Comparing your refrigerator to a food blogger's can feel like an exercise in self defeat (how do they keep theirs so organized all the time?). But according to Well+Good Council member McKel Hill, RDN and founder of Nutrition Stripped, there's a purpose for keeping your fridge tidy that has nothing to do with showing it off for Instagram—and it's actually easy to implement IRL.
"This truly is how my fridge looks 90 percent of the time and there’s a reason for it—not for Instagram or photography—it’s for work flow and using food items in the order they were put in," she says. AKA, less wasted time and wasted food.
Her suggestion? Keep the items you use the most in the most convenient spots. For her and her fiancée, supporting good gut health is top priority, which means storing probiotic-rich foods like yogurts on the top shelf, plus fermented foods and her Health-Ade Kombucha in the door for grab-and-go convenience.
Having time-saving, healthy options on hand is a must for Hill (she's constantly juggling recipe testing for her website, meeting with clients, and more), and with Health-Ade's summer-inspired flavors like Jalapeño-Kiwi-Cucumber, she can get a dose of bubbly deliciousness while also supporting her gut on the go.
Scroll down for a peak inside Hill's fridge—plus find out exactly which staples she relies on to keep her gut health on point.
What's your food philosophy, and how does that affect what you keep stocked?
My food philosophy is pretty simple: eat food that makes you feel your best. The goal is to keep energy up, digestion calm, and focus sharp. Eating whole foods rich in fiber, healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates allow me to do just that!
I have a busy life and as much as I’d love to, I can’t spend hours in the kitchen cooking every day, so I use meal prep as a tool to help me save time and energy. This method keeps me feeling my absolute best and ensures I have everything at my fingertips to nourish my body no matter how full the days get.
Tell me about the bottles currently in the side door of your fridge.
Surprisingly there were three bottles of Health-Ade kombucha there when I snapped these photos, but we go through those so fast by mid-week none are left! I really love the original flavor and Pink Lady Apple if I want something a bit sweeter. Below that is homemade hemp seed milk and filtered water with charcoal sticks. I drink water from home with charcoal sticks because they act as a water filter. It’s more affordable than buying traditional water filters, easier to use, and it works!
You have a ton of fresh veggies and leafy greens in your refrigerator. What are your tips for storing them to keep them fresh?
There’s no science behind why we store berries out of their containers other than they last about two days in our house and I like them for quick access to snack on in the morning or add a few to yogurt. As for the asparagus, [keeping them in a jar with water] is a tip I picked up from my mom and I swear it works! It keeps the asparagus longer, especially during the weeks when I’m not cooking it until three days or so after I pick it up from the store.
What's on the left and right side of the berries?
To the right is cold brew coffee and to the left is watercress. Watercress is incredibly nutrient dense—like most leafy greens. I love adding some of this to my salads for the flavor and nutrients.
What are the fresh veggies and fruits you usually incorporate into meals?
It depends on the meal, but most of the fresh greens and vegetables in the drawers I incorporate to all meals—yes, veggies at all meals! I mostly use spinach with my green smoothies in the morning, and the other leafy greens for entree or side salads for lunch and dinner.
What are your refrigerator essentials (the things you always have in your fridge)?
As long as I have a selection of leafy greens, eggs, and fermented veggies then I can make a solid meal with pantry items like spices and high quality olive oil. With those three ingredients you can make scrambles, omelettes, stir-fry, salads, etc., so those are the bare essentials.
What would you say is the most surprising item in your fridge?
Fermented veggies—I suppose not that sexy, but true! I put them on salads or with eggs to boost probiotics.
What do you have in the three jars next to the asparagus?
From the top left: peeled garlic from Trader Joe's, olives from the bar at Whole Foods, and my Classic Cashew Cheese recipe. I do weekly recipe testing for Nutrition Stripped so these are great to have on hand. Also that cashew cheese goes with everything!
What's in the glass containers on the bottom shelf?
Those are full of what I call meal components—things you can make as part of your meal prep day and use those throughout the week. These glass containers are full of what we made over the weekend to last us most of the week for quick lunches and dinners. Most of the time we’re both on the go so it helps to be able to add these pre-cooked items (quinoa, sweet potatoes, egg salad, etc.) to a bowl of veggies and be set.
In partnership with Health-Ade Kombucha
Photos: McKel Hill
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