Now That You Have Cleaned OUT Your Fridge – What To Add?
If you are like most folks and have the narrow notion that a healthy fridge contains a Spartan scene with egg whites on one side and raw broccoli on the other, then you are way off! A healthy fridge is well-stocked – it’s just stocked with better options!
Lean Ground Sirloin
Search for lean ground beef, and keep a couple of pounds on hand. 93% lean works well for most people, but choose a % fat that works for your preferences, needs and budget. The regular meat section in your favorite grocery store will do, or for optimal nutrition, head down to the local farmer’s market to have grass-fed beef freshly ground. Alternatively, you could purchase grass-fed animal products from a host of online distributors.
The grain-fed, store-bought type is fine because chicken breasts hold very little fast. However, for optimal nutrition, opt for chicken that is either organic or raised without antibiotics.
Whole chickens are great for dinner parties, or any time you want a savory, slow-cooked bird.
Turkey, Chicken or Pork Sausage
Sausages, especially those without lots of artificial ingredients, are great sources of protein. And poultry sausages are a great, lower-fat change of pace. I don’t buy it all the time, but it goes quickly when I do. Who said you couldn’t have street meat?
While Atlantic salmon is perfect in a variety of meals, I recommend wild salmon, because it has a great omega-3 profile, and there is less likelihood of the high mercury levels and toxins sometimes found in farmed salmon.
I prefer omega-3 eggs, which are laid by chickens that have been fed an omega-3 rich diets (10-20&) ground flaxseed). OR for optimal nutrition, head down to the local farmer’s market or nearby farm and purchase eggs from chickens allowed to roam and graze. Typically, I recommend using a few whole eggs in each omelet or scramble. IF you are just looking for some additional protein you can add a few egg whites as well, which you can just purchase in a carton. You can even find them for a good price at bulk stores like Costco.
Cheese is a fatty food, so cheese should be eaten in moderation. ½ – 1 slice per meal should do. (But if you are going to blow it – CHOOSE CHEESE!) Opt for stronger flavored varieties such as feta, goat, manchego, grass-fed and/or alpine, harvarti, aged white cheddar, and parmesan, so that you need less to flavor your food. These cheeses also typically have more protein and/or a better fatty-acid profile.
Fruits & Vegetables
You should know the produce section of your local supermarket and farmers market inside and out. Now that you are eating in a healthy way, fresh veggies will be a large component of EVERY meal. Ideally you should choose seasonal fruits and vegetables and stick to mostly local organically grown produce whenever possible. However, if availability or budget are a concern, increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption will improve your health whether they are organic or not.
Citrus (e.g. organs, tangerine, grapefruit)
Grapes (red, black and green)
Tropical fruit (e.g. pineapple, bananas, mangoes)
Berries (e.g. strawberries, blueberries
Dark leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale)
Other greens veggies (e.g. broccoli, green peppers, asparagus)
Reds and purples (e.g. red peppers, tomatoes purple cabbage, beets, eggplant)
Yellows & Oranges (e.g. yellow peppers, squash, carrots)
Onions (e.g. red, green)
Sauces & Condiments
Carefully chosen sauces can subtly improve the flavor of your meals without substantially altering their content. Some of my favorites include guacamole, hummus, pesto, soy saucy, salsa, curry sauce, tomato pasta sauce, balsamic vinegar, white cooking wine, red wine, cider vinegar, and flax oil. Home-made varieties are best!
THE PANTRY – What to THROW AWAY
The pantry is where the average kitchen goes horribly wrong – cookies, crackers, potato chips, baking supplies, and other hydrogenated over-sweetened junk, all ready to snipe away at your hard-earned health and body composition.
If this is your kitchen, carefully position a large trash receptacle directly beneath said shelf. And with a smooth sweeping motion, use your forearm to plow these enemies into the abyss below. YES DO IT! You are reading this for a reason. Get rid of the crap in your pantry! It is CRAP! Just do it…
WHAT TO ADD?
Here are some good guys of the grain family: oats (whole groat, steel-cut, unsweetened, rolled and/or old-fashioned), quinoa, whole barley, sprouted grains, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain rice, whole rye, corn, oat bran, wheat bran,. Notice that these grains are devoid of heavy processing!
Nuts & Seeds
Walnuts, almonds, pecans and cashews are some of the healthiest and best tasting nuts. Flax, chia, hemp, sesame and pumpkin are some of the healthiest and best tasting seeds Visit the bulk store to buy a mix of each.
Dried fruit adds occasional variety to oatmeal and salads, and you can usually find a good mix at most grocery stores. Good ones include fruits such as prunes, apricots, apples, peaches, figs, currants, dates, mango and bananas. t think twice about popping 10 of those little dried prunes or apricots into your mouth. Be cautious: you can eat a lot of extra calories in dried fruit without realizing it.
Lentils, chick peas, split peas, and kidney beans are a great addition to your pantry. You can choose to purchase canned beans although you should go with raw beans that you have to cook yourself when possible.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Used in salads, sauces, and for medium heat pan-frying. Looking for “extra virgin,” as it is the purest and most nutritious oil. For optimal nutrition, make sure your oil is either certified by the California Olive Oil Council, or is certified USDA organic.
Choose ones that are made from canola oil or olive oil, and only use a little. This saves a lot of calories in the end. Alternatively, you can purchase your own spray bottle, and fill it with the oil of your choosing. Yes! Try that.
Okay, I have to confess that I don’t like tea. But that won’t stop me from including this hear and recommending to you the organic green teas without any added herbs or favoring agents. If you can’t stomach it (like me), then try various flavored blends, such as peppermint, or even add a green tea bag and mint tea bag to your water.
Healthy food need not be bland. Even a few spices can turn you into a chef in seconds flat. Here are a few basics: salt, pepper, fresh garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, onion powder, and cinnamon. Seasoning mixes such as Italian, Indian, Mexican and Thai are also handy and take the guesswork out of flavoring.
Stay tuned for the next post – A Trip To The Grocery Store!