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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 January 21, 2020

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                            Why You Need a Vision

                                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                            What Do You Want?

                                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                            Some tips to guide you:

                                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                            A few prompts to get you started:

                                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                            • What would you be doing?
                                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                            • How are you dressed?
                                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                            Plan Backwards

                                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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