By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Clients often just want to know what to stock in their kitchens to have on hand so they can have a plentiful supply of healthy nutrient dense foods to keep their appetites happy and satisfied and their healthy eating on track. My pantry is an interesting place filled with plenty of health foods. It’s often commented on by family and friends, and it always makes me laugh!
As I’ve said before in previous articles it becomes too easy to get busy and wrapped up in whatever you’re doing then suddenly you’re ravenousness and willing to eat anything and everything. One of the most important keys for any healthy eating plan is to be prepared ahead of time and not to let your juices, fluids and/or your meals lapse too long to avoid becoming overly hungry.
Food Staples to Always Have on Hand:
Protein is important for appetite regulation, satiety, hormone balance, weight control, muscle and tissue repair. This is a must for anyone working towards health and weight control. These foods fill you up and support balanced blood sugar levels. To throw together a quick balanced meal you can make your plate 50-75% plant based with the addition of a healthy protein choice about the size of your hand. Here’s a great list of plant based protein sources!
Greens are an absolute necessity to support good health. In an ideal world we would be consuming a minimum of 2-3 cups of leafy greens a day, at least! These are great to add to smoothies, juices, in salads, into a quick stir-fry, pies, casseroles, curries or just chopped up with a little lemon juice and/or vinegar and some healthy fats to increase the phytonutrient absorption.
These are fantastic filling vegetables that are particularly helpful for weight loss and health as they offer a wide range of health benefits. Cancer prevention being a huge one, weight loss as they are low in calories and high in nutrition and they also support liver detoxification pathways and support a healthy bowel and lots more so get munching!
Never fear the (healthy) fats. These are great to cook with, dress salads, add to smoothies and meals.
Vinegar can turn a boring salad into a delicious meal. These add a lovely sour addition that works well with olive oil to dress and enjoy your vegetables particularly your salads. Vinegars have been shown to provide a myriad of health benefits including a healthy microbiome, weight loss, healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Whether it’s raw nuts or activated nuts (my personal favorite), these are an easy staple to snack on at any given period to help keep you full. Nuts have been shown in studies to be supportive of weight control as they have a healthy balance of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. They work well in a smoothies, in salads to add texture and protein, in a stir-fry or in a yummy trial mix like Joe’s favorite trail mix, homemade muesli (granola) bars or a homemade vegan desserts for those more decant times. For more on the health benefits of nuts that you can go nuts about!
Yep couldn’t choose in this category. These are a basic cupboard essential, I have them all depending on my mood. These are also easy to add to smoothies, juices meals and salads to give texture, fiber and extra nutrients.
I love to include some ancient grains that are in their most natural state and soak them before cooking to improve the nutrient assimilation. These can be cooked to consume with meals as a side dish or made into salads or in other meals. Super versatile. Some of my personal faves are Quinoa tabouli or the warm roasted vegetable salad.
Chickpeas are an excellent bean to have on hand for hummus a world-wide favorite or roasted chickpeas as an easy snack ( I seriously love these). Beans in general are high in protein, fiber, folate, vitamin B6, B1, iron, magnesium and manganese.
These get a mention all on their own. They are a MUST! In warm water, in sparkling fizzy water, or as a hot frothy, juices, on salads, vegetables and everything else. If lemons are not your thing then limes and grapefruits can also be used in the same way!
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to start shopping! Here’s a suggested list for this week. I suggest organic where possible and of course local.