Though the frozen foods we found in the Franken-Freezer were horrifying, the freezer has great potential for long-term healthy food storage. Now that we’ve cleared out the RED LIGHT FOODS and put the YELLOW LIGHT FOODS on notice there, is plenty of room for the GREEN LIGHT FOODS that support your weight loss goals.
GREEN LIGHT FOODS are those foods that are inherently good for you, and can be eaten (given modest portion sizes) without concern that you’re jeopardizing your family’s health or your weight loss goals.
Get your grocery list ready, cause here we go!
Meat: Keep on handnatural, grass-fed, organic meats whenever possible. As a vegetarian I obviously don’t eat meat (It’s not a weight loss thing; there are plenty of chubby vegetarians. Hellooooooo, cheese!) But I do serve meat to my family. About a year ago my husband bought one-quarter of a butchered buffalo from a rancher we know. Buffalo meat is naturally very lean and tastes almost identical to high-quality beef. We have ground buffalo, steaks and roasts in our freezer, and I assure you one-quarter of a buffalo is a huge quantity of meat. It’ll take another year for us to get through it all. Because my vegetarian diet has more to do with my concerns about commercial livestock farming than any other reason I feel good about serving my family this organic, grass-fed, humanely-raised buffalo who, as my husband says, lived a very happy life but just had one really bad day. He’s a comedian. My husband, that is. Not the buffalo.
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In addition to free-range, organic, grass-fed meats, stock your freezer with seafood such as wild Alaskan salmon, albacore tuna, farmed rainbow trout, tilapia, shrimp, crayfish and scallops. And of course the vegetarian in me loves Boca burgers and Gardenburgers.
Dairy: Single-serving “Skinny Cow” ice cream treats are a YELLOW LIGHT FOOD, but frozen all-fruit bars are great (though I recognize that means they’re not dairy if they’re all fruit!). There are delicious grocery store varieties or better yet, make your own!
Fruits and vegetables: They’re all good, and good for you, of course! My freezer is jam-packed with bagged fruits and vegetables. I especially love diced mango for my “First-Thing-In-The-Morning-Let’s-Go-Get-It” smoothies and mixed berries for my post-workout “Peanut Butter & Jelly” smoothies. Also, as bananas on my kitchen counter ripen and turn brown I peel and slice them, putting them in freezer bags. Recently one of my kids suggested making banana bread out of them. I laughed. Um, no. They go in my kickass protein smoothies; I wouldn’t ruin perfectly good fruit by turning it into something unhealthy, would I?!?
The array of frozen veggies available is mind-boggling, making it easier than ever to eat a variety all year long. Fast track weeknight dinners by choosing pre-cut “medley” vegetables for a speedy Asian stir-fry or a quick Mediterranean meal. I also love frozen pre-diced onions for easy meal prep. And don’t forget the shelled edamame for a super-fast snack!
Have I convinced you that “Frozen Is Fabulous”? It can be anyway if you’re willing to change your mindset about what goes in your freezer. As for the unhealthy foods that were there before, you’ve got to be willing to “Let It Go.”
(My 14-year-old son to me, reading over my shoulder as I write: “Mom, stop with the ‘Frozen’ references before you hurt yourself.” Hahaha! Sorry.)
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!
Losing weight is hard, but it gets easier when your kitchen is set up for success. And you’re so damn worth it!
Let’s go get it!