Tuesday, February 2, 2010

28 Day Real Food Challenge: Day 1 - Clean Your Cupboards

Last month, I signed up for Real Food Challenge hosted by Jenny of the Nourished Kitchen. Why another challenge? I realized that I've allowed myself to become idle this past few years and this is another way for me to get back on track. I rarely set goals before but I've learned last Sunday at church that you will never reach your goal if you never set a goal.

While I teach people how to eat healthy and what to eat, I recognized that I have been neglecting my own intake of whole and real foods. I will consider this challenge as part of my education in natural nutrition and eventually adapt whatever changes I can do in my native country. Real Food Challenge is about going back to the basics of food where nutrients are fully available in their whole form. This challenge is really a test in the twenty-first century as many people are still unaware of what whole foods are all about. By taking this challenge, I’m not only doing this for myself but for all those people who are reading it. Day one starts today (supposed to be Feb 1).

Day #1: Clean Your Cupboards

This is a real challenge because some of the items in the cupboard and in the fridge are not even mine. But I’ll go over it even if the stuff doesn’t belong to me. As always when I told my brother about this challenge, he teased me I couldn’t eat fast for one day.

Today's assignment is clearing the cupboards and the fridge of refined and processed foods from the list below.

Here's the original checklist:
  • Vegetable Oils: Soybean, Cottonseed, Canola, Corn
  • Sugar: White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Turbinado, Agave Nectar (including "raw"), Sugar in the raw
  • Stevia: white stevia powder, stevia liquid
  • Margarine
  • Shortening (excluding palm shortening)
  • White flour: all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, white rice flour,
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy foods: soy sauce, soy flour, soy milk, soy lecithin, isoflavone-enriched foods and supplements
  • Dried Pastas and Noodles
  • Iodized Salt
  • Refined Sea Salt
  • Meat & Dairy Replacements: TVP, veggie burgers, vegan cheeses, sour creams, rice and nut milks, vegan sausages
  • Processed cheeses
  • Skim and Low-fat Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurts etc.
  • Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies
Here's mine:
  • Vegetable oils: I have extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and rice bran oil.
  • Sugar: We do have the refined white and brown sugar.
  • Stevia – None
  • Shortening – None
  • White flour – there’s white flour and glutinous rice flour.
  • Cornstarch – yes there is.
  • Soy foods – I definitely have soy sauce. I am Asian and soy sauce is one of the Asian condiments that we’ve been using since I was born. I am using less of it now.
  • Dried Pastas and Noodles – I also grew up eating noodles – we have mung bean noodles, soba noodles ramen, rice and other noodles.
  • Iodized Salt – There is someone using iodized salt.
  • Refined sea salt – I switched to unrefined sea salt.
  • Meat and Dairy replacements – I have some homemade nut milk but I rarely make them so the nut milk will stay.
  • Processed cheeses – they’re all gone.
  • Skim and Low-fat Dairy – None
  • Boxed cereals, crackers and cookies – only crackers
Other items in the cupboard and the fridge
  • Bean curd
  • Spring roll wrapper
  • Chinese fish balls, lobster balls and veggie balls that are used in soups and combined with noodles
  • Canned products such as corned beef, sardine, tuna, pickled cucumber, pineapples, button mushrooms, sausage and ham
Since there are other people living in this house, I can't just get rid of the others without letting other people know about it. But whatever I have in the pantry and the fridge have been taken care of. I feel cleaner now.

Love and light,


  1. This is very good advice for both home and heart -- stick with the basics and know what you have. It prevents overbuying and the general accumulation of "stuff." I periodically do pantry/freezer cooking, just to whittle down our stocks of supplies. I need to remind myself, it's a kitchen, not a museum -- eat everything!

  2. Wow, thanks for this post. I really need to clean out my cupboards... It would take days to get everything organized. :)

  3. You are so dedicated!!! I could never give up cheese : (

  4. This is a good idea. My father in law is a vegetarian, but so unhealthy. He only lives off of processed soy products, carbs, oatmeal, and many supplements. He has overused vitamins so much over the years. He now needs a new liver, and he's only in his 40's. We don't know if he overdid the fat soluble vitamins, or if the vitamins were never actually absorbed and it was from malnutrition. I think being healthy and eating whole foods is very misunderstood, great post.

  5. oh I so need to clean out my cupboards!!

  6. Great job Divina! I find that just removing the nearly-expired things cleans up quite a bit, heh heh :)

  7. I like all the goals and challenges you have set for yourself to achieve! Very inspiring!

  8. You are a rockstar at cleaning out those cupboards. Great advice. I'll have to be sure to go through my cupboards although I believe mine are a bit bare :)

  9. I know you will do great in this challenge! Nourished Kitchen is one of my favorite blogs. Have fun!!

  10. Excellent idea! I like the feeling of cleaning out my cupboards. There is something about it that just makes me feel refreshed and ready to start over. Good luck with the challenge!!

  11. That's very good change...very impressed. I still have my big load to get organised and sorted out properly. My fridge is quite cleared though...happy :P


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