What food is in your kitchen is important. You know this. So, you’ve won the battle against stocking up on not-so-healthy goodies. Good for you! But did you know that how you stock your fridge can be just as important? Set yourself up for success, and save a few bucks, with these seven quick and easy tricks, as written by African Woman Magazine’s resident wellness contributor, health coach and fitness trainer Orjiugo Oguguo.
1. Store ready carbs
Make ready-to-go healthy carbs like quinoa, cauliflower rice, sautéed cabbage, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, split them up into appropriate portions in glass bowls and store. Most people crave sugar and carbs and reach for ready-to-eat foods like crisps or (sometimes and) bread. If you make a point of having your healthy carbs ready and having them with your meals, you’ll be more likely to win the battle against those ghastly afternoon urges to dive head first into a cake.
2. Pair your snacks
The Chinese saying ‘good things come in pairs’ is so true when it comes to snacks. The best snacks always come in pairs (at least to me). Apple slices and almond butter, anyone? Celery and hummus; nuts and berries, double yum! Keep smart snack combos together, at eye-level and towards the front of your fridge. That way, before you inhale the doughnut, you’ll always remember you have snacks you like ready to eat.
3. Make comfort foods uncomfortable
Sometimes, those pesky not-so-good-for-you, but delicious, foods miraculously appear in your fridge. I have no idea how, but they get there. Store them in opaque containers and at the back of the fridge. According to a survey, we are three times more likely to pick up the first thing we see in our fridge. The trouble is, more times than not, we put our favourite (and sometimes not the best) foods at eye-level. You’ll be surprised how quickly you forget they are there, if you can’t see them.
4. Right-size your trigger foods
Moderation is important, even when we are talking about healthy foods. If you love avocados (guilty as charged), and know not to overdo it (I may have done this a few times), store serving-sized containers of guacamole in your middle shelf. Avocados are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals and have great healthy fat and protein. You can also store good portions of dark chocolate and cheese.
5. Scan you fridge
Once a week, scan your fridge and pull the items that are on their way to being binned forward, such as opened tomato sauce, greek yogurt, fruits and veggies. This will remind you to eat them so you don’t waste money and will encourage you to cook at home, which is healthier and cheaper 99.99% of the time.
6. Make your water yummy
Keep a pitcher of water in your fridge at eye-level and on the front of the shelf, which is infused with mint, ginger and/or lemon slices and in-season fruit. Fruit infused water is so refreshing you’ll be guzzling 2-3 litres a day in no time.
7. Freeze these
Put some of your fruits and leafy smoothie veggies in the freezer. Frozen kale, with cut-up frozen bananas in your smoothie adds thickness, goodness and sweetness to your smoothie without watering them down as ice sometimes does.