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Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Tips to Master Your Fridge

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 headshot smallLauren 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I know all these pointers yet tend to forget them. Thanks for the reminder! Hard-boiling eggs right now. And off to the store for new veggies tomorrow morning!

  • Since you will be redesigning the Force, is there anyway you can change how the band closes. I have problems with my fingers and it is very difficult to close it by myself. I’m sure I am not the only one with hand problems who like to keep track of here activities.

  • What’s your view on individual sugar free chocolate pudding and apple/pear sauce. They are stables in my refrig. Can you drink buttermilk if you’re trying to lose weight.

  • Great timing for this topic having to move and put everything is storage until we find a house to buy. I now know what to put back in my fringe in our new house.

  • Sounds like a great plan and as of the first of April I am gutting, reorganizing and cleaning the frig and freezer. Thanks!

  • First of all, I love my Fitbit. Gave 3 of them, one to each of my daughters-in-law for Christmas, and 1 to one son.
    Thanks for this article. My housekeeper doesn’t start until Tuesday. Every Monday I purge my refrigerator and re-stock it with fresh ingredients. I loved all your suggestions. I’ve not tried miso, but will. What is the latest advice regarding the amount of eggs with yolks weekly?

  • Awesome staples for the fridge. I especially love the almond milk and fruit. Use both to blend up my shakes every day. Hummus is great with celery. And there are so many delish kinds these days.

  • If you have a large family and your fridge is full of food, it might be a good idea to start keeping a list of all the items. In actuality, you could start keeping two lists on the fridge door. First, you could assign a fridge-cleaning turn for each family member old enough to do so. This will guarantee everyone does their part and ensures it always gets done on time.

    Best regards!
    Slade Green Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  • I would recommend Low-fat Organic Cow milk over the Almond milk. The marginal amount of fat is good for you. It provides more protein and potassium. Compared to some almond milk, it may have less sodium. The caloric difference isn’t going to “break the bank.” And price per gallon it is far more affordable.

  • I like this list, but I have to disagree about “the healthiest form of soy.” Miso is also very — make that VERY — high in sodium. I would suggest that tempeh is far and away a much better form of soy than miso. Fermented with the fungus Aspergillus flavus, tempeh has the added benefit of all the things that fungal fermentation brings to food: an even higher protein profile, and secondary metabolites that are good for us. Plus, it tastes great, is very versatile, and is a great substitute for meat. I now make my own, and have found that I can make tempeh with other legumes, such as chickpeas, or soy or other legumes combined with grains (quinoa, for example), as well.

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