We open and close our refrigerators many times during the day. It is like owning your very own vending machine. We gravitate to it just like a magnet when our stomachs are growling or we are depressed or upset. But most refrigerators are not set up properly. We stick the food wherever and then wonder why we are eating all these fattening unhealthy foods. All you need to do is change how you set up your refrigerator. Shuffle a few things around and see a big difference in your choices and your health.
Top Shelf: Fresh Food Snacks.
This is the eye level shelf. Place washed, dried and cut-up raw vegetables in airtight containers on the top shelf. The same for washed, cut-up hunks of fruit. This way, these healthy low calorie foods are the first thing you see when you open the fridge. Make sure that you eat the foods on this shelf within three days then replenish.
Second Shelf: Grab and Go.
Organic yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, nuts, pickles.
Pickles and nuts will last for a couple months if properly refrigerated. Hard boiled eggs, yogurt and cottage cheese should be eaten within 7 days and then replaced.
Third Shelf: (or Middle Drawer) More Than Cold Cuts.
Avoid buying salty, nitrate filled deli foods. Opt for cooked meats and cheeses. Have the cheese cut into one-inch cubes and the meat shaved or cut to use on sandwiches. Meats should be eaten and replaced within 4 days. Cheese within 7 days.
Left Bottom Shelf: Liquids
Replace soda’s, sugary drinks, energy drinks (even the sugar free ones) with pitchers of water. For more flavor toss in slices of fresh lemon, orange, lime etc. Place all natural orange juice, grapefruit juice etc beside water along with organic low fat or skim milk. Consume (open milk) within 5 days and open juice within 7 days.
Right Bottom Two Shelves: Dinner Items
Keep fresh herbs, brown and wild rice, quinoa, and wheat pasta here. This will give you a fiber rich meal even when you are in a hurry. Grains should be kept in the fridge during hot weather. Cooked grains and pasta should be eaten within 2 days of cooking.
Bottom Drawers: Personal Stash
This should be your little green market. Romaine lettuce, arugula, carrots, green beans, bell peppers, cruciferous veggies. Fruits such as pears, citrus, apples etc. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits within 1 week and cooked within 3 days.
The Door: Condiments
Place nutritious condiments at eye level. Store preserves, dressings, marinades, sauces and other condiments used for meals on bottom shelves.
Freezer: Long Term Storage
Stock up and store fresh veggies and fruits on top freezer shelf so that a vitamin rich meal or smoothie is at your fingertips. On a separate shelf store cuts of fish, chicken, pork and beef. Store left overs and sauces in air tight containers. Don’t leave food frozen in the freezer indefinitely. About 3-4 months for meats and fish (if stored the right way) No more than 1 month for left overs.
Following these guidelines will keep your fridge net and make it easy to find the healthy foods your body craves.
What does your fridge look like?
Is it time for a makeover?