How to stock a Healthy Kitchen
Healthy Food habits start with going shopping and the way you stock your Kitchen. What you don’t have in the house, you can’t eat and you will need to go consciously out of your way, to get it. What gives you an additional option to decide, if what you want to get is moving you towards your health goal or admired shape and weight, or if there is a smarter alternative you can consume instead.
Let’s have a look at a couple of things you should have at home for the moments you get hungry in between.
Heart-Healthy Canned Tuna
No pantry is complete without a few cans or pouches of water-packed tuna. Tuna can help add healthy omega-3 fats and protein to a variety of dishes, including salads, casseroles, omelets, enchiladas, or vegetable dips. Eat no more than 12 ounces of lower mercury seafood a week. Because white (albacore) tuna is higher in mercury, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not eat more than 6 ounces a week.
Freeze the left over pasta sauce
Always prepare the doubled amount of pasta sauce and freeze half of the portion for a quick use with vegetables or chicken breasts over baked with a sprinkle of cheese. Make English muffin or bagel pizzas or use the sauce as dip.
If you buy pasta sauce, read the nutrition label carefully and choose the one with the lowest, salt and sugar content. You can jazz up your sauces with extra herbs, garlic or onions.
Super-healthy potatoes are a pantry must. If fresh they stay good in the fridge for at least 2 weeks, are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. My kids and I love oven baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, they are easy to make and eaten with salad, vegetables dips, cheese, beans, salsa, hummus, cream cheese or whatever you have on hand.
Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils
Make sure your pantry is stocked with a variety of beans and lentils. Whether dried or canned, beans are an inexpensive alternative to animal protein. They’re also an excellent source of fiber. Serve them as a side dish or add them to soups, omelets, tacos, casseroles, or salads. Thoroughly rinse canned beans to wash away the sodium liquid.
Healthy Cold pressed Fats: Olive and Coconut Oil
You’ll want to taste the fruity, peppery flavor of extra-virgin olive oil. Use it to dress salads, and grains. Drizzle it on whole grain dishes or on crusty bread and diced tomatoes to make bruschetta. Both of these heart-healthy oils lower disease LDL risks and are preferable to solid fats like butter or margarine. Use either oil to sauté vegetables or stir fry.
Go for Whole-Grain Goodness
Brown rice is a healthy, high-fiber whole grain. Couscous or Bulgur is available in whole-grain versions, too. These versatile grains complement any meat, fish, poultry, or vegetable as a centerpiece or side dish. The seeds of the grain-like plant quinoa or amaranth can be cooked quickly. For richer flavor, cook grains in low fat broth or stock. Combine them with colorful vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
You can cook grain ahead, freeze them or just keep them in the fridge for 2-4 days.
Canned or dried Tomatoes
A quick ingredient that can add flavor to any quick and healthy meal, are canned or dried tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and vitamins A and C. They work in a variety of dishes, like soups, sauces and casseroles. Canned Tomatoes can be used to create your own salt and sugar conscious Ketchup. Spike them with basil and other herbs, garlic or chili for an extra wow effect. Choose a product with no added sugar and salt.
Add some Crunch with Nuts
Don’t think of nuts as just a party food. They’re an excellent source of protein, fiber, good fats, and other healthy nutrients. If you regularly eat nuts as part of a healthy diet, you may reduce your risk of heart disease. Nuts pair well with sweet and savory foods. Use unsalted nuts in hot or cold cereals or as a meat alternative in pasta, grains, salads, or vegetables. Eat them with fruit or yogurt, in desserts, or as a nutritious snack. Use nuts in moderation (20 nuts a day) to avoid weight gain.
Fruits, in as many colors as possible
Rich in nutrients, loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and low in calories, fruits are a great snack or dessert. Frozen fruits are as good, and sometimes even better than fresh fruits. Dried fruit, if naturally dried without added sugar, can be a healthy, fiber rich snack for a busy working day or before hitting the gym, and go well with nuts for the perfect healthy snack. Make sure you drink enough water while eating dry fruits.
Wish you a great time experimenting with some of the ingredients above.
My health and wellness recommendations are always based on international medical research or international accredited guidelines. But they may not apply to everyone, depending on their individual health status, age, sex, gender, genetic, tradition and religion. Nutrition is never an exact Science, because no human being is the same as the other.
Judith Coulson is a Medical Nutritionist & Lifestyle Coach, specialized in drug free disease prevention and health promotion, for individuals and executive teams. Contact Judith@coulson-holding.com for an individual Food and Lifestyle Analysis and Consulting.