Stocking the Fridge

 By Shani Petroff

I spend a lot of time at my refrigerator. When I’m hungry, when I’m bored, when I’m watching TV, when I’m writing, I find myself making frequent stops there. Sometimes I’ll even make several trips in a row, as if the contents will magically change if I just look one more time. Sadly, they don’t. But one thing has held true over the past several weeks, and it’s that what’s in my fridge really helps determine whether I stay on track or not. So, as the weather is getting warmer, and I find myself craving ice cream and sweets more than usual, I’m making sure my fridge/freezer has what I need to succeed:

The Fresh Stuff. I love fruits and vegetables — especially summer fruit. So, I definitely make sure I have a lot of them in my fridge. They are 0 SmartPoints® value and they taste good, so it makes sense. However, while berries are my favorite, many times I buy them and when I get around to eating them, I find mold (and sometimes this is even a next-day problem). While I’m not giving up on berries (I am trying to buy them closer to when I actually want to eat them), I am making sure I’m stocked with produce that has a longer shelf life. Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, definitely last a lot longer — and when I’m in the mood for a snack, I don’t have to worry that they will be bad when I want to eat them.

Ice Cream Alternatives. Ice cream may be my kryptonite (or at least one of them). For a while, the high-protein versions were curbing my addiction, but lately I just don’t want them. In fact, I’ve had a pint of one in my freezer for two months — and that never happens. Ice cream doesn’t make it past a day for me. To keep myself from running out and buying the real thing, I’ve been freezing bananas. I have about two dozen in baggies right now. I blend them up in my Vitamix® and make banana ice cream. It really does cool the craving. I also have a bunch of frozen berries (which helps avoid the going-bad-quickly problem) that I use for smoothies. My apartment gets really warm this time of year, and a cold treat — one low in SmartPoints value — is definitely appreciated.

Something to Snack On. If I keep snacks I like too much in my home, they don’t last. I’m a huge fan of the chocolate-covered bananas that are sold in little pouches, but before I know it, I have eaten the whole box. So, I need stuff that I like, but are either no SmartPoints value (like fruit) or that I’m not crazy enough about to go overboard on. For me, that’s yogurt. There are a lot of great-tasting, low SmartPoints value ones on the market — in every flavor from chocolate and caramel to key lime pie and cheesecake. I like having them in my fridge. It feels like a snack, but I’ve never had an issue with eating too many of them — they are not quite at dessert level to me (the same is not true for frozen yogurt). I also find flavored ice pops are a great thing to have. Depending on the brand, I can have a few for just 1 SmartPoints value. And when I want something sour, I go for pickles. I can have a bunch of them for 0 SmartPoints value, and it won’t mess up my count for the day.

The Quick Fix. I do a lot of takeout, but I tend to have a more successful week on the scale when I make my own meals. Since time is often an issue, I make sure to have ingredients on hand for some quick, easy recipes. Things like wraps, turkey, guacamole, hummus, peanut butter, cream cheese, and lox are staples in my fridge. This article has a bunch of my favorite, easy meal go-top’s (i.e., a smoked salmon wrap, turkey-guac wrap, etc. As an added bonus, only one involves using the stove, and when it’s hot out, not having to generate extra heat can be nice.

What do you put in your fridge? You can find me on Connect @shani!
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