Mid January and New Year resolutions are still fresh on our mind, and perhaps our habits are still consistent, too. Chances are you made one of the three most common resolutions:
1. To eat healthier
2. Get more exercise
3. Save more money
You are probably here because of number 1. I am here because of number 1, too.
I write this as I am surrounded by leftover Christmas cookies. Chocolate ones, biscotti, panatone (my favorite), brownies and other hidden treats. Each time I walk into the kitchen, I feel my appetite start to wet for cookies. This is not the way to a healthy lifestyle. Temptation stares me in the face.
But, I share that because I want you to know I am not perfect. Maybe I am writing this article as more or a reminder to myself.
If we want to succeed in our resolutions, we have to set ourselves up for success.
In eating healthier, after mindful shopping, it’s all about the fridge. We must recognize that we are lazy. We will reach for the easiest food, and usually a high calorie one for instant energy. We have to think about the fridge differently. It can be our key to helping us make the right choices.
If you start rearranging your fridge to eat healthy, you will unconsciously begin grabbing for the healthy choice.
So, what is the best way to rearrange the fridge?
Here are the 5 tips that will make it easy to keep your New Year’s resolution (and help me get back on track from Cookieville.)
1. Wash and cut produce as soon as you get home.
Many of us come home, beat and tired and just throw everything into the fridge. Produce in their bags get stuffed in corners and pushed around. I know not everyone does this, but for those of us who do, we need to come home and set aside time to wash and clean produce. Sometimes days go by and produce is hidden. Then, we find days (or weeks) later mildew and juices oozing in the drawer.
Give your produce the time it needs to shine. If you wash and treat it well, I am sure you will want to eat it. The point is to put some work in ahead of time to make it easy for yourself at a later time. You will thank your past self for it!
Takeaway: Store freshly cut carrots, celery, jicama, radish, or fruits in airtight containers so they are ready to eat. If you have extra time when making lunch or dinner, precut onions, garlic, or other vegetables for tomorrow’s recipes.
2. Make produce visible.
This goes along with number 1, but we have to make sure to give the spotlight to those fruits and vegetables that are antioxidant kings and queens. It’s one thing to buy them, but we have to remember to eat them.
Along with the fridge, have fresh apples, oranges, bananas or kiwis out on the counter so you reach for fresh fruit rather than processed snacks in the pantry. Their color also brightens up the room nicely, but don’t just let it be a decoration!
Takeaway: Give prime real estate in the fridge to the most colorful and living renters (aka fruits and vegetables)
3. Clean it.
Again, we are lazy. If we are afraid to stick our hand in the produce drawer, we will probably end up going to the pantry for a processed snack. Don’t let this happen!
Do you know what’s in the fridge? in the back corners? Make sure to clean it every 1-2 weeks. It should be enticing to go into your fridge, otherwise you will think about ordering out or going out to eat. Make it your haven and organize it how you like it so it glows when you open it.
Takeaway: Clean out your fridge regularly. If you have extra produce, make a veggie omelette or soup.
4. Hide the doughy stuff.
Takeaway: Put the more unhealthy, or high calorie foods in drawers, like cheeses, tortillas or any fresh baked goods. Make it so you have to think about eating them a little more. We are naturally lazy and will go for what we see, so make the first grab a healthy one.
5. Have designated places for your meals.
Mornings can already be foggy, so make sure you know where to find your healthy breakfast. Having a spot in the fridge for your healthy breakfast will add excitement to your morning and keep you on track.
Takeaway: Keep breakfast foods near the top and uncooked meats at the bottom. This will help your brain identify healthy choices quickly. You will also be more inclined to make a healthy breakfast the day before knowing you have a spot for it. Some of my favorites are overnight oatmeal-chia bowls, yogurt parfaits, or washed and ready fruits.
All in all, the main point to any health advice is, eat more fruits and vegetables. Any way we can make that easier for ourselves, we can have a better chance at eating healthier.
Many times we fail because we haven’t created a good system for things, not because we don’t want it bad enough. Creating a fool-proof system by organizing your fridge can only help you. I hope you give it a try and have a more successful 2019!
Leave your comments below if you liked these tips or have more tips to share. Thanks!