Clearing out the pantry is hard for me


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This will sound completely lame, but I completed a Whole30 (to the best of my ability), then went on a trip where food options were limited and I ate a lot of noncompliants. I knew this was coming and there were not a lot of choices about it, and I looked forward to getting home and getting back on track with a Paleo diet again.

The lame part is that now I am home and want to start eating Whole30 compliant again, and I've got a pantry full of ingredients that I don't want to eat but can't throw away. The unopened products I can give to a food pantry, but the opened ones? I have a very hard time throwing away entire containers of whole wheat flour, brown rice, quinoa, dried beans, and steel-cut oats (all on the "healthy" list a matter of weeks ago). Even powdered sugar!

It seems so stupid, but this compulsion to not be wasteful has me making batches of muffins to use up the ingredients, and it's delaying my W30 program! I'm making delicious Paleo entrees and serving them up with cooked dried beans and carrot-jicama muffins. :o

Tell me how to get rid of this stuff in a guilt-free manner and I will be forever grateful. :)

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I so empathise with you. Up until a few weeks before I started W30, I'd been eating a mainly vegan diet. I had whole cupboards of various gluten free flours, oats, quinoa, amaranth, rice, dried beans, tinned beans etc. I'd recently done a massive bulk buy, opened the packets of rice, beans etc and was storing them in 5 litre containers. I'm on a very limited income, so the thought of disposing of all this broke my heart :(

What I did was first of all give away or simply ditch anything whose use by date would be reached before I finished my W30, That wasn't too bad. Then I moved everything else noncompliant out of the kitchen. I'm in a fairly small flat but I packed it in boxes and dumped it on shelves in the hall, a corner of the bedroom etc.

That was my first clear out, my kitchen was set up but I still had a ton of stuff I 'might' want to try reintroducing afterward. My second clear out came about 16 days or so in when I went through it and binned all sorts of tins and jars that contained carageenes or sulpher dioxide or other things I now know I never want to eat again. I felt guilty throwing it out but I remembered an American TV program I'd seen about a guy helping overweight people. He started by going into their house and throwing out all the rubbish in their fridge and cupboards. One woman screamed that he was wasting good food that could be given away. I never forgot his reply. He said "This junk is poisoning you and slowly kiling you and you want to give it to poison someone else?" It made me feel a lot better about throwing stuff out if I simply regarded it as poison.

I'm now on day 39 (I just kept going :) ) and I still have stuff that I may or may not reintroduce at some point to see if it does affect me but it really doesn't tempt me at all and my kitchen is totally W30 compliant.

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I struggle with that as well. I did end up throwing away some indisputably horrid stuff but gave away things that I know other people don't agree are unhealthy. I can't impose my belief on someone else who believes differently. So I gave rice and oats and cornmeal to people who choose to eat those things as part of their approach to healthy eating. As Robin said, some foods are used for crafts or in preschools for sensory materials so I gave all of our dried beans to a preschool teacher. We were vegetarian until last year so that was a LOT of beans. :) And things I might reintroduce I boxed up and put in the basement or the freezer if perishable.

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