Clutter Free EatingThis is something very personal to me and I have been making changes over the last 10 years, learning more and more each day. I understand this is a life-long process and will be filled with trial and error along the way. You need to respect the process and move slowly to make lasting changes. Remember the last time you read an article then went to the store and bought all “super foods” or stocked up on ingredients to make some great recipe? How many of those items are still sitting in your cupboards unopened. Take small steps to make big changes, over time this will get easier and easier, I promise.

With the TONS of digital clutter out there…even the most amazing information is disorder when in surplus. On top of that, we tend to forget that we are completely unique, so something that works for hundreds of others might not work with our particular body and lifestyle. When reading the newest trend or best meditation practice, really ask yourself if this is something you would actually do or if it’s just something the person you keep trying to be would do? Be honest with yourself and be ok if something does feel right for you…spoiler alert…it’s great to be different, own it!

I’m currently attending a year-long program at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition to further my knowledge for personal gain and for my clients. The program looks at all our primary foods and ways to create balance. I see chaos in a holistic way and want to be the best “clutter coach” I can be. Yes, some days I’m just making spaces look beautiful but others I’m having deep conversation with clients to get to the root of why they are over spending their time and money in all aspects of their life. My goal for each and every client is to have a calm and supportive space, I want them to flourish and I know it’s possible once we are organized.

We all need to fuel ourselves, yet we tend to grab the quickest thing. We are always in a rush and not making conscious decisions. Have you ever started eating and then looked down to see it’s all gone, without any recollection of chewing it… I have plenty of times. A bag of chips or Oreos can be scarfed down without even enjoying a bite. Now Oreos aren’t part of my diet anymore but they will always have a special place in my heart (just like an addict still loves the drug that ruined their life.. Note; studies show sugar is more addictive than cocaine.. scary right?!?)

A good example of this is when a woman gets pregnant. All of sudden she starts eating better, drinking more water and makes a conscious effort to be healthier for her baby. Why don’t we do that each and every day for ourselves, aren’t we good enough and deserving of that? We also give babies the best quality organic foods and 100% organic cotton clothing yet as we age we care less and less about what going into or onto our bodies. It’s all concerning to say the least.

The key to success is making small changes each and every day toward a lifestyle that supports our goals. Every time you make a purchase or eat something, you are placing a vote, you are supporting that thing. Take a look at what you are currently supporting…and omit the items that do not serve you. We all know there are plenty of opportunities for poor choices on the weekends or when we are out and about during the week, so let’s make our homes a safe space to reaching our goals.

Ok, here’s the stuff you have been waiting for…how to:

#1: Toss/donate anything in your pantry that isn’t serving your goals. Any food that is expired let it go, anything that is highly processed (do you really want that in your body?), any items that you know you are never going to eat (don’t hold on to it just to let it expire!)
#2: Make a master grocery list. I have a list of the items I always like to have stocked (Coffee, Greens, Tomatoes, Onions, Bananas, Seven Sons Farm Eggs & Meats, Frozen veggies for quick meals, Rice, Oats and Nuts) Anything I grab outside this list has to be used within 2 weeks… If I find a new product and want to try it out, I actually try it out. How many of you grab all these great ingredients for a recipe and months later the ingredients are all still sitting in your pantry. If you buy it USE IT. Remember this is inventory that you have to manage, less stuff means less work for you!
#3: The hardest part… Sticking to the Plan. Each day is an opportunity to support your new lifestyle. Work towards making more and more conscious decisions and removing the ‘food clutter” from your life. Shop like a European, grabbing the freshest foods every few days and using them up before buying more. There is no need for a full pantry/fridge it just leads to waste!

Quick Tips:
1. Buy greens and fruit in bulk: you can freeze 1/2 for smoothies and enjoy the rest.
2. Leftovers- Eat them… and eat them within 2-3 days otherwise you most likely aren’t going to enjoy them and you guessed it – more waste!

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer