It’s a strange thing I do when I go visit people’s homes; I love looking in their fridge. B once pulled me up on it as he didn’t think it was appropriate, and I suppose I got where he was coming from, but I don’t do as an act of shame on their part, I do it coz it fascinates me (so watch out!).
In addition to that, yes your fridge says a lot about you. Leftover pizza boxes, half a slab of beer, every type of sauce known to man on the fridge door, soggy iceberg lettuce in the veggie crisper, and a loaf of home brand white sliced bread… not a real picture of health now is it?
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had a fascination with fridges – I loved to visit Harvey Norman with my mum and walk the fridge section up and down, opening every fridge door, telling mum what bits I thought were brilliantly designed, and which parts were not... and I’m still hanging out for the day when I get to do it again for real and hand over cashola to take my favourite one home! Eeek! Dream come true!
So, if I start at the function of a fridge I’m sure I’ll lose you all pretty quickly. So in the interest of reality, any fridge is a good fridge. Just how do we spring clean it? My tips for you...
+ Start by going though all those sauces, mustards, mayos, chutneys, jams, and curry pastes on your fridge door and anything paste it’s use by date, toss it (well empty it, wash it, and recycle it please). Anything still good, ask yourself; when was the last time I used it? If there’s not much left, commit to using it this week (Tandoori Chicken on Thurs sounds good to me!). If there’s loads left and you know you won’t use it, give it to your neighbour (I’m not a fan of food waste, but if you’ve no other option, toss it).
+ Then start from the top shelf down; what have you got in there that you no longer even know what it is? Anything past its use by date, mouldy, off, or plain gross, get rid of it. Consuming these will potentially do your body more harm, than your wallet good.
+ Wipe down all the bottles, jars, and containers that are good to keep, as well as all the shelves and inside walls with warm soapy water. A drop of vanilla in warm water after this works as a great deodorizer, and smells amazing. I find this alone makes you more aware of what’s in your fridge and more inclined to start using stuff you’ve already got.
+ Read all the labels on the stuff deemed good to keep; this is where I don't give a toss about food waste. If it's potentially toxic (preservatives, colourings, additives, numbers, long ingredient lists, and stuff you don't understand), toss it! If it's something you like to buy often (say... a curry paste), next time you're at the shops have a look at all the labels and READ the INGREDIENTS. The simpler it is, the better it is. Don't buy anything you can't understand. If you can't find a product good enough, you likely will at a health food store. Or better yet, get your grandmas recipe.
+ Make space for fresh produce; this will be the biggest, healthiest, colourful addition to your spring clean out. In our fridge, we have produce in the bottom drawer, and every shelf except the top one.
+ GO SHOPPING!! Ideally at your local weekend markets. Failing that, try a new organic store. OR get a weekly box delivered (hard work done!). Load up on leafy greens, apples, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, berries, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, coconuts… Whatever is in season. And try to get a few different things each week. Store these in your veggie crisper or in breathable non-plastic bags you’ll likely find at you local health food store or farmers markets. The more colour you see in your fridge, the more your body will pull you in to eat those.
+ Try a few new things; Instead of dairy milk, go out and buy oat milk, almond milk, quinoa milk or rice milk. Buy organic yoghurt and cheeses, organic grass fed meats, free range eggs, cold pressed oils, organic nuts and seeds (best kept in your fridge), and some medjool dates for a sweet fix.
+ Then aim to clear out your fresh produce each week; only buy what you need. Anything not so appetizingly fresh by the end of the week, use it for soup stock or make a fresh juice. If it's really off, throw it in your compost.
+ Time savers and health short cuts; chop up some veggies ahead of time and store in a container with water to keep them plump and fresh, ready to grab when hunger strikes. Make a different dip each week to go with them. Make a trail mix with your favourite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits and keep that in a glass jar, top shelf. Have a water jug on the fridge door with added strawberries and mit, or pineapple and lime, as a way to ensure you're drinking enough water each day.
+ And for the freezer; keep pre-made broths and stocks in the freezer, along with left over stews and soups. Buy a few extra steaks when you shop, or maybe a few chicken legs. Have a few frozen bananas in there for a super quick banana ice cream when it gets hot, and a good quality organic fair trade coffee on hand if you like your coffee. Cut up and store extra cake slices, bliss balls and treats in the freezer too so if someone pops over you’ve got something nice to offer them, and it stops you from eating the whole thing the day you make it!
Initially a whopper of a fridge re-haul can be a hefty job, but you can do it little by little, slowly crowding out the stuff you no longer want to be putting into your body, and filling in the good stuff. Alternatively, you can of course go all out and do it all at once (this is tonnes more fun too trust me, and you'll feel lifted and excited by the end of it!).
If you've got any other fridgey-tips, please share below.
And keep your eyes peeled... a new blog design will be appearing right before your very eyes super duper soon!
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Ooh one last thing... your take-home message. How's about sticking that on your fridge!?!