Having a family on a grain free diet takes the majority of our focus for a couple years while our bodies are healing. The mental energy it takes to learn what foods our bodies can tolerate and walking step-by-step through the process takes a lot out of us.
This is a guest post by Rachel of Nourishing Minimalism. I adore her, and her blog, which I really encourage you to go visit here! She is queen of organizational checklists and motivational decluttering videos, so if you’ve been letting the clutter pile up because you’ve been focusing on other things (this happens in my house too!), go give her site a look!
But there are some lifestyle changes that we can implement that will free up a lot of that mental energy, so we can use it where we need it: healing the gut.
First, set up routines. Having a morning and evening routine means that everything flows better. The next day begins before you go to bed:
- Have the dinner dishes washed, or run the dishwasher.
- Do a general house tidy:
- Kitchen counters clear.
- Living room picked up.
- Coats & shoes put away.
Call it a ritual, a routine or a rhythm that you implement, as long as it gets done consistently.
Many times people are fearful of losing their spontaneity if they set up routines, but routines offer you freedom. If you stick with doing the dishes morning and night, and doing a load of laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away) every day for 30 days, you will create a habit for yourself. It will become automatic and you won’t even notice that you are getting those things accomplished, until all at once, you look around and feel on top of things.
Keep a minimalist style home. This is going to look different for everyone, but even if your home doesn’t look minimalist, if you have a limited amount of possessions, it’s easier to keep tidy and feels much more manageable, particularly if anyone in your home has sensory processing issues.
When we allow clutter in the home, it tends to attract more clutter, and like the broken window theory, allowing the dishes to sit for days or papers and miscellaneous to accumulate on flat surfaces, gives the impression that it’s acceptable.
Set up a plan to declutter one room at a time. Work for 15 minutes each day, sticking to just one pile, one drawer or one shelf. I always recommend starting in the kitchen, because we spend the majority our time there, especially when our family is on a grain-free diet.
Having a clean and organized kitchen means it’s more enjoyable to do all the cooking tasks in it and having only what you need, means you can find your tools easily and cook more efficiently.
Use the “one touch” rule, especially while cooking! The idea is to touch something only one time. Walk through this scenario with me: You set veggies on the counter to cook, as you do all your prep work on the veggies (first touch), you leave the scraps on the counter (second touch), when you are done cooking and clean up the kitchen you have to throw the veggie scraps away or in your stock pot, compost, etc. (third touch). Instead, get your veggies out and have the stock pot, compost or trash can close by, so you can take care of the scraps as you work. That is limiting it to “one touch”.
You can implement the “one touch” rule all over the house: Hang towels after a bath/shower, hang the jacket on a hook instead of a chair, have a sink full of hot soapy water while cooking and place dirty dishes right in it.
A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Having a place for everything, is only do-able if we have limited our possessions to some extent, hence my above recommendation of keeping a minimalist home. If we declutter and pare down to just what we use and love on a regular basis, it’s easier to organize and keep tidy.
Implement simple organization tools. Typically I don’t recommend organization products, but there are a few that really help when we are struggling with health issues; most of us are plagued with brain-fog and it is so frustrating to not be able to find things we need. Implement some simple organization tools and make it easy for children to participate in your daily chores.
Have hooks in main path areas:
- Snow suits
- Bike helmets
- Even Wallets
- Hang towels
- Jeans (Depending on the child, size, etc. many things can worn more than one time- hooks make it easy to keep put clothes on to wear again the next day.)
Label dresser drawers for children’s clothing. This makes it easier for young children to put away their clean clothes and helps them know where to look when they are getting dressed in the morning.
A shoe shelf, or basket by the main entry for shoes is helpful. If your children are little, teach them a little song when they walk through the door:
Take off my shoes, put them on the shelf.
Hang my coat a hook, I can do it myself.
Make routine chores and cleaning a game:
- Turn on some music and dance around the house.
- Set a timer and race it.
- Plan a treat or family game time for when everything is put into place.
- Put a chart on the fridge and if all the checkboxes are full by the end of the week, do something fun together.
What organization, and/or lifestyle changes have you found to helpful for you to stick with a healing diet?