Daily Life

What’s In My Fridge?

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If I were a famous celebrity, you would all already be aware of my fridge content, as I would have made an MTV Cribs appearance by now. Alas, as I am but a lowly college student and blogger, you have yet to see what all I keep in there.

That last sentence there makes it sound like I’m keeping roadkill carcasses or human fingers in my fridge– I hate to disappoint, but those things can’t actually be found anywhere within proximity of my kitchen (or at least, from what I know…)

Being a busy college student, I try to keep my fridge well stocked with healthy options that are also easily portable. I’m at school from 7:30 am- 6 pm nearly every day so it is an absolute necessity for me to have lunch, snacks, and a light dinner packed and ready to go before I make the morning dash to grab coffee and then catch the 7:15 bus.

Whether you are looking for grocery shopping inspiration, meal planning ideas, or just looking cause you’re bored, here are (most of) the foods that I keep regularly stocked in my fridge:

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Starting off logically on the top shelf, I’ve got some Blue Diamond Almond Milk– vanilla flavor, please. I’m not dairy intolerant by any means (you’ll see that with the presence of cheese in the side door), but I just prefer the sweeter flavor of almond milk. Also up there, I have strawberries (pretty self explanatory), and a small assortment of salad dressings. Having tasty salad dressings on hand makes me feel more inclined to fix up a healthy salad for lunch. My favorite dressing at the moment is Annie’s Balsamic VinaigretteImage

Look downwards, and you’ll see some Noosa strawberry yogurt. My obsession with Noosa yogurts (raspberry being my favorite) began a year or two ago at Denver’s Cherry Creek farmer’s market. We were given free pumpkin pie yogurt samples by a very handsome Farmer’s Market man and immediately fell in love. With the yogurt, not the man. Well, maybe the man a little bit.

I’ve also got some Sabra hummus (Classic and Roasted Pine Nut). Hummus is always great to have on hand since it can be easily paired with most savory foods. As a side dish for my daily salad lunch, I pair some tortilla chips with a dollop of hummus and it never fails me. My new least-favorite word ever might be dollop. It sounds like what would happen if you stepped in a pile of manure.

Also chilling in there, I’ve got leftover pizza from Mellow Mushroom which isn’t exactly a fridge necessity but represents the well known fact that keeping leftovers is a darn good idea. Sure, it was really difficult refraining from scarfing down the entire pizza in one sitting, but I reaped the benefits later when I didn’t have to slave away in the kitchen cooking.

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I never considered myself to be one of “those people” who buy those pre-made salad mixes but I’ve been swayed. I still don’t buy the full on pre-made mixes, but I’ve found the basic lettuce mixes to be really handy. Just throw some of it in a tupperware, and top it with whatever veggies, beans, cheeses, or meats you have on hand and ta-da! You’ve got lunch.

I love me some Mexican food so I keep corn tortillas on the ready at all times. Mi Rancho Corn Tortillas are the I’ve found by far. They aren’t marketed as “gluten free” tortillas but they clearly label them as being so which conveniently keeps the price from being inflated due to being a gluten free food.

Clementines also make an appearance here, alongside other varieties of veggies and fruits (not shown). Pick these up at your next grocery haul because, clementines. Image

In my fridge door lives a bunch of random, disorganized goodies. Let’s start with my first priority in life, which is cheese. I have Sargento Provolone in there (**although I think this may have made me slightly sick, so I don’t think I could recommend it to celiacs** Get Tillamook instead), and there’s also the Whole Foods 365 brand cheese which is safe (and delicious) as a far as I can tell. To fulfill my butter quota, I’ve got some of the basic stuff that comes from cows, along with some chocolate almond butter from Boulder, Colorado’s very own Justin’s Nut Butter. Other knick knacks like baby carrots and snap peas (great with the hummus), black beans (put some in anything and everything), 365 raspberry jam, and Udi’s breads (I like to keep some cinnamon raisin and plain old whole grain on hand). Image

Last but not least, the freezer. Not much to see here, just some casual corn, peas, and bread (frozen for preservation’s sake, as any gluten free bread she be). Once all this snow melts and the sun decides to come out for good you can bet this place will be overflowing with ice cream. Can’t. Wait.

So, there you have it! Nothing too shocking or out of the ordinary, but an accurate glimpse into what works for me in terms of grocery stocking and cooking.

Happy gluten free-ing!

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Vampires Back Off: Eating to Fend off a Cold

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I did a silly thing yesterday… I rode the bus, touched a pole on the bus to retain balance, got to my apartment, and ate a tangerine without remembering to wash my hands first. Despite having gotten my flu shot a couple of weeks ago, with all this flu hullaballoo plus the fact that it is already cold season, you can’t be too careful. Plus, it should just sort of common sense to wash one’s hands after taking public transportation. 

Us gluten free people can’t ever be too careful when it comes to taking medicine for anything. I learned that lesson last spring when I landed in the ER twice completely dehydrated and ten pounds lighter than two weeks prior due to glutened pills prescribed by a doctor… just let that marinade for a second and you’ll see why I go down the natural path when it comes to healing as often as possible. 

A cold can’t necessarily be cured (and it’s not the worst of sicknesses to have, although it feels rather unfortunate all the same), but it’s life can be shortened with the incorporation of some simple foods into your daily diet. 

1) Garlic

This is probably the number one recommended food to have with a cold. In fact, regular garlic eaters have been scientifically proven to catch the cold significantly less than their vampiric counterparts. This potent food has the power to fight off the bacteria that causes colds in the first place and will help alleviate a cough and nasal congestion. Mash some of this up in a stir fry, whip up some strong garlic bread, and if you’re feeling desperate or really like garlic, just eat the clove. 

2) Honey and Cinnamon 

I was recommended this tasty combo by an extended family member the last time I had a cold, and it seemed to help- plus it tastes really good. Take down a tablespoon of slightly warmed honey with 1/4 tsp cinnamon and after doing this about three times a day for a couple of days, you will probably notice an improvement. Just be sure that you don’t go TOO crazy with the antibacterial cinnamon or else this will turn into the cinnamon challenge. 

3) Seafood

I’m not a big seafood fan (therefore a bad Seattle-ite), but I’ve started to try bringing it into my diet more often due to it’s many health benefits. On top of being great for the digestive system, seafood is full of zinc, iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are vital for a strong immune system. Try adding some shrimp to quinoa or pan-fry up salmon for dinner tonight. 

4) Mushrooms

Mushrooms are commonly used to help with colds in China and Japan because they help to build white blood cells which assist the immune system. I wouldn’t normally think of mushrooms being useful for curing colds, but that’s how I am about more than a few things that come from our friends over in the East, those innovative folk. 

5) Carrots

Carrots may help your eyesight, but that’s not all they serve for. The easy-to-eat veggie has lots of nutrients that help boost the infection-fighting cells in your immune system. If you’re not a big fan of carrots, try out other orange foods like sweet potato or orange pepper as these foods tend to be the best for nutritional value. Cheetos don’t count. 

Now, I’m not saying that any of these foods will have you feeling well enough to run a marathon by tomorrow morning, but if collectively combined to make up the contents of your meals and snacks for the next few days, you will no doubt see improvement. 

For example, you could aim for eating like this for a couple of days:

Breakfast: Orange juice and whole grain cereal drizzled with honey

Lunch: A quinoa salad topped with shrimp and flavored with garlic

DInner: A big stir-fry full of carrots, mushrooms, protein, garlic, and a spicy flavoring. 

Snacks: Carrots with hummus, citrus fruit

In the meantime, be drinking plenty of liquids (natural juice and water) and rest up! 

 

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