5 Foods a Health and Fitness Editor Has in the Fridge at All Times
After years of writing about health and wellness for a living, I have both read and received first-hand a ton of advice on what I should be stocking my fridge with. Some of that advice I’ve stuck to (see: the giant bag of hemp seeds in my fridge) and some I’ve shed (see: watermelon butter). Below, five fridge-stocking suggestions that have stood the test of time, that I now always have on-hand to throw together a quick and easy meal.
I’ll admit it: I used to turn my nose up at sauerkraut. Sauerkraut just seems like a food everyone’s grandparents eat while watching rerun episodes of M*A*S*H. It’s not a sexy food. But thanks to the lovely food-for-beauty health coach Jolene Hart, who is not yet an octogenarian, I now know that sauerkraut is not a food that one must wait until senior citizenship to start eating. The reason I keep it around always is because it makes working gut-friendly (and therefore skin-friendly, Hart says) fermented food into my diet a no-brainer: I add it to everything from tacos to make-ahead lunch bowls to salads to … literally everything. My favorite store-bought version is Jacob’s Raw Rainbow Kraut, which is also packed with turmeric (hey, anti-inflammatory powers!).
Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds: Name the seed and I likely have a bulk bag of ‘em lying in my fridge. As I’ve learned from talking with health pros over the years, different seeds have different benefits (thanks to hemp seeds’ balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, they’re a great protein-packed anti-inflammatory food to add to just about everything; pumpkin seeds boast lots of zinc, which is good for immunity and skin; the healthy fats in sunflower seeds can help to regulate blood sugar), but you can’t really go wrong. I sprinkle seeds on top of greens, throw them in grain salads, toss them on avocado toast. Easy-peasy.
Lemon water is the Beyoncé of drinks: beloved and obession-worthy, at least it seems that way based on the many health pros who’ve told me to drink lemon water. So I do. Every single morning, the first thing I do is squeeze half of a lemon into a glass of warm water and chug it down. Lemons offer lots of vitamin C (and we all know that’s a plus during cold season, plus vitamin C helps your body build collagen). And if nothing else, this daily morning ritual seems to help in the, ahem, digestion department.
Let us list the ways greens are wonderful: They’re great for your skin, thanks to their high levels of beta-carotene, they’re a good source of prebiotics, they’re loaded with heart-healthy vitamins, research shows they’re key to weight loss, and I could honestly go on for days but then I’d have to miss happy hour, so I’ll stop there. They are simply wonderful. And as long as you have greens on hand and a few pantry staples (see: beans, seeds, canned tuna, etc), you have the makings for a healthy meal. Arugula and kale are my top picks, but I will eat it all.
Okay, so no health pro has ever once suggested I add corn tortillas to my life, but let me tell you why I always keep these in the fridge: A corn tortilla is like the Swiss Army Knife for healthy meals. You can do so much with them as long as you have a few ingredients at your disposable (see: sauerkraut, greens, mushrooms, avocado, etc.). Oftentimes, when I fall off of my lunch-prepping game, I’ll just throw a couple of tortillas in my Lululemon lunch bag and whatever I have lying around my fridge and make a makeshift platter of tacos for lunch. Because let me tell you a secret that my chef friends would probably frown upon: Anything can be a taco ingredient.
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