I often hear people say, “I know I should make better food choices, but by the time I get home at the end of the day I just don’t feel like cooking so I stop and pick up convenience food or just toss a burrito in the microwave. Sometimes I’ll just eat a bag of chips.”
I am fortunate. Most of my life I have been self employed and worked out of my home, but non the less, I am still incredibly busy with deadlines to meet and often just shoving something handy into my mouth instead of preparing what I know I should eat is all I have the time or energy for. We’ve all been there, so that’s why I’m writing this article.
First, let’s take a good look at the refrigerator. Well, for good health it’s designed all wrong. That drawer for meat and cheese is at the top. This makes it all to easy to just open that drawer and stick processed crap like a chunk of salami, a hot dog, a cheese stick and such like into your mouth. Now the drawer that contains what you should be eating, fresh produce, is at the very bottom, out of site and not all that convenient. Often the produce just sits there and goes bad. Besides, how did this design come about in the first place. Meats need more cold that produce. Cold air falls so the meats items should be at the bottom of the fridge not the top.
The Produce Drawer:
I found the produce drawer inconvenient and usually very poorly and flimsily constructed so that they often broke. Besides it usually wasn’t large enough for my produce needs, so I just chucked it. I replaced it with four plastic tubs that fit side by side, two on each shelf. One is for salad ingredients, one if for members of the cabbage family, (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower etc.) one is for other veggies, but not potatoes and onions which should not be kept in the fridge, and one is for soft fruits like berries, peaches, plumbs and pears. Don’t keep apples, citrus or bananas in the refrigerator.
Meat & Cheese:
I have one plastic tub that sits on another shelf for meats and cheeses. They don’t need as much space since I have switched to a primarily plant based diet instead of animal based.
Bottles and Jars:
Look at the shelves on the door of your fridge. If they are filled with bottles and jars, chances are you are consuming way, way too much sodium, fat and high fructose corn syrup. I’ll just bet you have numerous bottles and jars of dressings, marinades, sauces etc. that you use to season your foods. READ THE LABLES. Remember, it is recommended that a healthy adult should have no more that 2,400 mg of sodium a day. It is estimated that the average American consumes abound 12,000 mg of sodium a day. READ THE LABLES! Consider making your own salad dressings and other flavoring agents.
Incidentally, if space is an issue in your fridge, you may be refrigerating things unnecessarily. Soy sauce is almost pure sodium. It does not need to be refrigerated. Most catsups are high in sodium and acid and do not need to be refrigerated. Neither does mustard and most BBQ sauces.
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