5 Steps to a Liver-Friendly Fridge
Last updated: July 2021
It’s just not realistic to think that we are going to cook everything from scratch. Even during my roughest days with hepatitis C treatment, I ate a sweet toaster pastry... with icing on it. During chemotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer, I opened a can of soup some evenings. We all have those moments. The truth is that by having a well-stocked refrigerator, I was able to get some nourishment that tasted decent. It’s easier if you take 5 steps to a liver friendly fridge.
Optimizing your refrigerator
Here's how to get started with an "open door policy"...
1. Toss it
Remove anything that is not safe for you to eat. It depends on your stage of liver disease. If you are fairly healthy, it will be different than if you have end-stage cirrhosis. After my diagnosis with hep C, I had ascites. It was time for low sodium. That meant that every jar of pickles and olives went out. Heavy salad dressings had to go too. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.
2. Top shelf
Keep the healthiest stuff on the top shelf. No matter what time of day you peek in, there should be something to grab right in front of you. Your liver can’t metabolize huge amounts of protein or carbs easily if you are sick. Have some boiled eggs and pre-cooked low sodium turkey bacon within reach.
3. Fab fruit
Pre-slice a variety of fruits. A bowl of fruit on the table may look good, but do you really reach for it when you’re hungry? Not always. If you have a clear bag of sliced apples, you’re more likely to snack on them. Same goes for strawberries. Take the tops off and have them ready to pop in your mouth. Most any fruit is good and your fridge should be full of it!
4. Super good soup
Homemade soup is always a super supper. By crock pot cooking a fryer with a few stalks of celery and carrots, you’ve got it made. Literally, take the meat off of the bones and you’ve made soup. Using dry noodles or even rice to add some heartiness is great. You could even get by with drinking the broth. It contains lots of collagen and protein to help your liver heal and your body to stay strong.
5. Salads rule
I know that lettuce can be boring. Chopping all of those vegetables take a lot of time. Just remember, once it’s done – it’s done. You can relax and grab a bowl of salad throughout the whole week. If you’re like me, you won’t do this every week. But, making salad a base for your diet is always wise. Add some chicken, from the crock pot (now you’re getting it) and you’ve gone a delicious meal. Use a low sodium dressing, or make one using herbs, vinegar, and dressing.
Make it easy to eat well
By taking 5 steps to a liver friendly fridge, you’re defending yourself against liver disease. While on treatment, or while you’re healing from hepatitis C, healthy, liver friendly food is your first line of medicine. Take a peek today and see what’s behind your fridge door.
Diet and Nutrition: A Guide to Eating Well