So I decided to fix my diet and to start eating Smart. My first step was to see what food I had in already. I set some time aside to clear out the kitchen cupboards, larder, pantry, fridge, freezer - basically anywhere where food is stored (including my handbag, car and desk).
The first step of this activity was to decide what I was looking for. For me, I decided to go "cold turkey" by cutting out some things from my daily diet and reduce some others. But it wasn't going to start straight away...I really can't stand wasting stuff, especially food, so nothing was going to get thrown away.
I also knew that the cold turkey situation was not going to be permanent. I just wanted to stop eating some products or ingredients for a while, until the cravings had gone. Then I was going to assess if it made me feel any better and what happened if I had it again. This way I would be able to control what I wanted to eat without needing to eat it!
So, for the things I wanted to cut out completely to start with, this included refined sugars and chemicals. I used the rule of thumb that if I couldn't pronounce or spell it, I didn't want to eat it.
I checked every item of food at home. The ones that seemed healthy or nutritious I allowed back into the cupboard. All the ones that contained sugar or unhealthy calories with little or no nutritional value were not put away. For the fridge or frozen stuff, I separated them out and identified which things needed to be eaten as part of my grand plan.
This produced a pile of pre-prepared, processed packaged food, typically with lots of ingredients in each one. I figured that if I put it back in the cupboard it would either be temptation to get eaten later after I had started eating more healthily or fester there forever.
The food that I wanted to stop eating stayed out of the cupboard. I then had a delightful period of time eating the stuff I knew wasn't good for me - it didn't make it taste any better! I gave some away to family and friends who wanted to eat it. They clearly weren't ready to make a change yet! I worked my way through the pile of food over a few days rather than throwing it out. The fridge and freezer stuff, of course went back in, but I kept is separate until it was eaten.
The things on the "didn't make it back into the cupboard" list included tinned soup, crisps, ready meals, lots of bread-type items and fizzy drinks.
Also on this list was *gulp* chocolate. I consoled myself that it wasn’t going to be forever! Yes, I did give it up for a while. I survived.
This was my very first Eat Smart Step. I knew then that I was on the way to improving my health and happiness. I then needed to go shopping for more food! More about this later...