Now it’s time to take a look at what we’ve got goin’ on in the refrigerator. One great way to provide your body with the proper building blocks it needs to get or stay healthy is to eat mostly food that would go bad if it weren’t kept in the fridge or freezer. You’ve probably heard the saying that you should shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the stuff in the middle. That’s mostly true, though there certainly are things in some of those aisles that are totally fine (and plenty of things around the perimeter that you should avoid!). But, when you stay on the perimeter you’ll be getting mostly foods that have to be kept cool. These are the types of foods humans have been eating forever. Meat and seafood, eggs, cheese, yogurt, butter and other dairy, fresh vegetables and fruit. It’s really quite simple but we are so easily tempted by all those other convenient and made-to-be-craved edible products that we don’t have the time or desire to put more effort into preparing foods that will actually help us move toward our health goals.
When we make the decision to say “yes” to real, whole foods (and therefore “yes” to one true form of self-care), we have to set ourselves up for success. If you fill your fridge with nutrient dense food (and do some simple steps to prepare it) you will only have those options when meal times come around. So, here are some basics of what you might want to keep in your fridge or freezer. This isn’t an exhaustive list, more-so just what I tend to keep on hand.
Meat/ Fish / Proteins:
- Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, other meat
- Salmon, shrimp, scallops, mussels/oysters, other seafood
- Junk-free lunch meat
Fresh (or frozen!) Veggies:
- Bell peppers
- Big box of organic greens – mixed greens, spinach, baby lettuce, spring mix, etc.
- Brussels sprouts
- Dark leafy greens – kale, swiss chard, etc.
- Fresh herbs
- Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes
- Winter squashes
- Zucchini / Summer squash
Fresh (or frozen) Fruit:
- Clementines / oranges / tangelos
- Full fat coconut milk (my favorite kind)
- Almond or other nut milk
- Full fat cow’s milk (if you can get raw, grass-fed milk, that is the healthiest option! Otherwise grass-fed or at least organic if possible)
- Heavy cream or half & half for creamer
Cheese / Butter / Other Dairy:
- Cheeses: cow’s, goat, sheep’s milk. Raw and grass-fed if possible for the healthiest options!
- Butter: grass-fed if possible. Kerrygold is a widely-available brand
- Yogurt: full fat, unsweetened, and grass-fed if possible. You can sweeten it yourself if needed but yogurt that is pre-sweetened is full of sugar! Can also use plant-based versions like coconut or almond milk, just check ingredients because they often are full of a bunch of junk.
- Sour cream: same rules apply. Full fat is best, grass-fed or organic if possible though I think those are harder to find.
- See the pantry list! They start in the pantry and then move to the fridge ?
- Olives / capers
- Fermented veggies
- Bubbly water
That’s about it! There are a ton of meals, simple ones too, that you can make from just using some vegetables, some kind of protein, a healthy cooking fat, and some herbs or spices. By keeping these foods in your fridge you’ll have constant access to fresh, good-for-you foods!
Tell me, what am I missing? what’s in your fridge that I don’t have on this list?