A Nutritionist’s Fully Stocked Fridge
Want to eat healthier? The single most important piece of advice I can give is: be prepared. If I have junk food in the house I’m likely going to eat it in binge like proportions. However, if my pantry and fridge is stocked with delicious vegetables, homemade sauces, and dips – my snacks are going to make me feel elevated and energized instead of lethargic and exhausted (hello bag of potato chips).
This two part series breaks down what I will have in my fridge and pantry at any given moment. It’s my compiled stock list of the foods that make me feel great and taste delicious. This is made to give you a point of reference not a comparison sheet. Build your pantry slowly over time. You don’t have to go out and buy six different “superfoods” or ten varieties of dried beans. Pick and choose what sounds good to you. You aren’t going to eat it, cook it, or prepare it if the food itself isn’t stimulating your taste buds. I hope this serves as a source of inspiration for your future shopping trips.
You might not think to keep these refrigerated but the oils and fats in nuts can go rancid. This can ruin the quality of the nutrients and also dramatically changes the taste. I have small glass jars that hold a handful of nuts in the fridge for snacking, topping salads, and making nut milks and butters. If I have extra nuts that don’t fit in the fridge I will store the rest in the freezer.
Brazil nuts, almond, cashews, walnuts, pecans, macadamia, almonds
I keep seeds in the fridge because they too have beneficial oils that can oxidize. Oxidization occurs via heat, light, and air so it’s important to store seeds whole and don’t grind seeds until right before you are going to consume them. I top everything from salads to oatmeal with seeds. These give some extra protein, fiber, and fat that all help contribute to satiation.
Chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, hemp
I think the world would end for my husband if I didn’t have peanut butter stocked in our house. There are so many variations of nut butters on the market right now you could pick and choose your favorite. I always have Tahini (sesame seed butter) because it is a base I use for many dressings and it’s a key ingredient of homemade hummus (my favorite). It’s also extremely easy to make your own at home if you have a food processor. If you make your own nut butters make sure to refrigerate them. The shelf stable peanut butters you can get at the grocer have added preservatives and chemicals that allow you to keep them on your shelves for months on end.
This is probably my favorite thing in my fridge. I’m obsessive about sauerkraut (German roots baby). There are several other options such as tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, miso, and kefir. It’s unlikely that I will have all of these in my fridge at the same time. However, I strongly suggest testing out some of these options and finding one you fancy. Probiotics are incredible for our gut’s microbiome and eating even a few bites probiotic rich foods will aid your digestive process. I’m not going to preach about the importance of buying everything organic right now but I’m going to beg you to buy organic probiotics. The process of fermentation multiplies that foods bacterial content by the thousands. Eating a non-organic probiotic product is like consuming a food with proliferated chemical bacteria. Just don’t do it.
Superfoods: a word I have a serious love/hate relationship with. Companies have really coined and marketed this term selling everything from diet pills to detox teas. Both of which I’m not a fan of. The definition of superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and wellbeing.” Under this category I would place spinach and blueberries, two foods that have significant nutritional contents, without the hype and advertising that drives prices up. Superfoods that nutritionists often refer to are items such as: bee pollen, nutritional yeast, spirulina, and chia seeds. These foods are foods I love and they contain a significant nutritional profile for their tiny physical size. Remember that any whole plant based food is literally “super.” However, if you are looking for a list of current healthy trending superfoods, I will happily provide you with a list of these items that you will find in my own personal pantry.
I’m a sucker for a good smoothie. Think oat milk, cacao, maple syrup, and frozen bananas. Hello creamy dairy free childhood milkshake. If diet soda is your thing there are so many awesome alternatives to that chemical laden liquid. Swap if for a fizzy kombucha or have a carton of coconut water in the fridge.
Beans + Grains
I know it’s easy and convenient to crank open a can of organic BPA free beans but I beg you to experiment with cooking your own beans. Take a day to batch cook and be prepared for the entire week ahead.
This can’t go without saying – always have a stock of leafy greens, fruits, and a variety of vegetables. Keep them where you can see them either on the top shelves or in glass containers. It’s easy to forget vegetables piled up in the crisper. The produce I have varies by season but you won’t open my fridge without finding ginger and lemon. I use these on the daily and I’m sure to have that stocked year round. Not sure what vegetables to try? Check out your farmers market and see what’s in season where you live.
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