Clean Out Your Refrigerator

Take time this weekend to clean out your refrigerator and restock it with healthy foods. You can’t eat healthy if you don’t have healthy foods available to eat.

Clean Out Your Refrigerator for Food Safety

If in doubt, throw it out! A food doesn’t have to look bad, smell bad or taste bad to be spoiled.

How long can food stay in your fridge?

Leftovers: cooked meat, poultry and fish, meat dishes, egg dishes, soups and vegetables: 3 to 4 days
Gravy and meat broth: 1 to 2 days
Eggs in Shell: 4 to 5 weeks
Commercial Mayonnaise: 2 months once opened
Lunch Meat, opened: 3 to 5 days

Clean Out Your Refrigerator for Good Health

Another idea to Clean Out Your Refrigerator is to read ingredients lists and nutrition facts and make decisions to:

Replace items if they include trans fat, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and preservatives. These ingredients won’t help you meet your health goals.

Stock items that offer nutrition for the calories. Foods with labels showing at least 20% of your Daily Value for Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron and calcium are considered good sources of those nutrients. For example, stock yogurt or pudding instead of jello.

Stock whole foods that are as close to nature as possible. If it didn’t grow, should you be eating it? There is no such thing as a Pop-Tart tree and it’s tough finding Cheeto seeds.

Try This and Toss That

Try a butter/canola (or olive oil) blend spread and toss the margarine (unless it is contains no hydrogenated oils).

Try a fruit spread and toss the high fructose corn syrup jelly.

Try real cheese (cow or soy based) and toss the processed cheese food.

Try 100% fruit juice and toss the fruit punch, fruit aid and fruit drink.

Try omega-3 enhanced eggs once you’ve used your traditional eggs for cooking and baking.

Try organic milk (with no growth hormones or antibiotics) once you’ve used your traditional milk.

Try real meat (as in roasting a chicken) and toss the lunchmeats that are enhanced with nitrities, sugar and salt. If you can’t cook, try lunchmeat brands such as Hormel Natural Choice or ApplewoodFarms.

Must Haves in a Healthy Refrigerator

Hummus for snacks and for use as a spread—a nice replacement for fatty dips and cream cheese.

100% Whole wheat carriers (naan, tortillas, pita or English Muffins)—great grains to carry your leftovers or eat with melted cheese for a quick snack.

Calcium-richFoods—fortified soy milk, calcium-enriched orange juice or organic non-fat milk and yogurt.

Fresh spinach—colorize your salads, sandwiches, eggs, dips or any cooked sauces with this powerhouse veggie source.

A cold pitcher of something healthy—water with lemon or iced green tea. Stop using so many water bottles and ditch the soda!

Cold fruit, washed and ready to eat when you need something sweet and refreshing.

Cut up veggies in a see-through container—“out of sight, out of mind” is not a good idea here, so don’t put the veggies in the produce drawer! If you are too lazy for do it yourself veggies, buy cut up veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store.

Jazzy additions—hot sauce, brown mustard, olives, pickles and roasted peppers—keep these items on hand to add a crunch and to give you the salty taste without eating synthetic food.

Get ready, get set, clean out your refrigerator!

Have more refrigerator ideas to share? Let me know and I can pass them along!