When it comes to taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to build a strong foundation. It doesn’t matter that you skip to the superfoods if your core diet isn’t a healthy and whole one.
How does one ensure this? By taking a simple approach to eating. Make sure what you’re stocking in your fridge consists mainly of whole produce with nutritional benefits. Shy away from mixes and bottles and go for fresh vegetables and simple ingredients. Below are the fridge essentials and staples that are simply must-haves to make good dietary decisions and get you well on your way to looking and feeling better.
1. Baking Soda
First and foremost, it’s important to get the stench under control. Buy a box of baking soda and switch it out every couple of months to get rid of any odor and keep it smelling fresh.
2. Leafy Greens
The best things about leafy greens are that they’re healthy and you can throw them into anything. Make a salad for lunch, sautée them and throw them on top of rice and beans for dinner. Not only do you have to get in your recommended daily servings but they can turn any sides into a meal. You can also throw them into smoothies for a fiber-rich addition.
3. Cooked Lean Proteins
Do this on a Sunday so you have your whole week laid out for you and you are never scrounging for a meal. I like to prepare lean turkey meatballs, chicken breasts, beans and egg cups. These can be used interchangeably for breakfast, lunch and dinner and help me make meal prep a breeze.
4. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a great carb to have handy. It is the foundation of an easy brown rice bowl dinner or lunch that will keep you full and satisfied. Not into rice? You can also try quinoa, couscous or other grains.
5. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted veggies are great, especially in the Fall and Winter because they are more likely to be in season. My favorites are mushrooms, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery and squash.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes and different types of squash (spaghetti, acorn, butternut, etc.) are carbs that are low in GI (glycemic index) which makes them great filling portions that are perfect for those with tummy issues or looking to lose more weight.
7. Homemade Hummus
Homemade hummus, store-bought hummus – whichever hummus you like is great to have in your fridge at all times. It makes any meal taste better and is also fabulous for on-the-go snacking. Try to make your own at home so you know exactly what’s going in it.
Both dairy and vegan options are acceptable. If there is something I’ve found as someone who likes working out in the mornings and has to get to work early, its that I don’t like to get fussy at breakfast. Usually I’ll grab yogurt, berries (mentioned below) and granola from the pantry and I’m good to go. It satisfies my sweet tooth and carries me through to lunch.
While I prefer berries for breakfast, they also make a great post-dinner dessert for when I’m feeling a sweet tooth coming on.
Technically, these don’t need to be in your fridge, but you should definitely have these around. You can have them for any meal and they provide a healthy dose of dietary fats that will keep you satiated while giving your skin, hair and nails a boost.
11. Cut-Up Vegetables
Carrots, celeries, bell peppers, mushrooms. Whatever you like as a dipping food should be kept in your fridge at all times. They’re great for snack attacks which is imperative when attempting to make the right dietary choices.
Lemons go on absolutely everything. On salads, marinades, in sauces and even in your morning cup of tea are a few options. They are great for detoxification and also taste great.
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