Thursday, February 6, 2020

Healthy Fridge Tips

Your fridge can be a helpful tool for healthy eating or a tempting distraction that can sabotage your efforts. It all depends on what you put in in. A little planning makes all the difference. Make your fridge your ally by implementing the following tips:

1. Clean your fridge out regularly. Don't just wipe it down, but take EVERYTHING out while you clean it. Then inspect each item before putting it back. Get rid of rotten or expired foods. You may be surprised how quickly unwanted food can accumulate.

2. Don't pack your fridge so tight with groceries that you can't see what's in the back. Ideally you should be able to easily see all the contents of your fridge when you open the door. Remember it also works better when there is space for cold air to circulate around the food.

3. Use glass or plastic containers or zip lock bags to store your food. It is so much easier to eat well if you can see the food you actually have. This also reduces your chance of discovering spoiled food covered in mold down the road. I'm sure you've experienced this in the past  when you pulled the tin foil off of that bowl or can that had been sitting there for 2 weeks.

4. Stock up on fruits and vegetables. Wash them as soon as you get home and then cut them up into convenient ready to eat serving sizes. This way you can snack on healthy food without having to invest any food prep time. If you feel like snacking, you can eat all the raw vegetables you want without worrying about calories.

5. Keep the healthy foods you are trying to eat more of at eye level in your fridge. This is the same principle marketers use and why companies pay a premium to stock more expensive foods on those shelves in grocery stores.

6. Prepare meals in advance and freeze them. If you have to sit down and start from scratch each time you want to eat you will be very frustrated (like Homer in the picture above.) Planning ahead simplifies your food preparation and makes it easier for you to eat healthier. Healthy eating almost never happens by accident.

7. Store meat in the lower fridge shelves in case it leaks juice onto the food shelves below. The last thing anyone wants on their food is raw chicken juice. Doing so can help prevent food borne illness.

8. Put smelly foods like onions, garlic, and tuna fish in airtight containers when you have left overs or everything in your fridge will smell like them.

9. Stock up on pre-made bagged salads. You can buy these in the produce section and they are a very convenient way to throw together a salad if you are in a hurry. These are available in a variety of styles and flavors.

10. Use less ketchup, mayo, sour cream, and high calorie salad dressings. Instead look for lower calorie dressings, lemon juice, salsa, or hummus.

11. Keep some good protein sources handy so you can easily add them to meals or snacks. These might include cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, shredded chicken, boiled eggs, or peanut butter. These foods also satisfy your hunger better than just snacking on carbs.

12. One easy way to increase your vegetable intake is to keep a variety of frozen vegetables in your freezer so you can easily add a serving of vegetables to your meals. You can quickly microwave, boil or steam them in a matter of minutes.

13. Keep plenty of filtered water in your fridge. Cold, clean water is much more appealing than tap water and will make it easier for you stay hydrated.

These are just a few simple things you can do to keep your food safe, more appealing, and healthier.