There are two forces at work in your refrigerator that you can use to your advantage for weight loss: foods that must be refrigerated are by definition perishable. Buy fresh foods and use them quickly! And second, the number of very healthy convenience foods has dramatically increased in the last few years.
Now that we’ve cleaned out the fridge of the RED LIGHT FOODS and put the YELLOW LIGHT FOODS in the proper perspective as outlined in the “Refrigerator Rehab” blog, it’s time to reset your fridge for weight loss success!
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: choose natural, grass-fed organic meats whenever possible, fresh seafood, lunchmeats that are minimally processed and low in sodium and nitrates.
Dairy: low-fat and nonfat milk and yogurt (especially Greek for its high-protein punch), low-fat cheese, plain unsweetened almond milk (which is not actually dairy but is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk).
Eggs: whatever variety you choose for your family, but if you have access to fresh eggs from happy chickens, all the better!
Salad dressings and condiments: yellow, brown and grainy mustards, ketchup, steak sauce, marinades, pickles, capers, low-fat vinaigrette dressings, hummus, pico de gallo, salsa, low-fat marinara sauce, fruit-only or low-sugar jams and jellies.
Fruits and vegetables: I don’t think there are any I’d exclude! They’re all good, and good for you, of course. As I mentioned before, there are so many now that are super-convenient such as bagged lettuces, bagged salads, baby carrots, snap peas, and grape tomatoes. Even pre-sliced fruits and individual leaves of green leaf lettuce. Great for sandwiches or burgers. Consider eating fruits and vegetables as close to their natural state as possible – that is, don’t add a lot of fat, sugar or salt to them. They don’t need it. (Example: I go just a tiny bit crazy when I see perfectly beautiful strawberries made into pies, crisps and shortcakes!)
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Water: not just water bottles, but a Brita (or something similar) water filter pitcher so that you’ve got cold water to refill those bottles at all times. I like to use very cold water in my protein smoothies too.
I am reminded constantly that the effort I put into keeping fresh, healthy foods in my refrigerator pays off. My youngest son walked in the house after school one day recently, clearly exhausted and exasperated by some middle school angst, threw open the fridge, grabbed an entire bowl of clean and cut strawberries and exclaimed, “YES!!!”
Remember, you’re creating a “safe haven” where the only choices to be made are good ones!
Losing weight is hard, but it gets easier when your refrigerator is an extension of your healthy living values. And you’re so damn worth it!
Let’s go get it!