When we are making a switch to eating healthier food, there are a few concerns that tend to come up. There is the belief that healthy food costs too much or there isn’t enough time to cook. Also many people aren’t sure what foods they should purchase in the first place. It can seem overwhelming with all the information out there and we don’t really have to try all the latest trends in nutrition to be healthy. We can make simple easy changes now that will set the stage for creating new eating habits long term. I like to stick to the basics, keep it simple and stock up on these staples in my pantry and fridge.
1-Fill your fridge with veggies
I know we hear this all the time but, that’s because these are important foods in a healthy lifestyle. These can be any veggies you like but I would suggest buying a variety of colors. Each color contains different nutrients that are beneficial to different parts of our body. Feeding ourselves these nutrients protects us from certain chronic diseases and allows our bodies to function properly. I’m not going to tell you which ones to buy, get whichever ones you enjoy and make you happy to eat. I would suggest adding in more leafy greens though as those are the super heroes of all the vegetables and who doesn’t want to feel like a super hero sometimes.
2-Fruits (nature’s candy)
Fruits are naturally sweet and help us with those sweet cravings. The sugar in fruits is released into our bodies slowly so we avoid the rush and crash we can get from other added sugary foods. I like to eat fruits that are in season, so at this time of year I’m buying apples and pears. I personally love Bosc pears and Gala apples. Since there are hundreds of different varieties of apples, you really can’t go wrong there.
3-Quinoa and Brown rice
Whole grains are an important staple in my life. They are healthy carbs which contain lots of fiber. This provides the energy I need to run around the city on my busy days along with keeping me regular (just saying). Quinoa is an ancient grain with protein properties as it contains amino acids. This is why it’s considered a superfood. It also cooks in about 10 minutes which makes it a quick and easy addition to my cooking life.
No matter which protein you choose to eat in your diet, a can of beans is an inexpensive and quick addition to any meal. They contain protein which is needed to help build muscles along with that fiber again. If buying dried beans, make sure to soak them overnight before combining with some water the next day and cooking for about 60-90 minutes depending on the bean. If you don’t have time for all that, canned works just as well after you rinse them off.
5-Nuts and Seeds
These little guys are full of healthy fats that we need, especially for brain cell growth. However they do contain a bunch of calories so limiting to a couple handfuls a day is a good idea. They can help you feel full along with providing key nutrients. My favorites are almonds, cashews, and walnuts. I also love nut butters too, peanut, almond, cashew, and sunflower seed butter (trust me this one will change your life).
Now who wants to eat bland food? I know I certainly don’t, so I stock up on a few spices and oils that will help enhance the flavor of my food. I always have garlic, onion, and parsley on hand along with lemons. The dried spices I keep around are: sea salt, black pepper, curry, cumin, oregano, sage, basil, paprika. I’m not a big fan of spicy but you do you to please your taste buds. I also always have olive oil, sesame oil and soy sauce to add to a stirfry and my favorite dip is hummus. I in fact buy the family size even though I live alone and it’s gone in a week!
This is just a quick list to get you started and as always remember, this is your wellness lifestyle so you have to do what is right for you when it comes to taste, budget and cooking. Hopefully this will make your next trip to the grocery store just a little bit easier.