Any time you decide to make changes where your health or weight is concerned, it's impossible to leave food out of the conversation. Yes, in a perfect world we could all just work out and lose weight while eating a steady diet of doughnuts and pizza, but unfortunately, reality simply won't let us get away with it.
This means that in order to make significant changes in your fitness and weight loss journey, you're going to have to learn what foods to keep in your fridge versus what should be considered contraband. Here's a list of some of the items that should and shouldn't be in your refrigerator while you're working on getting healthy.
Berries - Make sure to keep your fridge stocked with an abundance of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Not only are they incredibly flavorful, but they're jam-packed with important antioxidants and phytonutrients that can do wonders for fighting off free radical damage and bolstering your immune system.
Berries are wonderfully versatile as well--you can add them to salads, yogurt, cereal, and oatmeal, and they can also be eaten alone as snacks. If you don't feel like popping berries all day long, you can blend them together with some plain yogurt, almond milk, and a banana in order to make a tasty smoothie.
Kale - Not enough can be said about this leafy green superfood. It's packed with important nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and folate, and it does a wonderful job of "scrubbing" your intestines to keep your digestive system on point.
You can add leaves of kale into your salads, or use the leaves as a wrap for delicious concoctions such as chicken or tuna salad. You can also add kale to the berry smoothie described above to give your drink an additional nutritional boost.
Eggs - One of nature's most generous sources of protein, eggs are chock full of all kinds of vitamins and minerals, and they're versatile enough to be eaten cooked, hard-boiled, or fried.
Almond Butter - This luxurious spread can be used on all kinds of snacks including apples, celery, and pears, or even with some jelly to make a modified PB&J sandwich. Almond butter is rich in Vitamin E--an important immune system builder--and it's a great way to add some "good" (a.k.a. heart healthy) fat to your diet.
The "Should Not's"
Sodas - For many people, carbonated drinks are one of the main sources of empty calories and (far too much) sugar in their diet. Even if it's diet, soda carries absolutely no nutritionally redeeming properties, so it's better for soft drinks to never darken the doors of your fridge.
Artificially Sweetened Juices - This is another category of beverages that can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Any fruit juice drinks that actually feature little to no real fruit juice at all would definitely fall into this category. A quick test to determine whether or not to bring the drink home is to look at the nutritional label; if you see sugar or high fructose corn syrup as one of the first ingredients on the list, you know you're dealing with a nutritional wrecking ball.
Processed Meats - This one might hurt a bit. Yes, we're talking about bacon, bologna, hot dogs, sausage, and other highly processed meats that are far from "natural" in terms of their composition. Most of these meats are loaded with sodium and artificial preservatives that can increase your risk of all kinds of ailments including heart disease, high blood pressure and pancreatic cancer. If you're going to buy these meats, make sure you buy 100% natural, uncured brands with no artificial preservatives.
Dessert Snacks - Ice cream, gelato, freeze pops, flavored yogurts, and other cold or frozen sweet treats are often loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, including the synthetic dyes that make them look so colorful.
Healthy eating might come easy for some people, but for others it can be a source of confusion in light of the dizzying amount of food choices that are available. While the above list is by no means comprehensive, you can use it as a good starting point to help you get on the right track toward a more nutritious diet and healthier living.