- Amy Sotis
The following is a picture of someone's real fridge. I do like those pomegranates on the upper right corner but with the cat food can resting on it, I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to eat them after all. I might only be able to use the eggs I see nestled between the leftovers and the package of raw meat (no!).
I want to show you this picture first because I am positive that your fridge does not look this bad. So, when I show the next fridge, don't feel guilty, because your actual fridge is probably somewhere in between these two pictures.
Here is the next fridge, which was a set-up - OF COURSE no one's fridge actually looks this good all the time!
source: My own fridge
Here's the thing - stock your fridge with healthy things and you will set yourself up for success. Well, yes, the ball is in your court once you bring home the groceries, BUT, it is a good place to start. A side note, a few of these items are in the higher-priced category and I consider those luxuries, not "every day consumption" staples. For example, kombucha drink and fresh salmon. If budgets are tight, stick with proven low-cost healthy choices: carrots, celery, actually - all vegetables, frozen berries rather than fresh, beans, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, pork, chicken, whole raw foods are almost always less expensive than pre-made "health" food.
To compare and contrast a bit, here are some basics:
1. Fresh fruit and veggies - have lots, buy them often, and find new ways to cook the veggies.
2. Don't be afraid to have what is traditionally thought of as "fattening" foods as staples: Observe the heavy whipping cream, butter, eggs, and cheese. These are minimally-processed foods and their fat content is a better source of fat than say, fried food leftovers or pizza leftovers.
3. Do you see any fermented or cultured foods? (No, and I don't mean alcoholic beverages)... Yes, observe the kefir, kombucha, and kimchi - all containing wonderful good bacteria for your gut which aids in digestion and gives you those probiotics which boost your immune system. Raw apple cider vingear would fall in this category too but it is kept in the pantry at our house.
4. Its okay to have a few things that are your personal indulgences. For us, it is the sugar-sweetened coffee creamers. I see some sugar-sweetened Chobani Greek Yogurt in the first fridge, that is a good choice for a treat.
5. Have a variety of natural colors represented: Orange peppers, green lettuce, pink salmon, green snap peas & brussel sprouts, red raspberries, white almond milk, cow's milk, and mushrooms, etc.
Those were 5 positives, now let's analyze the first fridge (no judgment, this is just a teaching tool).
1. Do not let raw meat ever come in contact with anything else
2. If mold is growing on food, don't eat it. (Do I even need to write that? I didn't think so)
3. Avoid Chinese food restaurants (high sodium, usually MSG, and unhealthy fats)
4. Avoid prepackaged, processed baked goods (I see biscuits and muffins). If you feel you must have those in your diet, try making your own from scratch. www.allrecipes.com has a recipe for almost any dish/food/meal/item you could dream up. Additionally, avoid fake butter spreads, mostly they are hydrogenated vegetable oils and there are much better fat sources than that for your body.
5. More vegetables. Eat them up before they go bad. You can't cook with them if they aren't there, so, buy something new at the grocery store next time you go (even if they aren't organic, that is okay). If you don't know what to do with them and they are going bad, throw them in a soup pot and add seasonings. Better than throwing them away.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER AT ALL?
****BE THANKFUL FOR ANY FOOD YOU HAVE - AT ALL*****
Having a fridge full of food, (clean or dirty), is a gift from God. Let's just take a moment to thank Him for His goodness in providing food for us to enjoy. Good. Thank you. However, under our choices in life what to eat, I want to encourage you to try a few new things.
Now for a personal story of why I try to keep healthy food on hand at all times.
Last week, I had a 12 year old friend stop by with his Mom (both good friends of ours). Unfortunately for our buddy, he had a condition in his throat that was limiting what he could eat or drink, so that for almost 3 days he couldn't swallow anything unless it was the consistency of a thick liquid. They came for help with making nutritious smoothies/shakes.
I was so thankful that they came by and thankful that I had enough ingredients on hand that I could whip him up 2 different smoothie "meals" that would at least give him some good calories. Even though some of the ingredients were uncommon for him, he was brave enough (and I might add, hungry enough) to try them. Success! I got my friend some nutrition and his Mom got some new ideas on how to make something edible and very nutrient-dense.
Roughly, here were the two smoothies/shakes I came up with for my young buddy. They are very simple and besides for the Raw Meal protein powder (which I buy on Amazon), all the ingredients are inexpensive and readily available at any grocery store.
#1 Peanut Butter
1 scoop Raw Meal protein powder
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
3 TB Creamy Peanut Butter (natural)
1/4 cup peanut butter powder (in the peanut butter aisle at Walmart now)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar (the protein powder is unsweetened) - I used sugar because this kid needs calories and burns a lot of glucose. If I was making it for me, I'd use stevia
#2 Mixed Berry
1 scoop Raw Meal protein powder
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries)
1 cup milk
1 TB raw unrefined coconut oil
3 TB sugar (the protein powder is unsweetened) - I used sugar because this kid needs calories and burns a lot of glucose. If I was making it for me, I'd use stevia
2 TB honey
Here is what the Mom wrote me regarding this experience:
"Just thought I'd give you a few bits of info that I learned from this. First, if you would have asked me prior to this I would have told you that I HATED yogurt. After making smoothies for my son I have found a few Greek yogurt flavors that I actually like. Second, its not as expensive as I thought to keep fresh healthy things in your fridge/freezer and it takes the same amount of time to make a healthy protein smoothie as it does to say make toaster waffles or other fast food breakfasts. I have now started having a protein smoothie a day (usually in the morning) and I already feel better and have more energy, and this is from a person who only sleeps a few hours a day."
When I wrote her back how this pleased me so much, she continued...
"You made it look so easy (and once I had the healthy items at home), it is easy. Thank you so much."