Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pantry Raid

With Graham on a very restricted diet, I felt it was time to raid the find all those foods that were forbidden items and relegate them to the trash bin.

A few years ago, when the kids were still at home, it would have been easy to find junk foods...the kind of foods that add calories and little else. Like potato chips, cheezies...and horrors!...chocolate and candy.

During that time, too, I would find opened packages of food haphazardly thrown back onto the shelf, never to be tasted again. In the pantry, it was mostly dry goods, so those packages usually did little, other than grow stale. It was the foods that went into the fridge, opened and tasted, and then hidden behind another be found by me, weeks later, when the green mould crept out from behind the pickle jar...

Those days have ended...a long time ago. When the kids left, my diet changed too. No longer was the pantry filled with KD or dried noodle soups. Beans, grains and fresh local or organic foods became the order of the day.

But Graham can have no sugars, fats, wheat and/or gluten, or dairy. OK. That meant a whole lot of the foods I have in the refrigerator and in the pantry would have to go...elsewhere. Anything unopened, of course, would be donated...but there was not a whole lot unopened.

The Coombs Country Market has a good selection of dried pastas; Graham and I had just stocked up on all sorts of different pastas...varied shapes and sizes, some egg, others whole wheat. Gray can now only have rice pasta. OK. No rice pasta in the cupboard, only some delicate Asian pasta.

But there's lots of organic whole wheat flour, unbleached white flour, oat flour, oat bran, Scottish oatmeal, organic brown sugars...and these are all forbidden. Graham is a Scot; oatmeal is in his DNA. The cultural food preferences will be hard to overcome. There is no rice flour.

There is white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, basmati rice, wild rice...these, finally, are kept. Graham can have anything rice.

I find the nut cupboard, and say a silent prayer of gratitude...there are many packages of nuts available here...pecans, walnuts, almonds and cashews. He can eat these, too.

And there is a good selection of dried and frozen fruit available. Also allowed.

Hmmm...honey, not allowed, maple syrup...allowed in moderation, brown sugar, cane syrup...not allowed. We have about fourteen different kinds of honey in the cupboard, gathered from various parts of the country, most unopened. This might be a slight exaggeration; there are a lot of jars, however.

Why do we have so much honey? I must be attracted to something there...since I rarely eat honey!

OK. I accept that I overdid the honey thing. But there are preserves, all made with sugar, many given as gifts. I decide to keep these, to serve to guests. It is getting harder and harder to decide what to keep and what to discard, but we are overflowing with food that cannot be eaten. It goes against everything I believe discard food. But I cannot just waste it, either.

I have only olive oils and grapeseed oils, which are deemed OK. But the cheese drawer...oh my! Graham and I are attracted to various kinds of cheeses...and these are definitely not allowed. Along with the milk and cream, these will have to go. And all that frozen bread...

So now I will replace. Neither of us care for buckwheat...but I can find brown rice flour. I can find different kinds of rice pasta. He can eat as many eggs as he wants. And the fresh vegetable bin will remain the same, except he is not allowed potatoes in his diet.

Suddenly, my cupboards are fairly empty. I imagine the whole grains I can try. I fantasize that I will find a great recipe for rice bread...the kind we tried is, to be frank, disgusting. I realize I am about to embark on a new adventure in cooking, which is more of a joy than a chore to me.

It will be a great challenge. And it will feel even better when I get over the fact that I am discarding food.

The pantry is empty. But the raid was required and necessary. It was all in the interests of good health...and Graham is very much worth it.


  1. I love Pantry Raids! :)
    It is getting harder and harder to decide what to keep and what to discard I know how that feels :)

  2. That sounds like a very restrictive diet. Good luck with it. Post some recipes you come across.

  3. Well, you certainly have a challenge, Marion. Since I went on the South Beach Diet and restricted my diet, I've learned I don't have to have potatoes and bread and sugary treats. Of course, my plan is by choice and I can always cheat a litte as I did over Thanksgiving. It doesn't sound like Graham can do this. You are certainly supportive to clear away the bad foods and turn your attention to working with what he can have. Good luck.

  4. Good Luck with that. I think I would find it hard to eat like that. I know you read my blog and know that I am still on the "BAD" stuff, candy and baked goods but feel that I should start eating better. I hope you are able to find some good recipes.

  5. For now, to you, your new lifestyle man seem rigid. But, like everything else in this green planet, with a little practice and a good intention the practice becomes a way of life that is rather easy and we adapt. Good luck on your new venture into food land and yes, keep the recipes coming to us.

  6. Marion, I also have to eat wheat-free and dairy free, and bread was very hard to give up -- no rice bread seems to take it's place! If you need any specific bean, grain-type recipes, I have plenty to share.

    What did help me is making "quick breads" out of other types of flours to have for snacks or breakfast. They were satisfying without containing wheat, but sandwiches are history. It's better to not eat them at all than settle for bland tasting breads.

  7. Anonymous3:48 p.m.

    Why do we have so much honey? I must be attracted to something there...since I rarely eat honey!

    Perhaps Bee has something to say to you?

    I'm curious about something: How are oils and nuts included in a fats-forbidden diet? Is it a matter of very limited amounts because they actually do have some important benefits?

    Be sure you keep calcium in your diet from another source, with all dairy gone!

  8. Matt, I just bet you do, lol!

    DaveM, The Vegan Diet (Jackie) has some good recipes and links that I'm going to make good use of.Graham is fighting pancreatic attacks and is on an elimination diet. Through this, we hope to find what foods make him so ill when he eats them.

    Bill, I know you like candy...I loved the trip down memory lane on your site!

    Dave, that's exactly it. That big old ugly "C" word...Change! Darn! Just when it was all going so good, lol!

    Mrs. Cleaver...a great idea about those quick breads! I'll be emailing you about some recipes...thank you!

    Gypsy, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I understand the fibre is required. And you're right, too, that they contain important benefits. We are following a Naturopathic MD's instructions at the moment...and it is working. Gray feels much better, after two weeks on this diet.

    Yes, I am going to look into what Bee has to say to me...I thought that very thing, myself! Nice to see you!

  9. We've made some sweeping changes in our eating habits lately too, although not this drastic. Jackie was most helpful with some good ideas on Vegan recipes, since I can't have milk products any more.

    I'm glad to hear the elimination diet is helping already. If you can figure out what he needs to avoid, all this strange diet will have been worth it for sure.

  10. DB, this elimination diet is drastic, for sure. I have more trouble with it than Gray does. He feels so much better on it that it is really worth it, even if, at the moment, we don't know which food is causing the problem.

    The trouble I have with it is that some of the foods taste like plastic. Food, I think, is meant to be enjoyed...

    So far, I'd rather complain than enjoy this stuff! Poor Graham...having to listen to me complain made him comment that he was glad it wasn't me that had to eat this food!