Plant-Based Grocery Haul: 5 Tips to Restock Your Refrigerator
Want to improve your diet this year? Start with a refrigerator restock! In this plant-based grocery haul, I’m sharing my top tips and swaps! *This post is sponsored by ALDI.
When was the last time you cleaned out your fridge? Be honest – you’ve totally got a bottle of salad dressing crammed in the back that’s as old as Miley Cyrus.
It’s ok. I did too – until I gave my fridge a major makeover this week.
I cleared out all of the expired items that were lurking in the bottom shelves and any products that just don’t fit my dietary goals (somehow junk just finds its way in there, you know). Then I went to ALDI, picked up a ton of scrumptious, affordable, healthy-eating inspiring foods, and restocked it.
Boy, does it feel good to have a clean fridge! I have to say that when you’ve got a ton of delicious, nutritious, ready-to-eat items stocked up, it’s much easier to eat healthfully.
If one of your resolutions this year is to improve your eating habits, I highly recommend starting with a refrigerator restock. Here is my plant-based grocery haul and my recommendations on how to revamp your fridge for a healthy year!
1. Throw out any products with ingredients that say “hydrogenated.”
Hydrogenated oils, aka “trans fat,” have been banned from the US food supply due to their link to heart disease. However, the FDA recently gave food companies a year-long extension to get rid of these harmful artificial fats, so some products still contain them.
Where is hydrogenated fat hiding? In products like peanut butter, coffee creamers, microwaveable popcorn, and fried foods. As of writing this, I pulled a jar of peanut butter out of my parent’s refrigerator that contained it.
One easy update to your fridge is to swap out any products that contain hydrogenated oil. For example, I picked up a jar of Simply Nature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter from ALDI, a “natural” peanut butter without any added oils. You know a peanut butter doesn’t have any junk added if it has a layer of oil floating on the top – this is from the natural separation of the peanut’s oil that occurs when peanuts are ground.
2. Ditch the sugar-sweetened beverages.
A little sugar in your diet is perfectly fine – I enjoy dark chocolate nightly and have been known to be a bit of a cookie monster. Unfortunately, companies add sugar to everything these days and it can add up quickly. Added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to obesity and metabolic disease.
One easy way to rid your diet of excess sugar is to stick to unsweetened beverages. I stocked my fridge with Friendly Farms Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk and Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk to use in smoothies, acai bowls, and baked goods.
I also always have sparkling water on hand, like these cans from Belle Vie.
Coffee and tea are also great beverages options, and totally safe for breastfeeding moms like myself – just stick to less than 300 mg of caffeine/day.
3. Load it up with fruits and veggies.
But don’t stop there – make sure your produce is prepped! You’re much more likely to choose fresh fruit like watermelon or pineapple as a snack if they’re ready to eat when hunger strikes.
As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I try to wash and chop two to three fruit and vegetable options for healthy snacking during the week or to quickly toss in salads.
4. Upgrade your grains.
This is healthy eating 101 people – go for whole grains. I’m always shocked when friends ask me for healthy eating tips and I find out they’re still regularly consuming refined grains.
Bottom line, whole grains are associated with lower rates of chronic disease compared to refined “white” grains. Refined white grains are quickly digested, spiking your blood sugar, and leaving you hungry and searching for more food quickly. Whole grains, on the other hand, are a great addition to any diet, providing a steady stream of energy to fuel your day and belly-filling fiber to keep you fuller longer.
I picked up two tasty loaves of organic bread for my fridge restock – ALDI Simply Nature Nice to Wheat You and Seedtastic.
5. Add some easy flavor options.
So you’ve stocked your fridge with a bunch of healthy whole foods and fresh produce – now what? I get it – many of my clients complain that they don’t know what to do with all the food they buy, especially if they don’t like cooking.
My advice is to keep a few simple staples on hand that can turn any veggie/grain/legume combo into a full meal. For me, that’s hummus, salsa, guacamole, and marinara sauce. These healthy staples instantly add flavor and nutrients to your prepped veggies. I was excited to find single serving guacamole packs at ALDI – perfect for tossing in a lunch bag with baby carrots for a healthy snack at work.
And those are my simple fridge swaps and tips for a healthier year – not too bad right? Much better than those dangerous detox diets you’ll see people promoting.
FYI, all of the ingredients for my fridge restock came from ALDI. I was a newbie to the ALDI experience, and I’m so glad I got the chance to check it out. They have so many amazing, accessible products, fresh organic produce, and even fitness equipment, which will be available on January 2nd for a limited time. They’re basically a one-stop shop for affordable wellness!
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Weigh in: What healthy items do you always have stocked in your fridge? Will you do your own plant-based grocery haul and try these fridge swaps? If so, snap a pic and tag me!
*This post is sponsored by ALDI but all opinions are my own. I thank you for your support of Whitney E. RD-approved partnerships that make this website possible.