By Kenneth Selke
Even though it’s still technically winter, Erin and I are starting our spring cleaning. This past weekend, we decided to begin with the refrigerator since we needed to go shopping anyway. It was a great chance to declutter, organize, clean, and take note of what we had on hand. Like most people, I’d assume, we had a lot of redundant condiments, along with a few items that got lost in the back and forgotten about completely that we could just throw away. What dawned on me during this process, and what I found to be such a revelation wasn’t what we threw away, but it’s what we didn’t have in our fridge to help us in our weight-loss efforts. No easy-to-grab fruits, snacks, or healthy drinks. We primarily only stock up on groceries that are going to be used for meals; as a married couple living on our own, we try to stick to the bare necessities, ultimately leading to situations in which we choose unhealthy options because there are no healthy choices to be had.
I’ve heard many people say that weight-loss endeavors are won and lost at the grocery store, and while I do agree with this, I also realize that it works both ways. Obviously, I won’t eat cookies if I never buy them in the first place, and I won’t be able to have a healthy snack if I don’t buy them first! We’re pretty good about not buying or bringing high SmartPoints® values foods home with us, but we were seriously lacking in the healthy-choices category. As we were cleaning out our fridge, it was apparent to me that we needed to treat our shopping trip as a time to not only purchase our necessities, but also to stock up on some plan-friendly snacks that Erin and I can both enjoy, without breaking the bank or cluttering up the fridge.
On our shopping trip, I stuck to the list I had made, which included my favorite snacks along with the staples we needed for our weekly meals. As I made my list, I kept in mind how I wanted the fridge to look. It was so clean when we left the house, and I wanted it to feel just as clean and organized when it was full. Most of the snacks we chose to stock up on were single-serving, self-contained, easy-to-grab choices. Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, apples and oranges, etc. This would ensure that when hunger hits in between meals, we have smart ways to curb our appetites.
The last step was organizing our refrigerator when we got home. Though we had to rearrange a few shelves, we made sure that all the snacks or food that we might grab on an impulse were the first places we’d look, and making the less-healthy choices a bit more difficult to see/grab (for instance, putting my favorite beer in the lowest drawer, furthest to the back as I could! I know it’s in there, it’s just not so “in my face” all of the time). Going through this made opening the refrigerator a tangible tool to achieve success in our weight-loss push as opposed to being an obstacle. The bonus is having one major element of our spring cleaning done, while turning it into an opportunity to succeed on our journeys!
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