossible said...

Wow - so organized! I need to get my kitchen cabinets back into shape again too, but I've been putting it off.