By Robert Sturm, Master Chef,

Think of your refrigerator like a hotel. The first floor has the lobby where you check in and the top floor is the penthouse where you want to be. After you shop, the bulky items go in the crisper drawers. As you prepare meals you move the food items “UP” in the refrigerator. The idea is that the more you prepare your foods for meals the more valuable they become nutritionally and for your budget. Try to keep healthy foods and the foods you want to eat at eye level. It’s the reverse principle of “Out of Sight – Out of Mind”. Some folks call it the “SEE-FOOD Diet.” I see it so I eat it!

Remember – setting up your week for success only takes a short time one afternoon a weekend. Cook some chicken or shrimp. Cut vegetables and fruit. Make a dip. Thaw some edamame. Most importantly eat foods that are fresh, healthy and good for you. Foods that taste great!!

Here’s a suggestion on how to arrange your refrigerator.

  • Topa Shelf – Individual Meals. Small containers of Salad, Brown Rice, Fruit, Vegetables, Proteins, Soup, Leftover meals, Individual yogurts, dips, etc.
  • 2nd Shelf – Family Meals. Bid Salad, Grilled Chicken, Cut Up Vegetables, Cooke Pasta, Soup, Sauces, Cut Fruit as Cantaloupe, Items to cook during the week.
  • 3rd Shelf. Easy to Get Food. Juice, Low Fat Milk, Green Tea Ice Tea, individual fruit such as Apple, Oranges, Tangerines, Grapes. Items that can be grabbed and put in a lunch Box or back pack.
  • The meat drawers. Proteins for the Week. Hard cheeses, Goat Cheese, Sliced Turkey Breast, Turkey Bacon or Sausage.
  • Bottom Shelf. Vegetables to be Cut or Prepared. Delicate Items such as lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, etc.
  • Vegetable and Fruit Drawers. Bulk Food. Bags of  Carrots, Celery, Onions, Zucchini, Garlic, Eggplant, Melons, etc.