One of the most motivational and productive things that made me want to stick to my diet even more than before was to clean out the pantry. After eating relatively healthy for a couple of weeks, I took everything out of the pantry. This made me realize just how much we had in there, and how unhealthy we had been in the past.
Not only did I find things that were expired to throw away, but I also took the opportunity to organize everything so that it would be more accessible. I only put things back that had no sweeteners, had low sodium, barely processed, and so on. I tucked away items essential for hosting guests, items like sugar (which is expected while serving coffee) into less visible places so they don’t tempt me. Then I gave everything else away to the food bank.
Almost everything else, that is. I also kept whatever my husband insisted on or that I knew he would otherwise just go out and buy later on. It’s his pantry too, and he makes different food choices. This is the tricky part to doing this because if the people you live with are not onboard, you have to figure out a system that will work for you. For example, I keep most of the food that I can snack on toward the top shelves in the pantry, while other foods tend to be lower down.
To reduce the temptation of going out to eat, I also stocked up on healthier non-perishables like tuna (in water, dolphin-safe), black beans (no salt added), chickpeas and even dried chilies. I actually proceeded to repeat this process with the refrigerator a week later. I felt that I had accomplished a lot doing this, and have been happy knowing that whatever I reach for at home is healthy for me.