In an ideal world you would open up your fridge to everything lined and stored perfectly. But let’s be realistic we are all busy so we need to plan and be organized.
Healthy eating would be a lot easier if someone cleaned out our fridge for us. But it is not as difficult as it seems- if high fat, high salt and low fiber choices are out of sight then they are out of mind.
If you are committed to healthy habits purging first is the key. Toss condiments and foods with questionable ingredients, such as salad dressings with HFCS or ketchup with tons of sugar. My fridge has nothing in it that I don’t want to eat, until my kids are home from college!
Here are some of my top tips:
- Drinks can be a healthy diversion with many claiming they are healthy. They can contain empty calories and be full of additives. I always have on hand nut milks, kombucha and sparkling water.
- Leftovers are key to optimizing your health goals because this can drastically cut down your cooking time. Get in the practice of dating and labeling your leftovers when you put them in the fridge.
- Veggies- This goes without saying: a tip is to clean and wash all the veggies, cut and slice for quick snacks and store them in airtight glass containers.
- Do not store fresh fruits and vegetables in the same drawer. Fruits give off a gas called ethylene that is a ripening agent. If fruit is not ripened upon purchase leave out on the countertop for a few days then refrigerate.
Keep it fun and exciting. Add a new item each week that you have never tried, such as some of my favorites:
- Fermented foods: These are gut healthy and help flatten your stomach. They are high in probiotics to help improve digestion and help us to feel great. No cans!!!
- Yes, mustard. I know this sounds crazy but there are so many varieties. It is negligible in calories, sugar and fat and loads of flavor. I choose organic and make sure that I can pronounce all the ingredients.
- Nut milk. What is nut milk? Basically any nut, but mostly cashew and almonds that are soaked to break down the phytates (an anti-nutrient in the nuts that reduce the absorption of iron, zinc and magnesium) that are difficult for us to digest and then blended. You then strain them to remove the solids. The solids can then be reused for other purposes. They of course have a nutty flavor and creamy texture and loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein.
The benefits of nut milk:
- Low in calories
- Maintains blood sugar levels- unsweetened variety
- Dairy free
- Can strengthen bones
- High in Vitamin D
So we have cleared out our fridge and now we are ready for our meal prepping.
What is Meal Prep?
Meal Prep items are key to your success and long-term health. This is teaching you to be healthy without the fad diets or overnight fixes. Life is challenging and that makes it difficult to live a healthy life. Following through on your goals and actually fulfilling them can be disconnected. I have a solution that will help you reduce your cravings and binge eating. It is meal prepping!
It is basically prepping your meals and snacks for the week on 1 day of the week. It is planning, preparing and packing your meals and snacks in advance. Make a date with your kitchen and prep your meals. Listen to music or turn the television on and cooking will become very therapeutic instead of stressful.
In your entire week, 1-2 hours of cooking prep time is not that much on one day. Imagine you are driving home from work or from running the kids to all their different activities, you may typically go through the first drive through because you won’t have time to cook when you get home. This is where meal prepping comes in handy. You will have everything already prepared in the fridge, so all you have to do is take it out and heat it up!
Why Should I Meal Prep?
- This will save you time during the rest of your week when life is more chaotic.
- It will keep you on track with your health goals.
- Preparation is the key to success with any health and wellness goals.
- Takes the stress out of your weekly routine.
- Will provide consistency and that will reduce your stress levels.
- Cooking can be therapeutic if you turn on music and/or cook with friends or family.
- Incorporate meditation into your slicing and dicing.
You are now a meal prep superstar!
Here is my downloadable meal prep guide: