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For Busy People: 20 Must-Have Healthy Foods In Your Fridge

For Busy People: 20 Must-Have Healthy Foods In Your Fridge

Does your fridge need a makeover? When you’re tired, short on time, or just plain hungry, having healthy food in your fridge can make junk food cravings vanish instantly. Keeping these 20 must-have healthy foods in your fridge can ensure your body gets the needed nutrients without the gratuitous calories.

1. Eggs

eggs-healthy-breakfast

    Eggs are an excellent breakfast choice and are a go-to source of high-quality protein, nutrients and vitamins. If you’re in a hurry or relaxing at home, eggs are a great way to enjoy your breakfast without feeling bloated or unhealthy. (Sorry waffles!!)

    Plus, they’re inexpensive and filling. If you like a sweeter version, I like to add a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract to my scrambled eggs! (Like French toast without the bread and sugar!)

    2. Chicken and Lean Meat

    chicken-healthy-dinner

      What is considered “lean meat”? Lean meats are relatively low in fat and are usually skinless. Chicken and other lean meats are essential healthy foods to keep around as they can make a main course pop with just the right ingredients. In a pinch, mix chicken, stir-fried veggies, and soy sauce for a healthier version of take-out.

      3. Apples

      healthiest-foods-for-your-fridge

        What better breakfast, snack, or dessert than a succulent, crisp apple? Not only are apples fiber-laden, but they’re great for helping people lose weight. Try slicing an apple up and tossing it in your morning oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon. You can find a ton of creative recipes, or enjoy them straight out of the fridge!

        4. Yogurt

        greek yogurt-healthy-foods

          Now, before you grab that 200-calorie topping-heavy yogurt with loaded sugars (artificial or not), stop! The best type of yogurt to eat is plain Greek yogurt with added toppings like fruit, nuts, seeds, or a drizzle of honey. (Greek yogurt also makes a great substitution for mayo in chicken salad!) Greek yogurt makes for a satisfying dessert, breakfast, snack — or even dinner!

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          5. Cheese

          cheese-healthy-food

            Cheese lovers, rejoice! Yes, cheese can be a healthy food! You just have to watch your proportions. Low-fat, part-skim string cheese and shredded cheeses are a delicious addition that can add a huge flavor punch to many recipes or on their own (String cheese is my go-to lunch snack; I’m still a child at heart!). Just be sure to eat sparingly — (I know, it’s hard) as cheese can add a lot of fat and sodium to your diet before you can even think to drop the cracker. Treat yourself to a better-quality cheese so you’ll not feel the urge to overindulge.

            heathy-foods

               6. Organic Lunch Meat

              Lunch meat is the traditional work lunch staple, right? But it’s just a grab-and-go food, right? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the healthy foods kept in your fridge. It all comes down to which lunch meat you’re purchasing.

              By purchasing good-quality meats that are grass-fed and/or certified organic, and avoiding harmful ingredients such as aspartame, corn syrup, and sodium nitrate, you’re able to brown-bag your lunch without having to worry that your meal is unhealthy. Add a handful of greens, mozzarella, and tomatoes on whole grain bread for a filling and healthy afternoon choice.

              7. Staple Vegetables (Pre-Cut)

              health-benefits-veggies

                Vegetables are delicious — yes, I said it. I love pairing baby carrots with peanut butter, hummus, or even shredded in my oatmeal. Oatmeal + raisins + carrots = The carrot cake of oatmeal! You can have a whole lot of fun with vegetables; try pairing pre-cut veggies including cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli with your favorite healthy spread. Just avoid the cream-heavy ranch dressings and other sugar-laden dressings.

                8. Hummus

                health-benefits-hummus

                  Hummus, a combination of chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini, provides your body with protein and a number of vitamin and minerals. Perfect as a sandwich spread, vegetable dip, or even on pita by itself, hummus is healthy, packed with vitamins, and tasty.

                  9. Nut Butters

                  health-benefits-almonds

                    Often nut butters can get a bad reputation for being nothing but a dessert addition or a sugar-filled snack — but what’s the difference between nut butters and plain old mixed nuts? The added sugar/salt many brands contain. Try buying nut butters without added sugar, salt, oils, or nonsensical chemicals. If you want a little sweetness, try pairing your nut butter with a little drizzle of honey, bananas, or any other sweet fruit. (Peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, anyone?)

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                    10. Mixed Greens

                    mixed greens health benefits

                      Mixed greens, including spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale are perfectly paired with any course of the day and we don’t need to remind you of the whole array of health benefits in your greens. In fact, spinach, a versatile green, is low in fat, high in niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, and a whole variety of vitamins.

                      For lunch or dinner, try adding grilled chicken strips, cut-up veggies and a sprinkle of olive oil and vinegar to salad greens for a heart-healthy, filling meal. For breakfast, try making a frittata with eggs, spinach, and your favorite other veggies/toppings. (Yes, you can even add some cheese!) If you like smoothies, add a handful of spinach or kale to your favorite smoothie, and you won’t even notice the taste of greens.

                      11. Onions

                      oniond

                        Don’t cry, onions are good for you! Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, B6, calcium and fiber. Plus, they contain good amounts of folic acid, vitamin B1 and K.

                        High in beneficial polyphenols, which play an important role in preventing and also reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, onions are a necessity for every fridge.

                        For a quick and tasty meal, sauté onions with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and ground chicken, and you’ll have a dinner with lots of leftovers.

                        12. Lemons and Limes

                        healthy-foods-lemons

                          But, what can I really do with lemons/limes, you may ask? A whole lot! Lemons and limes are actually great ways to add flavor to your otherwise bland water.They are both excellent sources of vitamin C, B6, potassium, and folate. Plus, if you’re a seafood/poultry lover, add a sprinkle of lime/lemon juice over your food before cooking. Voila!

                          13. Plant-Based Milk

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                          healthy-foods-almond-milks

                            Plant-based milks, whether almond, soy, rice, cashew, hemp, or rice milk, are a kitchen staples that add a huge burst of flavor to any meal. (Did you know an ounce of almonds provides 3.5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein?)

                            Plant-based milks can be used in a variety of simple or complex recipes and also as a go-to for breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and smoothies. If you want a healthier version of ice cream, try pureeing frozen bananas, honey, and almond milk. You’ll forget all about the heavy milk and cream of normal ice cream.

                            14. Fresh Herbs

                            herbs

                              Put that salt down! Fresh herbs add flavor and freshness to nearly every recipe and most herbs and spices also contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables.

                              Try adding parsley, thyme, sage, dill, and rosemary to your favorite dishes, such as chicken, eggs, and pasta dishes.

                              15. Salsa

                              healthy-food-tomatoes

                                Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and can also help combat free radicals known to cause cancer. Good-quality salsa can be an excellent addition to handmade tortilla chips, burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.

                                16. Avocados

                                healthy-foods-avocado

                                  Avocados are not only packed with dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and healthy fats (yes, the good kind), but they’re exceptional as a sandwich spread, partner in your guacamole, or on their own with a little salt and pepper.

                                  17. Whole Grains

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                                  healthy-foods-oatmeal

                                    By whole grains, we’re not talking multi-grain; we’re talking whole grains, as in, in contains the entire part of the grain, like oatmeal, quinoa, or brown rice. If you think grains are bland on their own, you can add so much to them to spice them up! Take oatmeal for example: A little bit of plant-based milk, some mixed nuts, dried fruit, and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract will make your morning a breeze!

                                    18. Hot Sauce

                                    healthy-foods-hot-sauce

                                      Hot sauce adds a powerful kick to many dishes and offers a boost of vitamin C and capsaicin, found in hot peppers. Aside from the spicy flavor in hot sauce, vitamin C and capsaicin have both been known to assist in boosting your metabolism. For the healthiest option, find an oil-free brand with minimal ingredients, such as chili peppers and vinegar and add it to your shrimp and tomato dish for a healthier version of shrimp creole.

                                      19. Fish

                                      salmon

                                        Many types of fish are high in protein, low in fat, and chock-full of health benefits, including salmon and cod.

                                        Broil it and eat it as your main dish with a little bit salsa on top, or grill on your stovetop with a blend of mixed veggies.

                                        20. Leftovers

                                        chicken skewers

                                          This one may not be classified as a certain “food item,” but leftovers are great for keeping prepared healthy foods around throughout the week.

                                          On Sunday nights, try and prepare a huge meal which can double as weekday dinners and even as tupperware-friendly lunch dishes for work.

                                          Featured photo credit: Zlatko Unger via albumarium.com

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                                          Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                          Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                          This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                          One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                          Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                          Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                          1. Gratitude

                                          Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                          The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                          Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                          So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                                          Gratitude-Quotes

                                            2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                            This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                            For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                            What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                            Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                            3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                            This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                            Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                            An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                            Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                            write down goals

                                              4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                              According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                              There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                              5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                              Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                              Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                              6. Rise Earlier

                                              The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                              For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                              So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                              Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                              7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                              Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                              Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                              It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                              Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                              More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                              Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                              Reference

                                              [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                              [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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