Feb. 18. 2022
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Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Learn how to stock your fridge for balanced eating so it’s really easy for you to make balanced meals with what you have on hand.

Setting your environment up for success is key to maintaining balanced eating habits for the long-term, even when life is busy, stressful, or you’re out of your normal routine.

Our Mindful Nutrition Method™ students know that maintaining the balance they’d like to have is so much easier when they make it easier to follow through, and having balanced options in your fridge is one simple way to make that possible!

Additionally, all our Mindful Nutrition Method students get a full video tour of how to stock your pantry, fridge, freezer, and kitchen along with some other amazing bonus video lessons. Are you interested in these bonuses? Watch the free masterclass to learn more!

It’s an amazing feeling to open up a fridge full of your favorite nourishing whole foods just waiting to be used in your next meal or snack, and it’s great to be stocked at all times so you’re not needing to eat the same thing all week. 

But, you may be wondering, how to stock your fridge for balanced eating? Keep reading and I’ll guide you through a few simple tips! 

How To Stock In Your Fridge For Balanced Eating 

The key to stocking your fridge for balanced meals is to make sure you have ingredients for each of the elements in my Foundational Five, which is my system for creating balanced meals. 

You’ll need protein, fat, non-starchy carbohydrates, starchy and sugary carbohydrates, and Flavor Factors. 

Vegetables and Leafy Greens 

Foundational Five Element: Non-starchy carbohydrates or starchy carbohydrates 

You’ll always want to keep a few varieties of leafy greens on hand to make it easy to serve with any bowl. Additionally, you’ll want to stock a few other vegetables, covering off on other colors of the rainbow, like red pepper, sweet potato, yellow zucchini or spaghetti squash, purple cauliflower, etc. Get creative! 

The non-starchy varieties of vegetables are great to add to any dish in abundance to increase the fiber which contributes to the feeling of satiety and fullness, so stock up on a bunch of options so you can bulk up your meals, get in plenty of nutrients, and add flavor and texture. 

When possible, look for vegetables that are local to your region and in season

Fruit

Foundational Five Element: Starchy and sugary carbohydrates

Not only are fruits delicious and provide a naturally sweet flavor, but they are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Keep a couple of fruit options on hand to enjoy as a snack alongside coconut yogurt or nuts or to add to salads and smoothies. 

When possible, look for fruit that’s local to your region and in season.

Organic Tempeh and Tofu

Foundational Five Element: Protein

Soy-containing foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame all offer a complete plant protein containing all amino acids. They are one of the strongest, most animal-like proteins in terms of chemical makeup. Oftentimes, these soy-based sources of plant protein also contain fiber and healthy fats in addition to protein. Tempeh is the most nutritious out of this bunch, as it contains naturally occurring healthy bacteria from the fermentation process. 

Because many soy-based products are grown using harmful GMOs, we recommend opting for organic when purchasing any soy products. 

Organic, Pasture-Raised and Grass-Fed Eggs, Chicken, and/or Beef 

Foundational Five Element: Protein

If you eat meat, opt for high-quality, ethically raised options as much as possible — both for your health, the wellbeing of the animals, and the environment. 

You can read our complete guide on shopping for animal proteins. 

Wild-Caught Fish

Foundational Five Element: Protein, Fat (depending on the fish)

If you enjoy fish, look for wild-caught varieties of your favorite fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and also shellfish like mussels and oysters, which also provide a lot of protein and a wide variety of minerals and vitamins.

Fish is particularly a high-quality source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the building blocks of cell membranes and also give your body energy and help support your hormones, brain health, and immune health.

You can read our complete guide on shopping for seafood.

Fermented Foods like Kefir and Kimchi

Foundational Five Element: Flavor Factor 

Fermented foods like kefir and kimchi, are great sources of probiotics and if you can, you should try to include them in your meals a few times per week, if not daily. Making a conscious effort to include just a few servings in your diet each week can have a huge impact on gut health, weight management, blood sugar levels, and more.

Condiments, Dressings, and Sauces

Foundational Five Element: Flavor Factor 

Whether you’re opting to make your own homemade tomato sauce or dressings or if you’d prefer to buy them from the store, you’ll want to make sure you start the week having a couple of options ready to go so you can easily add flavor to your meals. 

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Do You Want To Start Experiencing More Balance With Your Eating Habits Today?

Discover the simple yet effective tools you can start using at your next meal to experience more balance with your food choices today, plus the steps to maintain balanced eating habits for life.

Be sure to download our free balanced eating guide that brings you through the Foundational Five so you understand not only what components you need, but also why they’re important for your health and why this way of eating is helpful for creating balanced eating habits. 

Download The Free Guide Now