It’s a fact that most people don’t eat as many servings of fruits and vegetables as they should. While you try to keep your fridge and fruit bowl brimming with fresh produce options, don’t forget about your freezer. It’s one of the best places to stash frozen fruits and vegetables, which can have bountiful nutritional value, like their fresh counterparts. Whether you can’t find your favorites fresh because they’re out of season or they’re too expensive, try looking for these seven frozen fruits and veggies to stock in your freezer instead.
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. 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.
2. 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.
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, hosting 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 make a great soup with peas thrown in.
Peaches still retain phenolic compounds when frozen, and they still taste just as amazing. Thaw them out to put on your coconut yogurt, puree into a healthy pudding, or add to salads with walnuts and goat cheese.
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, or even on top of white pizza.
6. Organic Berries
Berries are marvelous 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 coconut yogurt, or use them in healthy desserts.
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.
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.
If you feel like you are drowning underneath your responsibilities, worries, and stress, you might be dealing with a bad case of overwhelm. This can seem like something everyone deals with, but it does affect your mental and physical health, which means you don’t have to just deal with it. There are ways to reduce your overwhelm, starting with mindfulness.
MINDFULNESS- It can sound intimidating, but is nothing more than living and thinking in the present and helping your mindset to reflect that. There are many benefits of mindfulness, including helping to reduce stress and overwhelm.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a hot topic lately, especially when talking about personal development, mental health, and reducing stress in your life. Mindfulness is wonderful for so many areas of stress, including overwhelm and burnout.
So, what is mindfulness? It is a state of being more aware of your thoughts and intentions, finding a place of acceptance, and living in the presence. There is a lot to mindfulness, but this is the basic definition of what being mindful means. You are aware of what is happening right now, whether it is experiencing your stress, then rationalizing it, eating a meal, or focusing on a craft project. No matter what you are doing, you can benefit by being more mindful.
Living in the Present
The first part of mindfulness is living in the present, which can help a lot if you have been overwhelmed lately from stress in your life. When you get overwhelmed, it can be hard to focus on what is most important. You tend to have so much going on in your brain at all times, that it feels hopeless and like you will never be able to manage it all.
This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness allows you to live in the present, where you are only focused on this very moment. What is important right now? Not in a week or a month or a year. Not worrying about what already has happened. JUST focus on RIGHT NOW. This can help you to organize your thoughts and find what your priorities are.
Mindful Exercises and Techniques
Mindfulness can be a very simple process, depending on what you need it for and the situation where you are trying to be mindful. The basic technique just involves being present, sometimes writing down what you are doing, thinking, and feeling in that moment. For example, if you are trying to be more mindful during your meals, you can get out your journal and really be detailed with how you feel eating these foods. Are they nourishing you? Do you enjoy them? Are you happy with your choices? This can be a great tool for intuitive eating as well.
There are also some different exercises that can help you with mindfulness if you are new to it, or struggling staying in that present state. Here are some good exercises to start with:
Body scan – The first technique is not only used for mindfulness, but for meditation as well. This is a body scan exercise, where you are going to mentally scan each part of your body, one section at a time. This allows you to be more mindful by focusing on how each part of your body feels in that moment, but can also get you into a relaxed, meditative state.
Instead of thinking about what is worrying you at the moment, you instead think about parts of your body, like your scalp, ears, chest, stomach, arms, legs, hands, or feet. Go through each body part one at a time, really focusing on it.
Breathing – You can also try a breathing exercise with mindfulness. For this, just the action of practicing your breathing gets you into a meditative, mindful state. You will be thinking about your breathing right in this moment, and not worrying too much about the past or the future. Breathing exercises are simple – just sit in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. Inhale deeply, then exhale. Each time you inhale and exhale, try to hold it for several seconds, and relax your mind and body as you do this.
Use Your Senses – The last mindful exercise you can try out is where you try to use all of your senses in this moment. For example, what do you smell? Do you feel anything near you? If you’re eating or drinking, what do you taste? Use all 5 of your senses for this practice.
If you want to connect to discuss more mindfulness techniques- Contact Coach Jenny Today!
Jennifer Castro is the owner of JAC Wellness Solutions. She is a Health Educator, Nutritionist, and Patient Advocate specializing in Women's Health & Vestibular Disorders. When she was diagnosed with an inner ear imbalance called Meniere's Disease, she knew she had no choice but to step up her game and become a detective for her own health. Coach Jenny is studying to become a Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach while creating course content for health coaches and educators. She created an educational program for preschool teachers called Jump & Roll Fitness. The program provides lesson plans on how to create healthy habits for preschoolers. She also works as an Insurance Broker providing insurance solutions for small businesses, wellness, and medical practitioners. This blog is ALL about health, well-being, nutrition, lifestyle and kitchen hacks. She also tells stories of her own personal health journey. Coach Jenny loves to garden, spend time with her hubby, and loves to bake new recipes. She likes to put her own "healthy" spin on her and her hubby's favorite sweet treats.
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