Summer is here, and the key to making the most of the season is to ensure you feel your best. Although there are many tempting, calorie-laden foods at your disposal during the season, it can be easy to fill your diet with foods that are tasty and healthy.
A good place to start is in your refrigerator. The contents of your fridge can either sandbag or support your healthy eating habits. Replacing processed and unhealthy items with fresh, nutrient-rich foods that are all natural is a great way to kick off the summer on a healthful note.
Simple steps to eating healthy
To make freshening up your refrigerator even easier, look for foods that are low in fat and contain all-natural ingredients.
“Nutrition advice usually begins with a long list of foods you shouldn’t eat, but, in reality, there are actually many delicious and healthy options you can add to what you eat,” says Registered Dietitian Carolyn O’Neil, author of “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!”
One such option O’Neil recommends is Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese. Available in both low fat (2 percent) and regular (4 percent), it contains only all-natural ingredients – no preservatives, additives or artificial growth hormones. Plus it’s versatile and can be eaten by itself or added to one of your favorite recipes for a healthful twist.
O’Neil also recommends the following tips to get one step closer to freshening up your fridge:
- Look at that label. The nutrition facts label on packages continues to be the best place to get information. Be sure to look at the ingredients list – some products have up to 20 ingredients including preservatives and thickeners such as starches and gums. Remember, the more natural the ingredients, the better.
- Plan on protein. Be sure to stock your fridge with lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, pork tenderloin, eggs and dairy products like cottage cheese. Adding a half cup of Daisy Brand Low Fat Cottage Cheese to your salad adds 14 grams of high quality protein for only 90 calories and helps you stay full longer.
- Fill your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables. Prepare fruits and veggies so they are easy to grab on-the-go. Fruits and veggies add more flavor to favorites, such as topping cereal with berries or enjoying peaches or tomatoes with cottage cheese.
- Plan meals for the week. Take some time on the weekends to have some fun planning your meals for the week so there is no scramble to make a busy work-day dinner at the last minute. Having great tasting nutrient-rich foods on hand increases your chances of creating healthier meals even when you’re short on time.
- Eat mindfully. Be aware of the foods you put in your mouth. Keep a food journal near the fridge as a quick reminder of what you ate throughout the day. Ultimately, slow down and take the time to enjoy and savor foods. You’ll get more pleasure from the bites you take and be less apt to mindlessly overeat.
- Get creative. Make refrigerator staples work for you by adding them to recipes or pairing them with a variety of foods. The versatility of cottage cheese allows for many meal and snack options that can provide gratification when that “snack attack” hits. Fast can be fresh and healthy.
For a delicious summer snack, try this Pizza Pita Snackers recipe.
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes
2 pita bread
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 cup Daisy Brand 2 percent Cottage Cheese
2 tablespoons chopped Roma tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Toast pita bread until crispy and firm, about one minute in a toaster oven. Spread pesto on each pita bread, lightly covering entire surface. Spread low-fat cottage cheese evenly over each pita. Top with chopped tomato and fresh basil. If desired, sprinkle each pita with Parmesan and garlic seasoning. Slice each pita into four wedges and serve immediately.
Total Fat: 12 g
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 743 mg
Protein: 24 g
Total Carbohydrate: 18 g
Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese recognizes the importance of all-natural foods, which is why they are hosting a contest asking Americans to share how their eating habits could be improved through a fresh refrigerator makeover. Visit FreshenUpYourFridge.com for more information on the contest and additional recipe ideas.