Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


Getting Organized for a LCHF Lifestyle – Part 1, The Purge

There was a lot to do and changes to make when I was switching over to a Low Carb High Fat way of life.  And it is a way of life, not a diet.

Aside from getting my blood sugar under control and the weight loss, my other issue of joint pain due to osteoarthritis has disappeared.  My knees used to give out on me every now and then, but no episodes since I cut out high carbohydrate food and sugar.  And my blood pressure is completely normal too.

In these five posts I will tell you how I got my kitchen, and myself, organized to fit my new LCHF lifestyle.

Part 1 – The Purge

When I had to change my lifestyle in order to control my Type 2 Diabetes one of the first things I did was to cull my pantry.

The timing was bad as the week prior to my diagnosis I had done a huge Costco shop, as well as the pre-Christmas grocery store hit, so my cupboards, fridge and freezer were all stocked to the gunnels.

After I’d determined, by trial and blood meter readings that I wasn’t going to be able to eat high carb foods at all, it was time to remove them from the house.  If there is no bag of potato chips I’m not likely to think “just one won’t hurt” because, as we all know, you can’t each just one!

I was absolutely gobsmacked by the amount of food that was high carb and/or high sugar.  No wonder obesity and diabetes are such a problem!  I ate relatively healthy based on the norms that we have been conditioned to believe but, now I see that I was killing myself, literally.

It is amazing how much food we keep in our homes.  I was shocked how much there was as I packed up multiple boxes to give to friends (open and frozen things can’t go to the food bank unfortunately.)

First I culled the obvious things starting in one corner of the kitchen and working my way around the room and the pantry shelves.  Then did a second cull a week later of the less obvious things I’d missed the first time around.

Here’s a list of what I packed up:

Pastas – my lord there was a lot!  Manicotti, fusilli, fettucine, spaghettini, rotini, lasagne, linguini, alphabet noodles, ramen, rice/cellophane noodles, and elbow macaroni.

Cereals – Vanilla Almond Crunch, Mini-Wheats, Multigrain Cheerios, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Red River Cereal.

Grains – White flour, whole wheat flour, bran, wheat germ, white rice, brown rice, black rice, corn meal, rice paper wrappers, wonton wrappers, pot barley, frozen pie shells, frozen puff pastry.  All bread and buns which included sourdough, focaccia, ciabatta, rye and pumpernickel, English muffins, hot dogs and hamburger buns, tortillas, taco shells.

Legumes – dried peas, red lentils, brown lentils, canned navy beans, canned kidney beans, canned black beans, canned refried beans, frozen peas, canned chick peas.

Sugars – White sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, jams and jellies, honey, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, maple syrup, corn syrup, molasses, hardy candy, cake decorations, M&Ms plain and peanut, chocolate bars, Halls cough drops, NeoCitran (package is mostly sugar!)

Prepared & convenience foods – Canned chili with beans, hummus mix, falafel mix, cake mixes, dessert mixes, Jello, apple pie filling, pumpkin pie filling, sweetened condensed milk, icing, pudding mixes, canned stew, canned soups, Hamburger Helper, Kraft Dinner, Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express, BBQ sauces, taco seasoning mix, Shake N’Bake, pulled pork seasoning mix, plum sauce, sweet & sour sauce, teriyaki sauce, maraschino cherries, fruit based and sweet salad dressing, sweet pickle relish, sweet pickles, ketchup, and anything that had sugar in the top five ingredients.  Also, frozen microwave meals, breaded and battered frozen fish, frozen burgers (contained wheat and sugar!), some sausages (also contained wheat and sugar,) meat pies, frozen French fries, frozen pizzas, frozen hashbrowns, potstickers and dumplings.

Snack foods – Potato chips, Cheetos, rice cakes, popcorn, coated/seasoned nuts, crackers, pretzels, tortilla chips, corn chips, cookies, popsicles.

Vegetables – peas, carrots, corn and canned corn/creamed corn, parsnips, potatoes (all types,) yams, beets, winter squash, sweet onions, pickled beets.

Fruit – frozen berries, canned peaches/pears/fruit cocktail, bananas, raisins, craisins, dried apricots, prunes, canned tomatoes, all fruit and vegetable juices.

Dairy – 2% milk, sweetened and fruit yoghurt, ice cream, frozen yoghurt.

Miscellaneous – corn and vegetable oils.

And that’s just the stuff I got rid of!  It filled up five large boxes.

All of that was high carb and/or high sugar.  Pretty unbelievable.

Now I only have food in the house that I can eat without any issues.

My other posts about food

Next: Part 2, Stocking Up