Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1: Taking Stock

"Paleo inventory"

It's always a good idea when starting something new to take stock of where you are. In the case of transitioning to a new way of eating, this means taking an inventory of the foods on hand in your freezer, fridge, and pantry. Chances are, you have food items that need to be used soon (um, maybe hiding at the back of the freezer?) or that perhaps don't fit into your new lifestyle and need to be tossed (or donated) (or fed to your skinny teenagers). From a budgeting standpoint, planning meals around what you have allows you to use your food dollars in the short term to stock up on staples or take advantage of bulk pricing.

As you are taking your inventory, take the opportunity to create a list of what you have and the expiration dates ~ this will help you when planning your meals and making your shopping lists.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a bad habit of buying food with the best of intentions, only to leave it to languish in the freezer, forlorn and forgotten. For several months, I belonged to a fantastic local CSA in my area (Lucky 3 Farm), so my freezer is actually full of high-quality, grass fed, chemical & cruelty free goodness. This will allow me to plan several weeks' worth of meals around what I already have. Sadly, participation is no longer in my budget, but I hope to be back soon ~ a CSA is actually a great way to get locally sourced food at reasonable prices as well as support your local farmers. 

So, here's what I'm starting with!

In the freezer:

Whole chickens (3)
Chicken wings (3 packages)
Chicken drumsticks (1 package)
Ground beef (4 packages)
Ground pork (3 packages)
Pork sausage (2 packages)
Bone-in pork chops (2)
Boneless pork chips (1 package)
Chicken thighs (3 packages)
Pork tenderloin
NY strip 
Chuck roast
Whitefish fillets (1 bag)
Beef liver (3)
Chicken liver (1 package)
Fatback (3 packages)
Chicken backs (2)
Beef bones (2 bags)
Frozen green beans (1 bag)

In the fridge:

Spaghetti Squash
Sliced deli cheese
"Kid food" ~ Yes, they eat junk. Yes, I try to discourage it. No, I am not often successful. #teens!

In the pantry:

Canned beans
Canned soup
Misc staples

I realize much of this is not "Paleo," but given my situation and because my goal is to move toward a more Paleo lifestyle, not jump right in with both feet, I will be incorporating a lot of it into meals in the beginning (anything gluten-free, that is). It is also food my children are familiar with and like eating, so it will be helpful to include some of their "happy meals" at first as I try and transition them, too, to my New! Improved! Healthy! way of eating. 

The other part of taking stock for me at this point, since one of my goals is to lose weight and feel better, is to evaluate how I am feeling doing what I'm currently doing and to take some benchmark measurements. One important part of any diet or lifestyle change is to learn to listen to your body so you can make adjustments, rather than blindly following a particular plan or menu. 

In a nutshell, I pretty much feel like crap these days. Over the past few months I have had very low energy and periods of depression. I recently changed my thyroid medication, which has made a world of difference, but I have definitely not been eating to optimize my health! In fact, I've been eating the exact opposite and the way many people, I think, eat when they are faced with a strict budget: carbs, carbs, and more cheap carbs. Which, ironically, leads to more carb and sugar cravings, which may or may not lead to late night runs to the 24-hour Walgreens for yes, you guessed it, more carbs and sugar. Eating junk like this makes me feel lethargic, cranky, and bloated. There's only one way to go from here, and that's up, right?!

I have also weighed myself and taken measurements, but I'm keeping those depressing numbers under lock and key for now. I will share my progress over the next 31 days in terms of pounds and inches lost, if any (which, hello, there better be, just saying).

Tomorrow I will use my inventory to create a menu plan and shopping list for my first week of meals!


  1. excellent. i will certainly be following your journey as I too am looking to transition over and well I need a good plan because my previous attempts have fizzled out for one reason or another.

    1. I am familiar with "fizzling out syndrome!" I'm hoping 31 days of blogging will keep me organized and committed and I hope to inspire you and others as well! If I can do it, anyone can!!!