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Fill your fridge – not your cupboards

Bag of vegetables

Think back to your last grocery trip. When you came home to unpack your grocery bags, did you put more food in the fridge or in the cupboards? Was a majority of the foods you purchased and unpacked in cans, boxes and air-tight sealed containers? Was it food that would last weeks, if not months, if you didn’t get to it right away?

Consider these two lists:

List one:

  • Crackers
  • Cheese
  • Boxed meals
  • Canned potatoes
  • Canned fruits/vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Frozen meals
  • Chips
  • Diet soda
  • Miscellaneous frozen meats


List two:

  • A dozen eggs
  • Lettuce or spinach
  • Carrots
  • Red & yellow peppers
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Apples & bananas
  • Oatmeal
  • Raw almonds
  • Fresh meat for the week

 

Notice anything different between the two lists? List one is primarily food that would sit on the shelf or in the freezer. The debate between frozen fruits/vegetables versus canned versus fresh is a separate conversation. But consider the fact that when you buy fresh fruit and vegetables, you are more likely to eat it because you don’t want to waste it versus when you buy canned fruits and vegetables, it tends to sit in cupboards longer and is added to meals only as an afterthought.

Birchbox

Grocery shopping primarily in the produce section can be expensive — or so we think. Foods from list two will actually keep you full faster so you won’t have to eat as much. Food in the first list may be cheaper but you’ll find yourself lacking proper nutrients and needing to eat twice as much.  A snack of carrots and hummus will keep you satisfied far longer than a serving of potato chips.

To combat expensive prices, shop around. Discount grocery stores like Aldi (1,000+ locations in 31 states) and Wal-Mart are popping up everywhere, and offer fresh produce at a much more reasonable cost than larger retail chains. One thing to caution about discount grocery stores is produce tends to expire a little faster so only purchase what you can eat in a reasonable amount of time.

Another idea to combat expensive prices is to buy produce when it’s on sale and freeze it yourself. For example, when I see red or yellow peppers on sale, I buy a few extra. Once home, I cut them up and freeze them on cookie sheets. After they are completely frozen, I toss them all together in a Ziplock bag and leave in my freezer to take out as I need them. I do the same thing with blueberries, strawberries and blackberries when they are on sale.

The food we eat fuels us. Being healthy means eating balanced meals full of fruits, vegetables, proteins and proper nutrients. Filling your fridge instead of your cupboards can help complement a healthy lifestyle.

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By: Jen Emmert

Jen Emmert is the owner and lead author of the blog PriorFatGirl, which she started to document her own healthiness journey of losing one hundred pounds. Losing a hundred pounds turned out to be the easy part -- Jen quickly found blogging to be a therapeutic resource as she not only faced dealing with losing weight but also the most unimaginable and tragic of lives events; the unexpected death of her mother, who was her best friend and number one supporter. PriorFatGirl.com has since turned into a community of support and motivation for readers as they are encouraged to fight through everything life throws at them in order achieve their healthiness goals. Jen's story and PriorFatGirl.com has been featured in Shape Magazine and Women’s Day Magazine, on WCCO-Minneapolis, Minneapolis Star Tribune, aol.com and many other media outlets. Jen lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her fiancé Carlos and their furry child, Iggy.