Adapting Diet: Healthy Eating & Emptying the Pantry

A few weeks ago, Bobbi started doing a 100 Days of Real Food Challenge.  I thought it might be a good junk-food-detox for Matt and I, and that it would jump start our goals of eating healthy.  Instead of doing “real food,” I decided that Matt and I would be eating non-processed food for 100 days. Yet, it was expensive and we had a lot of food already on hand.

Home Cooked Breakfast Squares

The first thing that I realized was that I needed to bake breakfast items.  If I do not get a good breakfast in my system, I am not a nice person.  I found a recipe for oatmeal breakfast squares that is truly delicious.  It includes chopped apples, which give them a little crunch.

Homemade Wheat Bread

I made bread, and it reminded me of just how much I love homemade bread.  Matt loves this bread as well — and it is super easy to make!  I made rolls a different night — also easy, but they were kinda like rocks.  The wheat bread is much better.

Candy Cookies from The Sweets Life

After a week of eating non-processed foods, Matt and I realized we really needed to cut our budget costs. Part of that meant using up what we already had. We have tons of food in the house and forget to eat it (like pasta and sauce that get lost in the pantry).  So for now we have let processed food back into our lives — but only to eat the food out of our pantries.  I am trying to avoid buying anything new and seeing how much of our grocery money we can save!  The cookies from The Sweets Life were baked with M&Ms and Milky Way bars from the pantry.

It has been really nice to get rid of some of the excess food in our pantry.  I can’t wait to see what we come up with once we only have a few items left to eat from the pantry.  Have you ever done anything like this?  Any suggestions for creative meals?

Organized Home: Pantry

Consider the rest of this week as Organization Week here on NewlyWife. While I would say that the first days of the new year make me yearn for a clean and orderly home, it’s actually something I’ve been working on for the past couple months — as evidenced when I tackled my messy closet.

This time, I wanted to organize my pantry. It’s a great space, but I just didn’t know what to do with it when we first moved in. That indecision and need to store stuff led to chaos that ended up costing us, literally. I would end up buying doubles and not buying things we wanted because I couldn’t tell what we were needing. Not being able to see what we had meant food went bad.

Plus, the white-painted shelves were getting marked up and dirty. It was so bad that I would actually daydream about organizing them while at work. Here’s the before:

Dun dun dun!

I emptied the shelves and got to work.

Organization in progress: it must get worse before it gets better.

Removing about two shelves at a time, I separated the items by those I wanted to keep, toss and those that should move elsewhere. With the “keep” pile, I sorted like by like. Some of the organization also had to do what would fit within the space. For example, our cereal containers are so tall that they had to go up on the top with the liquor. (Yes, it seems like a lot of stuff up there… Hey, what can I say? We like a cocktail every now and again.)

Below you’ll see a very exciting picture (sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell) of me measuring and then cutting the tan shelf liner to size. It wasn’t tacky and I had bought a can of spray glue to hold it down, for some reason I didn’t use it. I used tape instead and it didn’t really work as well as the glue probably would have.

Woo hoo -- measuring!

See the full transformation after the jump!

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