Trying to eat better? Aren’t we all! Here’s a guest post from our friends at Modernize to help you do just that.
We all have good intentions when it comes to eating healthy and making phenomenal, nutritious meals for our families. But inconvenience tends to get in the way. Dashing around in the morning and coming home tired from work aren’t conducive to well-thought-out meals. That means reaching for what’s most convenient, which tends to be salty snacks, sweets, and freezer meals.
But if you start off each week with a fridge full of healthy ingredients that you can whip into a snack on the go, you will find it easier to eat clean and feel better—without running late.
You may be tired of hearing praises sung over this superfood, but it’s a celebrity for good reason; this grain is protein rich and full of iron, magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, and plenty of other helpful components. Quinoa takes about twenty minutes to prepare, but if you go ahead and make a whole batch for the week, you’ll find healthy snacking and even meals so much easier. Mix it with peanut butter, apples, and cinnamon for breakfast, or throw it on a lunch salad. You won’t regret investing a little time to prepare it for the week.
Leafy greens are a health food essential. They have more vitamins and minerals than you can name, plus, like quinoa, they are probably more versatile than you realize. Throw together a spinach salad or use it in place of lettuce on your next sandwich. Try adding a handful into your next fruit smoothie for an extra boost.
Speaking of fruit smoothies, frozen berries make a great addition. They are also helpful to have around for when you want to make a healthy(er) dessert, such as a no-sugar-added sorbet or berry oatmeal muffins. Essentially, they can help you tame that sweet tooth if you use them creatively.
Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt, too, has endless uses, in both the savory and sweet categories. How many foods would work both on a gyro and with just a tablespoon of cinnamon? There are countless healthy dipping sauces, desserts, and dressing recipes that call for this magical and flavorful ingredient.
Organic Peanut Butter
Whether or not you have little ones’ lunches to pack every night, peanut butter always seems to come in handy. Anytime you need to throw something together last minute, it’s always there. It contains protein and the healthy kind of fat, so it fills you up fast.
Sliced veggies (especially when paired with a natural ranch dressing) are a great, snack-y alternative to chips. They get the crunchy factor just right, and they’re just as easy to throw into a lunch on the go or eat as an after school snack. Slice and bag your veggies at the beginning of the week so you have prepped snacks ready to go.
Hummus is another one of those celebrity healthy foods, and it is super delicious to boot. With pita bread, chips, or veggies, it always seems to satisfy that intense hunger craving for something substantial. While it’s quickest to grab some from the grocery store, it’s also pretty easy to make your own with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and seasoning.
Unsweetened apple sauce is perfect for solving a sweet craving. Apples are sweet on their own merits, so the no-sugar-added version just makes a lot of sense. You can also use applesauce to replace the oil in many baking recipes for a moist but healthier alternative.
Even if no one in your household reacts badly to dairy, almond milk is still a good option to have around. It contains proteins, lipids, fiber, and several vitamins that improve blood pressure and heart health.
If there’s anything that belongs on a “what not to stock in your fridge for a healthy week” list, it would be soda. Don’t let its ubiquitousness fool you: sodas are bad for you in just about every capacity and should be treated more like an occasional treat than an everyday must. Even diet sodas, which don’t contain table sugar or high fructose corn syrup, are still associated with metabolic diseases. This is where sparkling water comes in. Naturally flavored sparkling water is much more delicious than plain water but is much, much healthier than soda.
And there you have it! Start the week off strong, every week, with these essential healthy diet staples.