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


Author: Shannon Fennell

Multidisciplinary artist, world traveller, make-up artist, and cheese lover. I follow a low carb lifestyle to keep my diabetes in remission. Canadian expat in the UK.

11 thoughts on “Getting Organized for a LCHF Lifestyle – Part 1, The Purge

  1. Pingback: I’m “normal” now. But don’t worry, I’m still me! | Shannon Fennell's Blog

  2. Pingback: Getting Organized for a LCHF Lifestyle – Part 5, So Far, So Good | Shannon Fennell's Blog

  3. Pingback: Getting Organized for a LCHF Lifestyle – Part 4, Tips and Tricks | Shannon Fennell's Blog

  4. Pingback: Getting Organized for a LCHF Lifestyle – Part 3, Organizing | Shannon Fennell's Blog

  5. Pingback: Getting Organized for a LCHF Lifestyle – Part 2, Stocking Up | Shannon Fennell's Blog

  6. I am probably not doing enough exercise but without asking for too much personal information, I would love to know how much and what others eat in a normal day on lchf. I suspect I am far to greedy. I did very well 4 years ago on the Dukan diet but I have regained all I lost and eating so much protein is hard on the kidneys and expensive. Anyway I love your blogs and am looking forward to more.

    • I joined Curves and go three times a week – it is a circuit that takes 30 minutes, and then stretching. It isn’t a hard workout – or rather, it can be as hard as you want it to be, I just don’t like to sweat! But is is more than I did before. I also bought a recumbent bike a month ago and am riding it while watching television – a little longer everyday. I am not planning to pump iron or run marathons, I am just looking for a better fitness level which this has helped me get to – perfect blood pressure, good BMI (for whatever that’s worth) and some muscle. I don’t get winded climbing stairs anymore.

      As to what I eat in a day… that is a great idea for another blog post! So stay tuned! I have kept a daily log since I was diagnosed in December 2015 so I can tell you exactly what I eat daily. It is how I figure out what is causing blood sugar spikes.

  7. I started the lchf way of life two weeks ago and I am loving it. Lost 6 pounds in my first week and an inch all over. No weight loss this week but another inch gone. Went away for the weekend and the hotel were very accommodating which helped. Did not even feel temped when the profiteroles came out (my favourite dessert) as I had a lovely cup of creamy coffee to enjoy.

    I’m unable to throw everything away as my husband and two sons are not joining me but haven’t felt tempted by any of it. Can’t wait for part two of you blog 🙂

  8. I am trying to follow a lchf diet as of two weeks ago inspired by your amazing success. I cook for six including 2 young boys who love pasta and not much else so clearing out feels wrong. So far I feel healthier but I haven’t lost weight and am thinking of upping my protein and cutting fat. I will have a cupboard purge I can avoid the pasta. Keep writing you are inspirational.

    • Thanks Caro. As I am only cooking for myself it does make it easier to manage. And the trick to losing is upping the fat, moderate protien – seems contra-indicated but that’s what works!

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