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Blog: The Pile High Club--how NOT to become a member
End-of-year Pantry Purge

I started writing this blog about how to properly organize your holiday decor as you pack it back up so that you have everything in order when you take it all out again next December. But there is actually something else on my mind and I figure there are already enough holiday organizing articles out there already.

The one area of advice I would give you in this department is to remember to pack away all those holiday dish and hand towels, blankets, soaps, holiday mugs, serving dishes, candles and movies/CDs. Sometimes these things are in the laundry or hidden in the cabinets when you're packing up and they somehow get forgotten and end up staying in your home (and in the way) for the next 364 days. Oh, and don't forget the "Bah Humbug" t-shirts, ugly Christmas sweaters or menorah-themed leggings in your closet. Pack all those items in with the ornaments.

P.S. Do not forget to pack away any cute handmade items your kids put together at school this holiday. They will love seeing them come out again next year.

OK, I'm done with that. What is really on my mind is this: I watched the movie Food Inc. via Netflix earlier this week. Since then I have not been able to enjoy meat or eat much of anything. It's a really eye-opening movie if you're the kind of person (like I was) who never thinks about where your food comes from and what exactly is in it.

So I have made it my personal project to start the year off fresh and try to purchase and serve to my family only things that come from nature (nothing processed) and the only meat we will eat is fish (which we catch in our own backyard, literally).

Naturally, our pantry currently consists of plenty of processed foods (whose doesn't these days?) and sodas and such. So as not to waste, we will first have to eat all the things that are in our pantry. The organizer in me is MOST excited to clear out all that pantry clutter (jarred, pickled asparagus from a 2009 gift basket, anyone?). The Capricorn in me loves the challenge of trying to create tasty, healthy meals from ONLY the items that are currently in our pantry, fridge and freezer (of course we will have to regularly buy fresh veggies, fruits and dairy products). I read a story about a guy who was disgusted by American excess and challenged himself to clean out his own pantry and not buy any new food until he had done so. I don't think he had kids though. I realize this new health kick is going to be a VERY hard sell for my children. But it is one that I can feel good about enforcing.

So wish me luck and I promise to keep you posted on my progress. Has anyone out there ever done anything similar to this? How did it go? Would you ever consider trying to eliminate all the processed foods in your pantry?

posted on: 12/28/2009 10:30:00 AM by Heather Lambie
category: Paper

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Discuss This Post

by 轮盘赌 on 1/25/2010 7:30:20 PM:

Hey, ok, I get it, I guess - but does this really work?

by Heather on 1/25/2010 9:04:11 PM:

It's not easy, that's for sure! It takes conscious purchasing at the supermarket.

by MaryAnne on 2/3/2010 9:00:33 PM:

I made this same "vow", Heather, with some moderation. The goal was to serve as much as possible unprocessed, and to eat more what was fresh locally or from farms with a conscience. I have always loved to cook; it is the time and planning factors that have gotten in the way for realism post-kids. The kids have some leeway, such as the Eggos that cannot be banished from breakfast; and we have to have some chips or animal shaped crackers around for school and other snacks on the go, and oh, those cheese dogs (gross). But, we are overall eating better and fresher. I am trying to bake (e.g., cookies, but not bread, which I stink at) vs store buying, and making my own dips and dressings when possible. This is taking some creativity to please young kids- but, I have discovered they like homemade mac-n-cheese way better than the other stuff (victory!) Hey, I'm also hoping mom here will lose poundage with the switch, that would be extra bonus! Let me know how you are doing :-).....

by Heather on 2/3/2010 10:08:55 PM:

Doing as well as I can. Still weeding out the processed stuff stockpiled in the pantry, but have been successful with NOT buying anything new at the grocery that is not organic. Once our Saturday Morning Market starts up again (I think in April) will start buying our produce there (from local farmers) rather than from the grocery. There is apparently a Whole Foods opening up near me soon, so I am ANXIOUSLY anticipating that! But yes, there are certain things I will never be able to give up (nor will the kids). Everything in moderation...

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The Pile High Club--how NOT to become a member

by Heather Lambie

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About Heather:

My Husband - "Honey, how thin can you spread yourself before you're no longer there?" Me - "I don't know. But I'm in it to win it, so we may have to find out."

Heather's Website:


Favorite Websites

  • The Sartorialist
    This site appeases my hunger for all things New York, reminds me of my time there, and gives me great ideas for unconventional looks.
  • Toffee To Go
    They are located in Tampa, very near me, but they deliver/ship nationally. They have THE BEST toffee EVER. It's buttery, salty, sweet--all my favorite things in one bite.
  • The Container Store
    I know this is a no-brainer for an organizer...but this place really turns me on!
  • The Poetry Foundation
  • Because I Said So (blog)
    As a mom myself, this mom of 6 (!!!) has me in stitches.
  • Michael Buble
    If I wasn't happily married, I might be stalking him. Bar none, the best voice and best sense of humor!

Quotes That Move Me

  • General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
    "The truth of the matter is, you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."
  • Ivern Ball
    "Most of us ask for advice when we know the answer but we want a different one."
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    "The secret of education is respecting the pupil."
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
  • Abigail Van Buren
    "The best index to a person's character is how he treats another person who can't do him good, and how he treats people who can't fight back."
  • Dorothy Galyean
    "Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
  • Aristotle
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
  • Mark Twain
    "To be satisfied with what one has; that is wealth. As long as one sorely needs a certain additional amount, that man isn't rich."
  • Jackie Kennedy
    "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much."

Places I'm Dying to Visit

  • Hawaii
    Any how, any way, any time.
  • Los Cabos, Mexico
  • China
  • Japan
  • Alaska (via cruise ship)
  • Marbella, Spain

Places I've Already Been

  • Australia (Sydney)
  • New Zealand
  • Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora
  • London
  • Paris
    Spent only one day here (took the Chunnel from London when I was there) but it was one amazing, beautiful day where I walked the flea markets, visited the Louvre, people-watched and used all 6 senses to experience it.
  • Trinidad & Tobago
    My husband is from here, so we go several times a year to visit family.
  • Italy (Milan, Vicenza)
  • Jamaica

Things I'd Like To Do Before I Die

  • Run a leg with the Olympic torch before the games begin
  • See the monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico
  • Ride a horse on the beach (in the water)
  • See a prize fight (boxing) in Las Vegas
  • Run the NYC Marathon
    I ran the Disney Marathon in 2000 (pre-kids). Would love to run another post-kids, to prove I can.
  • Have washboard abs.
  • Eliminate self doubt.
  • Own an apartment in Manhattan.
  • Watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
  • Take an RV trip down the coast of California.

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