5 healthy staples to have at the ready!
I know eating healthy can often feel hard. There is so much preparation time involved and too much planning in advance and, when it comes to it, reaching for a convenient unhealthy option when you are up against it feels more manageable.
But wait! If you have some healthy staples in your cupboards (or bag!), you have something to reach for that won’t take you off track even when times are tough.
I have worked with many clients who feel overwhelmed when we first meet. The changes that we decide to make to their diets seem unfeasible at first, but by the second appointment, they are always surprised how easy they found it and, as a result, are feeling much better!
If you would like to hear about some other simple changes you can make to your lifestyle to feel better, read my other article on Nutritionist Resource called Simple daily habits to transform your health.
Here are some healthy staples to have at the ready so that in a time of need, you can make the best choices when it comes to healthy food:
You can not only load your cupboard with healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil and coconut oil. You can put these in your bag as well so that if you are unsure about a dressing or oil that a restaurant is using when eating out, you can add your own instead!
Healthy fats are one of the macronutrients I see lacking in many of my clients' diets. Healthy fat is essential to provide energy to your body, support cellular regeneration, keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check and helps you absorb vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E.
Eating healthy fats will help you feel satiated for longer, making it easier to control food cravings. As a rule of thumb, have three teaspoons of various healthy fats in the morning and afternoon.
Eggs are packed with nutrients and protein and are incredibly versatile in cooking. Think about all the great ways to enjoy eggs, from boiled to scrambled to a delicious omelette packed with vegetables and they are a tasty addition to any salad or sandwich.
I always have eggs in my fridge, and if I am ever short of time, my go-to is boiled eggs, with smashed avocado on gluten-free toast.
And when it comes to eggs, quality is essential. Look for eggs from pasture-raised organic hens. Not only do they contain more nutrition, but the animal is treated better as well.
Frozen fruits and vegetables
For years I would buy lots of vegetables and fruits with the best intentions, but when it came to the crunch, I would accept dinner dates or make a different recipe for dinner, and unfortunately, some of the food would be wasted. That never feels good!
That is when I discovered that there are many great options for frozen fruits and vegetables, so you will never waste a punnet of berries ever again!
In my freezer, I have frozen berries, cherries, tender stem broccoli, cauliflower rice and green beans, to name a few. It has been life-changing for me. Not only do I save some pennies and waste less, but I always have a healthy option, no matter when I last went shopping.
And if you do find that you are wasting food periodically, I find that doing a meal plan every week helps to stay on track. If you haven’t already, you can download a copy of The Autoimmunity Recovery Plan, and you will find a meal plan in the appendix.
Fermented foods were designed to last and have several health benefits. Some of my favourites are kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir. It is always best to start small if you haven’t tried fermented foods before, but once you build up your tolerance to these foods, they can be incredibly beneficial for your gut health and help to regulate blood sugar levels.
I also love that these are easy to make yourself and unopened, can be stored at room temperature for up to 18 months.
Herbs and spices
I never really saw the value in herbs and spices until I became a nutritionist and realised how powerful herbs and spices are for your health. They are highly potent antioxidants that are particularly important if you have autoimmune or inflammatory symptoms. They help reduce oxidative stress in the body, which if unaddressed, may contribute to disease onset.
Over time, I have built up a whole cupboard of dried spices of turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, oregano, coriander, and cumin. And I always have fresh herbs and spices available in my fridge, which I use in cooking either as a topping on fish and meat, adding to a sauce, drinking infused in hot water, or adding to a salad. I always use my fresh herbs and spices, and they make such a difference to the flavours of my food.
So how many staples do you have at the ready? Are there any that you think I have missed? If so, contact me and let me know what it is.
Eating healthy, nutrient-dense food is simpler than you expect and once you get into a rhythm with it, your food will be packed with nutrients without you realising it!