1. get in the zone
The first thing you need to do is accept the fact that this might be a very big change for you and your family. Emptying out a fridge and only keeping the good stuff is hard and can be emotional. So, I ask you to turn up your favorite music and plan at least half a day to embark on this journey and just get excited! Yes... cleaning out the fridge is a lot of work, but it will be so worth it in the end! Being an appliance we see and use multiple times a day, it’s easy to overlook what piles up in it and just let it become the norm.
So, maybe this idea of clean eating is new to you, maybe it’s not. Either way, the health benefits you will gain from it cannot be found in any other health habit.
2. empty it out
Out with the old and in with the new right? You can’t start fresh without seeing all you have to work with. A lot of times, we get frustrated with our fridges because they just seem to fill up so fast! The reality is, they are probably just poorly organized and full of things we don’t need...
I am probably the biggest anti-food-waster out there, it makes me physically hurt to throw out food, but sometimes, it just has to happen. If you’re like me, ask yourself something like this: “would I rather have a half full jar of store bought Alfredo sauce OR space to fit a block of grass fed butter?” I think you know the answer to that one.
While you are emptying out the fridge, make two piles on your counter:
1. Food that came from grocery store aisles
2. Food that came from grocery store perimeter
That's it for now, leave the food on the counter and proceed to step 3!
3. start fresh
Now that your fridge is totally empty, it's time to deep clean. You don't want to put your sorted and nice fresh food in a dingy fridge right? Here's some tips to make that process suck a little less:
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Now that the interior of your fridge is clean and your bins are drying in the sun, it's time to tackle those piles of food. You currently have three piles (food from grocery store aisles, food from the perimeter, and leftovers) and it's time to refine those further.
Before we begin, think about the real purpose of a fridge: it keeps food with a short shelf life COLD. Again, it's for food with a SHORT shelf life. Haven't we heard the advice of staying at the perimeter of the grocery store while we shop? All the foods at the perimeter NEED the fridge right off the bat right? The following organization will help to solidify this notion:
Now that you are left with only the “good food”, it’s time to organize so that you can make the most of it! You want your fridge to be visually pleasing so that when you open it up, you’re not left feeling overwhelmed. I organize my fridge similar to how a grocery store is organized, and these five categories are: PRODUCE, “DAIRY”, DRINKS, LEFTOVERS and “CONDIMENTS”. Each category has its own space and I try to keep similar shapes of items together too. I encourage you to stick to these categories as best you can and I will explain the quotes later. Let’s start from the bottom of the fridge and work up.
This is the fun part! Take inventory of what you have and plan a few meals using what is already in your fridge. If there is anything else you need, buy it and take a second to see if there are ways to make some parts from scratch, like sauces or sides. If that is overwhelming, just remember that the more you cook, the better you get!
what about the freezer?
Congratulations, you tackled your fridge!!! Freezers are just as important, so stay tuned next week for the next part of this post!
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My name is Laura and I help overly tired 20something women overhaul their lives, energy and confidence without overwhelm.
Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and write to the best of my knowledge on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle practices, I cannot be made liable to know all information on a particular subject. Knowledge gained through this blog is to be used at your own risk and all lifestyle changes should be discussed with a doctor before starting.
I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I do receive a small reimbursement for sales made through the links provided on my blog.