20 March 2015 You're Going Paleo, But What Do You Do with That Old Food?

If you have made the decision to eat according to a Paleo diet, there may be a few things getting in your way. Namely, it’s all the boxes and bags and shelf-full of non-paleo foods in your kitchen and fridge. Anyone with success on any diet they chose has probably found it is best to remove as many temptations from sight as possible. I imagine many of us have experienced the inherent difficulty of moving aside a box of Twinkies© in the cupboard to reach the nuts when we’re starving.

I have been following a Paleo eating plan since October 2013, and I have found it very beneficial to my lifestyle, activity levels, and waistline. It has always been easiest for me to follow this plan when there are fewer “distractions” around, such as non-paleo foods. But just dumping out everything non-paleo may not be the best, or most economical, option. So let’s discuss.

Likely the first thought about purging non-paleo foods from your home is to donate them to your local food bank. Let’s consider both sides of that action. First, hunger is a real issue, worldwide. It should be given lots of attention. And the point in favor of donating any foods (that can be accepted at a food bank) is that any food is better than going hungry. This means even if it’s not nutritional food, it’s better than nothing at all.

The other side of the discussion is the ethical argument that if we don’t see this food as fit for our own bodies because we see it, in some way, as toxic, is it right for us to pass them to others. Of course, just because we see foods as toxic doesn’t mean those receiving them do.

In the end, it is purely a personal decision whether to donate or not. If you’re having a hard time figuring it out, please talk to a friend or your local food bank.

Next, you may not be in a position financially to purge everything in your kitchen and start from scratch. That’s perfectly acceptable. Some people do well quitting things “cold turkey,” but for others it may take gradual steps. Maybe depending on what types of non-paleo foods you have in your home you can set up a routine of “Non-Paleo Afternoon Snacks” or “Non-Paleo Lunches Every Other Day.” Slowly, you will replace bad food with good foods from the grocery store.

If you can purge, however, you don’t have to go straight to the dumpster with all your goods. And assuming you have the willpower not to sneak out and grab some of the foods you packed away, there are some pretty good uses for non-paleo foods.

With peanut butter and cereals/crackers/cookies, you have an instant bird feeding feast. Crush the dry goods and mix with peanut butter and hang them outside from hooks or in a wire frame. Birds are designed to eat these foods, much more than some of us.

Did you know bread is a great cleaning tool? Yes, bread slices are terrific for cleaning walls!

Sugar is an excellent for skin exfoliation, and cornstarch does wonders on carpet stains. Just sprinkle, let it sit, and then vacuum it up. A little dab in your stinky gym shoes will also help with odors.

Got flour and pastas? Don’t worry, most people do. But now you have an art studio. Pasta and macaroni have long been popular for kids’ art projects, like “bead” necklaces. Flour is a key ingredient for paper-mâche and homemade play-dough.

All those dried rice, beans, and lentils will keep you warm all winter when you make your own hot/cold pillow. If you have a few essential oils lying around, you can add them for an aromatherapy touch.

Lastly, what about soft drinks. Well, if you haven’t given them up yet, just realize that popular drinks, like Coca-Cola, can be used very effectively for rust removal! Here’s a list of 10 cleaning projects with soda, via Reader's Digest.

If you have more creative ways you’ve cleaned out your fridge and cupboards and gotten rids of foods that aren’t on your eating plan, please share them with us on our Facebook page or in our Community Forum.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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Meal Planning & Diets/Paleo & Low Carb

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