Social distancing has many of us spending more time at home, which means we’re a whole lot closer to our kitchens. Food can be one of the first things we use to cope with boredom, anxiety, and stress, and it’s all too easy to open the fridge and reach for the first thing we see. While snacking isn’t always bad, you can get strategic with your food so that you reach for healthier choices.
Use these tips to turn your fridge into a super powered, healthy BFF that helps you satisfy your cravings and curb food guilt by eating foods that make you feel better.
Start with a clean slate.
Your fridge is probably a lot deeper than you think, and moldy containers, old condiments, and leftovers from days past can lurk in corners for weeks on end. Whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly, take the time to clear out any old or expired foods and do a thorough wipe down of shelves and drawers. Not only will it give you a sense of what you actually consume (which can save you money in the long run), there’s something about a clean fridge that feels instantly more fresh.
Step up your meal prep game.
Your fridge can even help you become more productive if you play your cards right. All it takes is a little preparation. Pre-cooking and preparing some balanced meals that are easy to reheat (or eat right out of the fridge) can help you eat better and stay fuller longer. Easy breakfasts like overnight oats or pre-bottling the ingredients for a supergreens smoothie can make your morning go a lot more smoothly and frontload your day with nutrients.
Sip some sparkle.
Want to feel like you live at the spa? Say no more. Instead of stocking your shelves with sugary drinks, try some sparkling waters or infusing your water with fruits and veggies. Some lemons, limes, orange, or berries can turn boring old water into something fabulous. You’ll get vitamins AND be more hydrated at the same time. It’s easy, and there is a bevy of recipes out there.
Keep fruits and veggies in your sights.
Ever been stuck with a bin of moldy berries or a container of soupy lettuce? We’ve all been there. As soon as you get home from the grocery store, make it a point to wash and chop all of your produce. Place everything in clear, lidded containers on the middle shelf (or whatever eye level is for you), and you’ll be MUCH more likely to reach for blueberries or chopped carrots the next time you get a sweet tooth.
Make your fridge flex with protein.
Lean protein is essential to just about every system in the human body. It’s great for immunity, weight management, and satiety. Just as you did with the veggies, it’s worth it to unpackage, wash, and store any meat in containers after grocery shopping. Keep those containers on the bottom shelf, so any leakage doesn’t co-mingle with your other foods. They’ll be instantly ready for marinating, or if you feel so inclined, go ahead and grill or bake them ahead of time. And if your lifestyle doesn’t accommodate meat, there are plenty of vegan alternatives and protein powders to make sure you get your fill.
Whip up some kitchen sink meals.
Last but not least, you may be asking, “What am I supposed to do with a leftover can of chickpeas, a single beet, and some lemon zest?” Get creative and put some healthy flavors together. There are dozens of recipes out there that turn otherwise assuming ingredients into something delicious. Try something that you usually wouldn’t, and you might just find a new favorite, like this vegan beet hummus.