Don’t get me wrong, the freezer offers excellent long-term storage of very healthy foods. We’re going to take a detailed look at the best way to stock it in Thursday’s blog, but today it’s time to clean out the dreaded Franken-Freezer!
Just like when we did the pantry purge and the refrigerator rehab, clearing out the freezer is an important part of creating a “safe haven” in your home. You want all your food choices to be good ones as you move forward in establishing your healthy lifestyle. If there are only high-quality foods to choose from, those decisions are so much easier!
Let’s take a peek inside the freezer to find out what needs to go.
RED LIGHT FOODS: Please tell me you don’t have frozen waffles or toaster pastries in your freezer. If you do, throw them away. They are complete and utter garbage. Frozen snack foods too are among the worst offenders including pizza rolls, “bagel bites,” “hot pockets,” “taquitos,” corndogs, soft pretzels, fries, onion rings, frozen appetizers like fried cheese sticks … ugh. Throw them out. Most frozen entrees including frozen burritos, crock pot or skillet starter kits, pot pies, even low-calorie Lean Cuisine-type entrees. Frozen pre-cooked fried foods like chicken pieces or patties, fried fish or seafood. Most frozen pizza needs to go too. Sorry. (No, I’m not.) And “kids” frozen entrees like “Kid Cuisine.” Out. Ice cream too. Popsicles, “push-pops” and “Otter Pops” are mostly high-fructose corn syrup so they’re gone, I’m afraid. “Sweetened” frozen fruit is out too. Fruit is already sweet, remember? No sugar needed! I’m going to make a few teensy little exceptions later so bear with me. Lastly, anything with freezer burn. Wrap frozen foods in aluminum foil, then in resealable freezer bags for long-term storage. Once something’s freezer burned the taste will be compromised; it cannot be salvaged. We only eat things that are healthy and delicious, right?!?
I mentioned exceptions, didn’t I? Here you go:
YELLOW LIGHT FOODS: Some frozen breakfast sandwiches like Jimmy Dean “De-lights,” Special K Flatbread breakfast sandwiches, maybe some others I’m not familiar with. Even though our primary concern is the fat and calorie count on these items, they’re really only good in a pinch. They’re highly processed and extremely high in sodium, so eat them rarely. Similarly there are a few frozen entrees that are acceptable (notably Amy’s), but again only in a pinch. There are a few frozen pizzas that are satisfactory when you want that all-American food experience. I like to choose vegetarian, single-serving pizzas because they’re lower in fat and calories than the regular versions and portion control is built-in. Frozen vegetables are going to be in the GREEN LIGHT FOODS blog on Thursday (spoiler alert!) but the ones in cheese or butter sauce are here because they should be eaten infrequently. Finally, a few ice cream treats such as “Skinny Cow” are appropriate occasionally because they’re low in calories and are individually wrapped. Just eat one though!
You’ve probably heard me say it before: just because something is technically edible doesn’t make it food! Nowhere in your kitchen is this truer than the freezer. Your freezer is your long-term storage solution for healthy foods. It shouldn’t look like a horror movie!
Losing weight is hard, but it gets easier when you set up your home for success. And you’re so damn worth it!
Let’s go get it!