Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Today I thought I'd write about the staples I keep in my pantry and fridge. These are the items I am never without and may or may not loose sleep if I start to run low on them. I can be a teeny bit neurotic that way. I went back and forth about writing this because, who really wants to know what I keep in my kitchen???? Well, I guess actually a few people (and by few I think about 3) have requested a blog post on my pantry, so here goes:
1) Walnuts and almonds- Walnuts are full of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and those super important omega 3 fats I discussed in an earlier post. I mix them with salads, oatmeal, hot cereals, or in my protein bars I make. Almonds are packed with protein, omega 3's, potassium, folate, and magnesium. These are my go to snack and I keep a bag of them in my car, my purse, and my gym bag.
2) Frozen Blueberries-I always throw a handful of these bad boys in smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. My kids just love them right out of the freezer. Blueberries are low on the Glycemic Index (I'll post about that later) and high in antioxidants. They are a great source of fiber, Vitamin C, and K...plus they are just plain good.
3) Whey Protein Powder- Choose carefully here. I have tried many protein powders and they are not created equal! Some of them taste horrible....like I wanted to scrub my tongue with a brillo pad horrible. And Sweet Baby Jesus, some of them will give you horrible gas. I'm not trying to be funny, just thought I should warn you. The one I have found with the best flavor and no gassy side-effects is Muscle Milk (in powder form). You have to experiment because everyone is different. I add protein to my smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or almond milk. I use it on the days where I have had a particularly heavy work-out. I would not recommend using it if you are not working out or it will just cause weight gain...not the muscle kind. I don't use it every day, just on days where I may need the extra protein.
4) Spinach, Asparagus, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms are my favorite veggies. I prep them when I get home and they are so easy to add to my egg whites in the morning, a protein at lunch, or a soup or stir fry at dinner. I usually buy veggies that are in season, but get these every time I shop or grow them in my garden.
5) Hummus- Hummus is one of my favorite snacks. I like to dip the above veggies in it or spread it on sprouted grain toast.
6) Egg Whites-
Egg whites by the carton are an easy way to get protein. I like the because they cook up quickly for breakfast or lunch and go with any vegetable I might want to add. I like to have them for breakfast with a little turkey sausage, veggies, and salsa.
7) Almond Butter - Almond butter is a great source of protein, iron, calcium, potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. I use it on toast, in smoothies, and on fruit.
8)Bananas, Berries, Lemons, and Limes - Like with vegetables, I buy whatever fruit is in season, but always have these around. They are super easy to bag up and take when you are in a hurry, go great in smoothies and on yogurt, and my kids love them. I keep lemons and limes in the house because they freshen up water. I also like them on my avocados, and they are great for squirting on your fish and chicken.
9) Avocados- Avocados are another great source of B vitamins, Folic acid, potassium, and fiber. They are also full of those good fats you need to keep you full and keep your skin and hair soft and smooth. My usual way to have them is just cut up with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. This is probably my favorite snack.
10) Ground Turkey, Chicken Breast, and Salmon: These are all easy to prepare, low fat proteins that can be used in so many recipes. I will post some of my favorites on here in the coming months.
11) Almond Milk- This one took awhile for my family to get used to. One of my sons still prefers regular 2% milk, so we have that too. I don't force anything on anyone, but they all seem to come around eventually:) I sometimes get soy milk, but almond milk is lower in sugar. You can read all about the benefits of almond milk here. I have found that I have been able to use it in most recipes, but I don't like it as much as regular milk in creamy soups or hot chocolate.
So, those are some of the main staples in my pantry. The things that make it easier for us to maintain a clean eating lifestyle. I'm sure many of you already buy these things regularly, but if not, I hope you can take away some ideas and see that clean eating is not as boring or difficult as some might think. Again, thank you for all of the great support on this blog. You can also follow it on Facebook to get the latest updates, polls, discussions, and FAQ's.
Posted by Stephanie Smith at Tuesday, February 07, 2012