It’s time to hang up your winter coat! We’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin.
Lauren Slayton is the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and appeared on Allure, In Style, Cooking Light, Self, WebMD, The New York Post, Good Morning America and The Today Show.
We’ve all been there. You come home at the end of the day, pull open the fridge door and wonder what you should eat. If you’re like many people, your fridge may look full. But if wilted lettuce, old pickles, and four different types of mustard sound familiar, I’m here to help. There’s no better place to start that spring cleaning than with your refrigerator. Feeling good isn’t about willpower, it’s about planning. Here are some easy steps to plan-it-fit.
First up, purge. I know, it’s a strange word coming from a nutritionist, but you need to be able to see what’s actually in the fridge. The rule is that if you haven’t used a food this winter, it can go. Or as I tell my clients, “One season, no reason.”
Next, have a smaller middle shelf. Put items you want to eat at eye level. You’re more likely to eat the first things you see. So place pre-cut veggies and fruit front-and-center at eye level.
Once you’re purged and organized, fill your fridge with these 10 staples:
Omega 3 Eggs – Calorie for calorie, no food provides more staying powder than a couple of eggs. You can hard boil 4-6 in advance or make an omelet using leftover cooked vegetables or greens.
Almond Milk – Almond milk is versatile. It works well in smoothies. We also like to combine it overnight with chia seeds for “chia pudding.” Be sure to choose one that doesn’t list “carrageenan” in the ingredient list. It’s a thickener but also a carcinogen.
Low-fat (not nonfat) Greek-style Yogurt – Nonfat dairy doesn’t help us lose weight. You need some fat to absorb Vitamin D. When vitamin D is low, you tend to have a bigger appetite. Seek out low-fat or 2% yogurt that can be eaten at breakfast, a base for dips, or in tuna or chicken salads in place of mayo.
Organic Vegetables for Crudité (radishes, jicama, celery, carrots, cucumbers) – Nobody wants to peel carrots at the end of the day. If veggies are prepped, every family member can gram them with ease.
Two or Three Types of Fresh Fruit – The same goes for fruit. Cut up melon, pineapple or papaya so that fatigue doesn’t become an excuse once the week begins.
Greens for Salads and Juicing – Here, you’ve got two choices: wash greens the day you shop and wrap them in a dishtowel, or buy the prewashed greens: they last a long time.
Miso – Miso is fermented soy and comes in a paste. This is the healthiest soy you can eat. Miso is great for salad dressings, you can use it to give grains like quinoa a little boost, and as a glaze for fish dishes. Fermented foods boost beneficial bacteria in our guts that improve immunity and mood.
Hummus – Hummus and veggies make a delicious protein snack, but hummus also works well on chicken breasts. Spread on chicken and bake in the oven for an easy weeknight dinner.
Organic Sliced Turkey – Sure, not all cold cuts are healthy. But organic, nitrite-free versions are. Try rolling turkey around avocado slices or using large lettuce leafs as your “wrap” for a turkey sandwich.
Wild Smoked Salmon – Another great protein to have on hand. Smoked salmon works well with eggs or on sprouted bread with organic cream cheese and tomato.
And my final tip: Success starts Sunday. This is your time to make, hard-boiled eggs, wash greens and cut up your veggies.
When’s the last time you organized your fridge? What are your staple ingredients? Any antique ingredients that need to go?