What Does a Dietitian Have In Their Fridge?

I’ve shared the contents of my freezer and some favorite grocery items from Trader Joe’s and Costco, but today’s goodies are from the fridge. The place I stand in front of looking for answers.

Most days, we keep the fridge pretty organized. I really hate when I buy something and don’t use it because it gets shoved to the back. To keep this from happening, I like to wash and prep my produce as soon as I buy it and store everything in clear, glass containers. I have two sets of glass containers I use all.the.time from Pyrex and another from Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre. I found the Frigoverre set at the Crate & Barrel outlet store a few years back, and the Pyrex from Target. Glass containers are awesome to use instead of plastic because there are no weird, chemicals leaching into the food, and they last forever. Plus, they’re just prettier.

Let’s take a peek at what we have for food this week.

Starting from the top, you’ll notice some washed romaine lettuce in a container. I’ve got some Ezekiel bread because it’s my all-time favorite. Jason enjoys Sprout’s honey whole wheat. I typically buy Siggi’s brand yogurts, but I’m all about that sale life, and these tasty Fage 2% were cheap and taste good. If you’re looking for a new brand of Greek yogurt, Green Mountain Creamery is one of our recent faves. On the next level, we’ve got lots of spinach for smoothies and salad, fresh cut celery, my favorite Everything flavor hummus from Sprouts (tastes like an Everything bagel, without the bagel), artichoke and lemon pesto (SO GOOD), and some eggs. We bought eggs from Costco a couple weeks ago in a big, plastic container, and now we’re down to one. It looks so lonely!

The cheese drawer is one of my favorite spots in the fridge. That’s where truth and understanding exist. I have worked to reduce the amount of dairy I eat because it has caused my skin nothing but grief in the form of cystic acne. I do love cheese, though, so now I stick to the best I can find, in small portions, and not every day. #foodbalance. We’ve got Muenster, Cheddar, Provolone, and Parmesan in the drawer for safe keeping.

The bottom shelf is where I keep all the meat products and any liquids and/or containers too big to fit elsewhere. I’m picky about non-dairy milk, but I do love Sprout’s Organic Almond Milk because it tastes fantastic, has very little sugar per serving, and has no carrageenan. I used applesauce in place of oil in a zucchini muffin recipe last week, so that’s hanging out. Ketchup. Always. On the right-hand side, there are chicken thighs which will be transformed with the aforementioned artichoke lemon pesto.

The two drawers at the bottom are for more produce and fresh fruit. We’ve got an awesome kale and brussels sprout salad mix leftover from a BBQ this past weekend, baby carrots, sliced red peppers, and a red onion. For fruit, we have some clementines, apples, and red grapes.

The side door is for condiments and other random goodies. Peanut butter, almond butter, and grape jelly are top shelf as they should be. I don’t have a whole lot of salad dressings, but my favorites are the Makoto Ginger dressing, Sprout’s Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Bolthouse Farms Creamy Balsamic. Other sauces include mayonnaise, mustards, Trader Joe’s Soyaki, BBQ sauce, maple syrup, and lots of pickles and kalamata olives. The Hershey’s syrup reminds me of my childhood and is often drizzled on ice cream when we decide to buy it. Last but not least, a fridge wouldn’t be a fridge without a bag of Hemp seed and Chia Seed, oh, and baking soda.

As you can see, I typically keep things basic but have a lot of fun flavoring options to help transform even the most basic of dishes. I often hear from clients and friends that cooking can be hard, but we usually rotate the same dishes every week. That’s all it takes. Find dishes that work and keep on making them. I save complicated dishes with lots of ingredients and steps for when I have some extra time. I’m off to go find an afternoon snack and perhaps the meaning of life over in the fridge!

What are some of your refrigerator staples?

How often do you go grocery shopping?

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In Pursuit of (Im)Perfection

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Many people don’t believe me when they hear I didn’t actually set out to lose 70 pounds a few years ago. They don’t believe that I don’t obsess over my daily calories, or that I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin. You’re a millennial, female in her mid-twenties, AND your a Dietitian. How is that possible?! I try to focus on being perfectly imperfect. Too bad that type of messaging doesn’t bode well for a culture that believes in deprivation, what you shouldn’t eat, and how you shouldn’t look.

I focused my efforts more on lifestyle change and creating abundance in my life. It wasn’t until I woke up one morning on my 18th birthday that I decided I was sick and tired of letting my weight dictate who I was going to be. How could I live a life that wasn’t riddled with guilt and shame? I was ready for change and to pursue the real me. Weight loss just happened to be a nice addition. Truth is, the less you focus on what you should cut back on, and the more you focus on newfound health prosperity in your life, the better the results.

Here’s my version of what I didn’t do during my 2-year lifestyle journey:

I didn’t get frustrated with myself

Changing your life starts with small steps, small changes, and is often uncomfortable. I decided to wake up every morning with intention. How would I view the day as an opportunity to succeed further? What could I learn from my actions?

Example: I felt really out of shape during that jog yesterday, maybe I started out too fast. I should probably ease into it and take fast walking breaks in between.

I didn’t feel deprived

As a dietitian, I don’t believe in meal plans. Instead, I want to help figure out what are good choices you can make no matter the situation. This mentality has a lot to do with how I found balance in my own food choices. There is not one.single.food that is somehow better than others. All foods fit in your life, from swiss chard to birthday cake. What matters most is how you treat food (not putting on a pedestal) and knowing that some foods provide more nutrients than others. Food is meant to live. You’re not meant to live for food.

Example: Halfway through my journey I met my now-husband, and we were dating. With dating comes going out to eat or making last-minute plans. I wasn’t going to NOT eat pizza if we were going to a pizza shop. Let’s be real, pizza is delicious. I’d be thinking about it all night if I didn’t have a slice, so I simply ate a friggen’ slice and enjoyed it!

I wasn’t obsessed with detail

There are many patients I’ve worked with who have become obsessed with their daily calorie target. “OMG I’m in the red! What do I do?” “I went out for breakfast and didn’t know what to do” Don’t look at the day like a bucket, think of it more like a checking account. Just like when you’re working on budgeting and saving money, you start to see results over a period of time. In a month or two, you suddenly seem to have more money! How did that happen? You worked at it everyday, but not all days were the same.

Example: I actually didn’t track calories during my two-year period. I started off by figuring out my personal calorie amount and came up with a few meals that would fit that target. Over time and as I became more confident in my food choices and portion sizes, I came up with more meals. That way, I didn’t feel paralyzed with fear over ordering food in a restaurant. I knew I needed to be flexible.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

Interested in creating abundance and balance in your life? Contact me today!

My Secret Weapon For a More Fit Lifestyle

Happy Friday!

I feel like I’ve been in a million different directions this week. Lots of forms, phone calls, and research. All good things though! Fingers crossed that I can start accepting insurance in the next couple months for my private practice. It’s a lonnnng process…

Any plans this weekend? I am off to IKEA and consignment stores to look for some furniture for our back patio. Riveting, I know.

Let’s jump in to some weekly favorites, shall we?

Fitness: Get a Dog!

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Jason and I bought a puppy back in June, a black and white Labradoodle named Odin, and he’s basically the best thing to ever happen to our little family. I’ve had/been around dogs my entire life ranging from Labradors, Bouviers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Pugs, Hungarian Vizslas, and an English Bulldog. It had been a few years since I’ve lived with another dog in the house, and I was starting to feel the itch! Labradoodles are a very spunky, active, and energetic breed, but that’s what we wanted. Suddenly, I always make my 10,000 step goal on my FitBit! Rain or shine (or Arizona summer), we go for walks/jogs in the morning and after dinner, sprint around the front yard, hike, or swim in the pool on the weekends. We were active before Odin, but now we’re hardcore. I’ve joked with Jason that we’ve felt every ounce of summer this year. I’m not the only one who agrees that having a dog is one of the healthiest things you could do!  Check out what Harvard Health Publications has to say on how “Having a Dog Can Help Your Heart – Literally.” and this post on Women’s Day with “10 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet.”

Food: Trader Joe’s Faves

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We used to live very close to a Trader Joe’s, but now we’re kind of in-between, so my trips are less often. It’s probably a good thing! I made a point to stop there this week on my way home from an appointment, and picked up a couple of my favorites: Edamame Hummus, Just Mango, and Ancient Grains Oatmeal. I’m not that person that goes apeshit over hummus, it’s definitely been an acquired taste. I will make an exception for this edamame hummus, OMG. I like it with rice crackers, on toast, as a dip for veggies, or in a turkey sandwich. The mango is delicious, and it literally is “just” mango. I often find dried mango is way too sweet, but this reminds me of fruit leather, and is slightly sour, slightly sweet. Honestly, The Ancient Grains Oatmeal was kind of meh when I made it as just oatmeal. It’s a tad earthy in flavor and full of good stuff like rolled oats, amaranth, quinoa, with sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, flax, and chia seeds. I buy it now to sub for oats in oatmeal cookies or when making oatmeal bread. Delicious.

Flourish: “Just Get Started” on the FoodBalance YouTube channel!

I’ve been having fun with iMovie the past couple weeks, so I’m thinking of making this a weekly series. Do you have any video requests? Any topics you’d like me to cover on nutrition, fitness, or overall well-being? This week I talked about procrastination, and I how I let that envelope my life for a long time. Then, I learned one simple mantra, that changed my life! Make sure to subscribe to my channel, and give it a thumbs up, please and thank you. 🙂

Fun: Lianne de Havas – “What You Don’t Do”

Another YouTube video, but I’m currently obsessed with this Lianne’s voice. Soulful, smooth, and amazing. Have you ever listened to an artist and want them to sing the soundtrack to your life? That’s how I feel about her. You can listen to multiple songs from her album, “Blood,” as well. Trust me, the whole album is excellent!


I hope you have an excellent weekend. Get outside and enjoy the last bits of summer. Don’t forget to eat your veggies!

xo, Erinn