frozen isle

As the days get shorter and colder and we say goodbye to farmer's markets and locally grown outdoor fresh produce stands, it's good time to remember the array of fresh-to-frozen veggies and fruits available in the frozen isle at the grocery store. A common healthy lifestyle tip is to "shop the perimeter" of the grocery store, as to avoid packaged, processed food products.

However, as I coach my clients in meal planning and preparation, it's important to remember to also shop the frozen isle to stock up on healthy staples such as frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked and frozen at peak freshness so their nutrients are comparable to fresh produce AND they're already chopped, so extra bonus! Many grocery stores now offer organic frozen fruits and vegetables which is an even healthier choice for skinless fruits and veggies to avoid pesticides. Just be sure to choose frozen veggies in the raw - not the ones with added butter, creams or sauces (= processed fats & calories)!

Frozen Fruits - add into smoothies, bake or stir fry alongside lean meats and seafood or add into your water in lieu of ice for naturally flavored water. Frozen Fruit Staples I always have on hand are frozen blueberries, mixed berries, strawberries, dark cherries, mango or pineapple chunks.

Frozen Veggies - add into soups, chili and stews, toss along with protein choice for a quick and easy stir fry or sauté or pizza toppings or cook along with a big batch of quinoa or brown rice. And, of course simply boil or microwave as a traditional side dish. Frozen Veggie Staples I usually have on hand are frozen peas, butternut squash chunks, broccoli, spinach, edamame and for treats, my favorite sweet potato fries!

Add Frozen Fruits and Vegetables to the list of "Things To Be Grateful For" as we practice creating a Lifestyle of Health and Wellness to Sustain For A Lifetime.