How often have you heard someone say, “I’ll try the paleo/SCD/autoimmune paleo diet just as soon as I’ve used up all the wheat products I already have at home”? Or, “I don’t want to waste all this flour/pasta/bread, so I’ll eat it and then I’ll start the diet”?
I’ve heard it loads of times, and I’m not judging – I hate to waste anything, especially food, so I get it. But I had to draw a line in the sand where my health was concerned, which meant cutting out all gluten with no exceptions – at a time when I hadn’t been expecting it.
I had tons of stuff in my kitchen I could no longer use, and I found plenty of fun, useful ways to get rid of it without wasting. Here’s how:
1. Gave cookie mixes/chocolates/crackers to colleagues. They were thrilled and I made friends at work (always useful!)
2. Gave perishable items to family members or people in need.
3. Baked it up! Butter, flour, sugar, cocoa – it all got tossed together in cake and brownie recipes, and shared with friends, colleagues and K of course. A great idea is to bake a batch of brownies and freeze them for when you have unexpected guests over. They quickly defrost in the microwave and still taste delicious. Serve them with ice cream or a yummy flavoured yoghurt.
4. I got creative! Do you know you can make glue out of flour and water? Yup, just like you did at school. Make a papier mache project or a collage of your favourite pics from old magazines. You could even make an inspirational motivation board to help keep you on track. To make glue, mix 1/2 cup of flour with 1/3 cup water. You want the mixture to be just right – not too thick and gloopy, and not too thin. Add extra water or flour as necessary.
5. Created a ‘special occasion’ shelf – NO, not for me! But I do still have a small selection of ‘illegal’ ingredients for when I feel like baking something for my family or for K. It’s kept separate from everything else to ensure that nothing gets contaminated (but don’t do this if you can’t avoid temptation!).
Please please try not to ‘eat it all up’ before starting your diet. Gluten can take up to six months to completely leave your system, so the sooner you start, the better. Be strict with yourself and completely remove temptation. And, by doing something creative or kind with the food you no longer need, you’ll enrich yourself emotionally and maybe help improve some else’s day too 🙂