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Healthy Eating After 60: Love Your Refrigerator and Barely Like Your Pantry

By Carol Stanley April 19, 2021 Health and Fitness

If you give a visual check of your fridge and pantry, it is more than likely that your pantry may come out as better stocked. This is probably true in most cases because there are other items stored besides food on the shelves.

Take a second to look and inventory how much packaged food you have in the pantry. Here are a few foods that are healthful and won’t get on the bad list:

  • Brown organic pasta
  • Black olives
  • Organic olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Canned wild salmon
  • Quinoa
  • Spices and herbs
  • Regular oatmeal

What Should Reside in Your Fridge?

Please note that I am not telling you to go and throw out all the food in your pantry. However, your fridge should be laden with tons of fresh produce, yogurt, freshly prepared salad dressings, cheese and whatever else is fresh and healthful that doesn’t have a list of ingredients.

I, personally, don’t completely trust labels that have words like ‘healthy’ and ‘natural.’ These words can be interpreted in many different ways.

The Cost of Eating Fresh Foods

Many people feel that if they buy fresh foods it will cost them an arm and a leg and stretch budgets beyond their means. But, eliminating junk food from your house, such as chips, cookies, candy, sugary drinks and more, will save you a ton of money on its own. Another way of saving on fresh food is to look for sales and also purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables.

I admit: it sometimes takes more time to prepare fresh foods than it does to open a package or a can. I honestly spend between 15 and 30 minutes (at the most) to prepare our dinner. I like giving myself a pat on the back every day for eating healthy.

How Important Is Organic Food?

I do not buy only organic produce or any other organic foods. If you clean your produce properly you will rid a lot of the pesticide residue. If you are into buying only organic foods check to see if they are certified organic. Here is the famous “dirty dozen” of produce that is recommended by experts to buy organic.

Dirty Dozen












Sweet red peppers

These fruits and veggies are more than likely to possess a heavy dose of pesticides. Not to worry about fruit with skins as the pesticides don’t penetrate very well. I have found that my favorite homemade produce cleaner cleans veggies and fruit really well.

Simple and Natural Produce Wash


White vinegar


Baking soda

Hydrogen peroxide

Lemon juice


Add approximately 1 cup of white vinegar to a large spray bottle.

Add 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda (do this very slowly or you will have the mixture all over your kitchen).

Add 1 cup of water.

Add about 1/4 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon.

Spray your fruit and veggies carefully with this mixture, and allow them to soak for about an hour. Then rinse them very carefully.

I am neither vegan nor vegetarian as I love beef, chicken and seafood. I make sure that my family consumes at least three servings of fruit and six servings of veggies a day. Food that doesn’t have a label is best as you will not have to spend time reading annoying and sometimes difficult to decipher labels.

If your diet already consists of mostly fresh foods, you can pat yourself on the back for eating healthy. Colorful veggies and fruit are recommended for their content of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, but vegetables like cauliflower and celery have a lot of therapeutic value too.

Try different vegetables and stir fry them together. I even stir fry cucumbers, radishes and green onions.

Are you always trying to lose weight? I am one of those lucky women who do not have to worry about my weight. Actually, I did worry needlessly for years, but since I have stopped worrying, my weight has not changed more than a pound or two.

The good news is that most of what is in the fridge is lower in calories than what is in your pantry. So, when you get hungry, head for the fridge.

Easy Ideas for Healthy Eating from the Fridge

Make yourself a tasty dip of plain yogurt with lots of spices.

Keep a well-covered container of cut up veggies.

Keep a bowl of fresh fruit cut up for afternoon slumps.

Make your own salad dressing where you are familiar with all the ingredients.

What grade do you give your refrigerator and pantry in their current condition? What foods do you always keep in your refrigerator? Do you think it’s difficult to always cook from scratch? What foods do you buy organic? How often do you read package labels? Please join the conversation below!

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The Author

Carol Stanley has many interests in life including writing, reading, cooking, biking and speaking. However, she feels most passionate about her painting which she says keeps her centered and content. Her art appears on Fine Art America at You can also visit Carol’s website at where her book, Feel Better Every Day, is available for sale.

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