A kitchen well stocked with healthy supplies is not only a happy kitchen but one that will help you stay on track with your health goals. Keeping it well stocked however is the challenge, so having a well-crafted shopping list is often the best way to get you in and out of the store with healthy goodies whilst side tracking the junk!
Here's The True Way To Health's guide to help you navigate your way through the shopping aisles:
The Do's & Don'ts
Don’t shop when you’re hungry as you’re more likely to buy junk food
Do buy as much produce that is free range, grass fed or organic to avoid added chemicals
Do plan ahead by writing a shopping list and stick to it! This helps keep you accountable
Don't impulse buy, if in doubt go without! If you see a food that you’re not sure about, avoid it
Do shop at farmers markets or buy local produce whenever you can as this allows you to know the food’s source
Do check the food labels and if the ingredient list is very long or there are three ingredients or more you cannot pronounce avoid that product
Fruit, Vegetables and Fresh Herbs
This is your priority shopping aisle! You should aim to stock up on the essentials that are always on hand in your cupboard and fruit bowl!
The rest of your fruit and veg shop should be made up of seasonal produce because not only do seasonal fruit and vegetables have better quality, season appropriate nutrients, less expensive than non-seasonal foods, but choosing what's in season helps you to add variety to your cooking.
Remember to factor in that you and your family should be eating at least 3 different vegetables and 2 different fruits each and every day!
Having a good supply of different dried fruits is key when you feel a snack attack coming on as their natural sugars will help you to ween yourself off refined sugar cravings.
However, choose the organic brands as they do not contain the preservative, sulphur dioxide. Bear in mind that without the preservative they won't last as long as conventional dried fruits, but you could always freeze them.
Keeping a well-stocked cupboard of different spices is like having your very own medicinal supply.
Spices are powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents that also magically add flavour and colour to your cooking.
Adding a combination of spices to your dishes every time you cook will fortify your immune system and make it a whole lot harder for disease to take a foot hold! Make sure that no meal or snack goes naked!
Black Pepper Corns
Pink Himalayan Salt
Nuts & Seeds
We absolutely need to have these gems in our cupboard! If you have allergies to nuts, then stick to seeds. both are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and fibre.
They make for a great snack to get you through to the next meal. Try to eat a variety of nuts every day because this ensures that you are getting all round coverage of their nutrients into your body.
It's difficult to nail down the number one nut but I'd say you definitely should have almonds and walnuts on your shopping list!
Pulses & Legumes
There's currently a huge trend towards a more plant based diet. Pulses and legumes will help you healthily join that trend. Both are incredibly good for you and the environment.
They provide protein as an alternative to meat, are fat free and vegan friendly! Stocking up on these is a must as they also have a pretty long shelve life usually up to a year. However, once opened, keep the packet airtight in a cool, dark and dry place.
OILS & FATS
Healthy fats and oils are critical dietary ingredients that we should be having every day. In fact, some of the most nutritious foods around are high in fat (especially saturated fat) such as butter and coconut oil.
The right type of oil and fats won't make you fat, they can actually help you lose weight and feel better in the process.
Extra virgin Olive oil
Milk and dairy foods are not only tasty, but they are convenient, affordable and most importantly provide three of the four nutrients that are often deficient in Western diets (calcium, vitamin D and potassium).
Drinking a glass of organic whole milk when peckish, adding cheese to salads, sprinkling parmesan on pasta, and snacking on yogurt are just some of the easy ways to include dairy into your diet and create healthy eating habits for the whole family.
Organic Whole Milk
Without getting too technical and scientific sugar is sugar and too much of it is a bad thing!
However, if sugar is calling you it's always best to opt for a sugar that is in its most natural unadulterated state, which quite frankly doesn't leave us with many options.
Choosing "natural" sugars over highly processed ones interfere less with the mechanics of how our body processes it and can offer a little more nutritional value too.
Organic Maple syrup
The Good Carbohydrates
It's a big fat lie that all carbs are bad for you! But then, it doesn't help with their nutritional profiling when they are being held responsible for the current obesity epidemic!
Therefore to set the record straight, not all carbs are created equal. The processed foods high in refined grains are the bad carbs and definitely unhealthy and fattening, where as the whole, fibre-rich grains are the good carbs and are absolutely healthy and need to be on your shopping list.
Sugar free Muesli
Durum Wheat pasta
Sour dough bread
There’s no question about the fact that the human body needs protein. It’s an essential component in every cell required for creating enzymes to building muscle tissue.
Unlike fat, protein isn’t stored in the body, which means we need to consume it on a regular basis. Animal protein is more complete and therefore better than plant based protein as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids that your body needs.
Organic/free range eggs
Quality canned fish
Take Home Message
Ensuring that you kitchen is stocked with the essential items all the time means that you can keep your health goals on track every day. Having good quality ingredients to hand maximises the chances of eating well. if you have a constant supply of healthy foods that are nutritious, simple, in season and tasty you'll find that reaching for these over the processed junk alternatives will become second nature. Trust me, you'll body will thank you!
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