My trips to the grocery store this year have been fast and furious. With everything going on: open-hour changes, capacity restrictions, one-way isles, and shortages in some areas…I’m super focused, and show up prepared with my Plan B.
We don’t have a garden, or herb box, or anything like that. But I sure do love me some fresh fruits and veggies! Our fave this summer has been peaches! Oh my goodness gracious. They have been super fresh, juicy, flavorful, sweet, and just plain yummae!
We’ve managed some good buys, but sometimes…it’s hard. Even the Farmer’s Markets this year have been short on really good-looking (and smelling!) fresh produce.
Since I don’t grow my own and am sometimes limited when buying the best…enter my Plan B!
- Get what I can, when I can, and plan meals around that.
- Get what I can, when I can, portion size and freeze most of it.
- Get what I can, when I can, be creative and have fun with color!
- Buy frozen!
When I can get it fresh, one of my favorite fresh veggies to freeze is spinach. Yep. But it’s hard sometimes to find fresh spinach that isn’t bruised, wilted, or just plain…ugly. LOL So, when I do find great spinach, I focus on #2 of my Plan B list.
First, I look for the pre-washed and packaged organic spinach. Using snack bags, I portion size a handful at a time, and stuff each in a snack bag. I put a few bags in the fridge for my salads or sides. The rest? I line those puppies up in my freezer for a quick go-to for my smoothies, omelets, scrambled eggs, soup bowls, etc. This way, it’s super easy to chop up in the moment if I need to, and throw it in whatever I like!
When you can’t always buy (or grow) fresh produce…what’s your Plan B?
Immunity is a BIG topic of discussion and action this year. There are several ways to build, maintain, even boost your immune system, and eating a variety of produce is one of them. According to healthline.com, of the suggested 15 foods that can boost your immune system. Thirteen of those are fruits and veggies! But you probably already knew that, right?
It’s a fact that most people don’t eat as many servings of fruits and vegetables as recommended. Raise your hand if that’s you.
While trying to keep your fridge and fruit bowl brimming with fresh produce options is ideal, don’t forget about your freezer. It’s one of the best places to stash frozen fruits and vegetables, which can have an abundance of nutritional value, like the fresh family.
Whether you can’t find your favorites fresh because they’re out of season, don’t look tempting, or they’re too expensive, try looking for these seven frozen fruits and veggies to stock in your freezer for a Simple Step Solution.
When broccoli is on your shopping list, but a fresh crown is $3, head to the freezer section. Broccoli when frozen retains its nutrients, losing less ascorbic acid in your freezer than it does when waiting for you in your fridge. Who knew, right? Simply steam it for a quick side dish, make stir-fry, or top it on a fresh-made pizza. Soups, frittatas, and pasta dishes are other great ways to use frozen broccoli. Look for the florets.
They’re not just a handy ice pack when you have a bruise or sprain. Frozen peas are a fantastic addition to your meals and far easier to work with than fresh peas. They still retain their initial nutrients, too, showing up with more beta-carotene than fresh or canned versions. Steam or thaw them first before you add them to your dishes. They go great in a brown rice bowl, are perfect for salads and pasta, and you can make a great soup with peas thrown in.
Fresh spinach takes time to wash. In the freezer, it’s ready to go and even has more beta-carotene than raw spinach. It’s an easy side dish for a busy night all on its own, but feel free to get creative with soups, pasta, curries, dips, smoothies, omelets, or even on top of white pizza.
4. Organic Berries
Berries are awesome super-fruits, but they are always ranked as the dirtiest by the EWG. Organic is best, but buying them fresh can really add up. When you purchase organic berries frozen, though, you can have the best of both worlds. Buy a mix or buy one type of organic berry, and you can make wonderful smoothies, top off your Greek yogurt, or use them in healthy desserts.
Peaches still retain phenolic compounds when frozen, and they still taste just as amazing. Thaw them out to put on your Greek yogurt, puree into a healthy pudding, or add to salads with walnuts and goat cheese.
Although carrots are usually plentiful and inexpensive, they are more nutritious than fresh carrots. They store so well, too, that if you have a crazy week and have no veggies on hand, you’ll have carrots ready for a side dish. Adding them to soups is another great idea.
7. Bell Peppers
There are more vitamin C and antioxidants in frozen bell peppers. Plus, they can be used to make a stir-fry or fajitas in a pinch, no slicing and dicing required.
With these frozen produce items on hand, you’ll always have access to making healthy and nutritious meals, even when your fridge and cabinets are going bare.
Stock up and see.
How can you use this Simple Step Solution this week?
We are still in the middle of summer! I'm in TX, and it was super hot over the weekend. Whether it's the summer heat, or everyday mindful eating, my newest ebook: Hydrating Foods: Food That Will Help Keep You Hydrated, not only gives you the best fruits and veggies for hydration, but also why they’re so awesome. You'll totally be cool and "in the know!"
You can snag that HERE.
You know, the last thing you want to hold back on...is you. I know this year has been hard on many levels. It truly has for me. I've been challenged with loss, health, transition, politics, the news, clarity, and emotions. Add to that all.the.things from COVID-19. I've been blessed with newness, health, transition, clarity, and stability. And in the midst of all of that, there has been relationships. Some have fallen on the challenging side, while others have landed on the blessings side. In the end...this year has been a blessing! I count it as a blessing.
I choose to look at it as a bridge. Not only has it been a time for me to cross over to my "next" in life, but it has truly been a "place" for me to pause, reflect, express gratitude, shift my thoughts and actions, and make choices that were...tough sometimes. Plus I've experienced some new perspectives. I truly had to do the pause things before the cross over. Ya know?
And now I'm super pumped about the JOYous possibilities ahead!
What about you? If this year is a bridge for you, I invite you to have a Lifestyle Bridge to Breakthrough Chat with me.
- We'll get clear on your challenges. Now I know that sounds strange. You're thinking, "Hey! I know EXACTLY what my challenges are!" And that could be true. And facing them, and being honest about how they are affecting other areas of your life, is a different thing. Many times, our thoughts and beliefs can hold us captive, and we go back and forth on the same bridge...over and over again. It's time to MOVE forward!
- Then, we'll explore the possibilities...for YOU! When you can stand on that bridge, and look to the other side...what might you see? What could be ahead for you? What's on the other side? What do YOU truly desire? Most times, a fresh perspective is critical to see exactly what crossing your bridge might look like.
- And finally, let's look at the way forward for YOU. What are your next best steps forward across that bridge? This is where the breakthrough really happens! As a Lifestyle Strategist, and Behavior Change Specialist (among other things), I know exactly how to make sure that each plank you step on, each surface you touch, every step you take...is unique to you. Intentional. On purpose. JOY-full!
- And yes...if there is a way I can help you take those steps (and beyond), encourage you, direct you, support you, keep you accountable, make your journey simpler, faster, more efficient, more effective, and more JOY-full...I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'll simply point you in the right direction. At the very least, you'll have a fresh start with a fresh perspective.
You can schedule your complimentary Lifestyle Bridge to Breakthrough Chat HERE. I only open up a limited number of these each month. There's a few spots left, this week only. I look forward to your Joyous Possibilities!
P.S. Snag your Hydrating Foods ebook HERE.
P.P.S. Schedule your Lifestyle Bridge to Breakthrough Chat HERE. I mean, seriously. It's time.