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Vegetables in a refrigerator

Clean Out Your Refrigerator

November 15th is clean out your refrigerator day, and it’s the perfect time to toss the unhealthy foods lurking in your fridge and replace them with healthier options. Eating better can be challenging, but stocking your refrigerator with healthy must-haves makes it easier. These tips make healthy choices easier.

Have it Ready
Snacks are often selected based on convenience rather than nutrition. Combat this by having healthy snacks ready. Fruit is a great choice when your sweet tooth flares but requires some preparation. So do your washing, peeling, slicing and dicing before you get hungry. Toss it all together into a fruit salad and drizzle with vitamin-C rich juice to prevent browning. Then you’ll have a healthy, ready-to-go snack whenever you need it. This also works for raw veggies. Keep sliced cucumbers, carrots, celery, zucchini and other vegetables ready to munch on. Do the same with salad greens. Prepare a salad base of nutrient-rich greens like spinach and romaine lettuce. Then add your favorite salad ingredients, like mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, nuts or beans and you’ll have a ready side dish. Need a quick dinner? Add shrimp, chicken or another lean meat into your salad to quickly turn it into an entree.

Think Versatility
Stock foods that provide options. Whole wheat bread reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, heart disease and some cancers. But you likely won’t make more than sandwiches with it. Whole wheat pitas and tortillas however, work as sandwiches and a base for quesadillas and personal pizzas. Keep a jar of marinara sauce and some pesto on hand, since both are used in a wide variety of recipes. Pesto also makes a healthy spread. Eggs or egg substitutes are another versatile must.

Add Nutrients
Stock up on low-fat dairy products like 1% milk, reduced-fat cheese and fat-free yogurt to increase the amount of protein you eat. Try using almond butter in place of regular butter to benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids in nuts and drop diet soda in favor of green iced tea, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, boosts the immune system and promotes weight loss all with zero calories.

The key to healthy weight loss isn’t just eating less but eating better. So take the first step and clean out your refrigerator along with us in November. Then call us for help staying on the path to a healthier, happier you.