Put your Fridge on a Diet

        Which one is yours?   

When was the last time you took a good look inside your refrigerator? Do you still have some items in there from when you moved in? Are you good about checking expiration dates? Is that last week’s leftovers? Or is your fridge so bare that you have to order take-out in order to stay fed? It’s time to clean up your cold box.

A well-stocked refrigerator and freezer is vital for good health and a trim waistline. That means making a list and going to the market – likely more than once a week. Here’s a list of items to keep on hand at all times. Choose the ones you like and use this as the guide for your next marketing list.

PRODUCE: apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, cilantro, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, baby bok choy, sugar snap peas, pickles

GRAINS: whole-grain bread (try sprouted grain or gluten-free varieties, if needed), whole-grain pita bread, whole-grain English muffins, corn tortillas, whole-grain tortillas

DAIRY: nonfat plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, nonfat or 1% milk, nonfat cottage cheese, light string cheese, fresh grated parmesan cheese, light ricotta cheese, light shredded cheese

OTHER PROTEIN: smoked salmon, sliced turkey breast, ground turkey breast, skinless chicken breast, tofu, soybeans, raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios), nut butters, eggs, liquid egg whites, egg substitute, fresh fish (wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, snapper, bass, trout)

CONDIMENTS: mustard, flavored vinegar, hot sauce, light salad dressing, low-sodium soy sauce, ponsu sauce (a citrusy soy sauce), teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup, relish

FREEZER: veggie burgers, frozen mixed vegetables, frozen fruit, steamed dumplings, turkey meatballs, chicken breasts, shrimp, scallops, whole-grain waffles, Morningstar sausage patties or links, Amy’s beans and cheese burritos (whole grain tortilla), Amy’s lasagna, Healthy choice entrees, Kashi entrees, Kashi pizza.

Keep the “trigger foods” out. The best way to describe a trigger food is “an open bag is an empty bag”. Identify those foods that have control over you and keep them out of your shopping cart.

Stock up on the basics and replenish the fresh produce every 3-4 days. Buy it, use it, and buy some more. By not eating out so often, you’ll keep your wallet fat and your body slim.

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