What Does Your Fridge Say About You? Prepping Your Fridge for a Healthy Diet
I want you to take a minute and think about what is in your refrigerator at this very moment. Some people may be able to recall everything in it while others may actually have no idea. What do you think this says about you? From personal experience in doing in-home visits with clients, I’ve seen it all—old Chinese take-out containers from weeks ago to state-of-the art refrigerators with just eggs and ketchup. If you believe you’re a person who has healthy eating habits, I want you to open your fridge and ask yourself, “Is this a reflection of myself?” “If my friends and family members came over, would I be proud to show them my fridge?”
Consider these questions: Is your fridge tidy and clean? Is it well lit? Are there leftovers hidden in the back row? Are you well-stocked with fresh vegetables and fruit? Do you have expired condiments from years past?
Depending on your answer to these questions, remember habits are hard to change when your environment (ie your refrigerator) stays the same. You can’t eat healthy if you don’t have healthy food in the house and you’re less likely to reach for the healthy options when there are too many steps to prepare it. Follow some of my tips below on how to make eating healthy easier by starting with your fridge.
Organization: You’ve probably noticed that when your desk is cluttered, it’s hard to think and when your closet is unorganized it’s hard to find what to wear. Just like your desk and your closet, it’s also important to keep your fridge nice and tidy. You should be able to see everything in your fridge. If you keep healthy foods like fruits and vegetables towards the front of the refrigerator, it will make you more likely to eat them.
Before Grocery Shopping: Open your fridge and pantry and see what kind of ingredients you already have and try to incorporate them into a meal for next week. I simply call this respecting your $$$. Every time you throw food away, think of it as throwing whatever amount in dollar bills in the trash can. So if a head of lettuce cost you $2, picture yourself throwing 2 actual dollar bills in the trash can. That’s really what you are doing!
After Grocery Shopping: Before re-stocking your fridge with new items, pull up the trash-can and start throwing out old leftovers and wilted produce. Most prepared foods are good for 3-5 days. Have you ever heard the phrase, “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel”? Well, it’s actually true. As an apple or any produce for that matters ripens, it produces a gas called ethylene which is a ripening agent. Don’t believe it? If you want an avocado to ripen quicker, try sticking it in a brown bag with a well-ripened apple. The point is, you want to purge your refrigerator of old food that you know you’ll never eat, like leftover pizza from a week ago. You want to de-clutter and make way for a fresh week.
Ready-to-Eat Foods: When you’re coming home from work at 5:00pm and craving a snack, you’re more likely to reach for a bag of chips than veggies and hummus. The solution is to make healthy foods more convenient for you. If you cut up celery sticks and peppers ahead of time, it will be a no brainer to reach for the veggies and hummus instead of pita chips and hummus. Set time aside on a weekend to prepare ready-to-eat foods that you can quickly throw in a dish.
-Cut up fruit to have for breakfast or as a snack when you get home from work
-Wash and chop vegetables to make week-night cooking quicker
-Roast vegetables to have as a side or over a salad
-Cook a large batch of whole grains to add as a healthy starch to a dish
-Make a big pot of soup and portion into containers to bring to lunch throughout the work week