Creating A Healthy Pantry
It cannot be overemphasized how a balanced lifestyle nurtures the mind, body and soul! Eating healthy is easier when you have a well-stocked pantry full of good and nutritious staples. It’s less tempting to go out and eat fast food when you have the ingredients at home to make a delicious, flavourful meal. Here are some suggestions for a healthy kitchen:
- Whole Grains: Buy whole grain crackers, pasta, brown rice, bread and cereal for a healthier alternative to white flour products.
- Canned Goods: Yes, there are great canned goods out there that are low in fats and sugars: fruit (with added juice not syrup), salmon and tuna (for sandwiches or to use in salads), beans (fat free refried beans and black beans are rich in protein).
- Condiments: Low fat dressings are excellent for salads and dips. Also have on hand a variety of mustards, salsas, balsamic vinegar (drizzle on your favorite vegetables) and low fat peanut butter.
- Pasta Sauce: By adding your own vegetables, like zucchini and mushrooms, you are creating a healthy and quick dinner.
- Oatmeal: This comforting breakfast cereal is a ‘must have’ for any pantry, especially for those cold, early mornings. Top it with fresh fruit, raisins or cinnamon for some added flavor.
- Sweet Potatoes: This Vitamin A rich food is a healthier choice than baker potatoes.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts are the perfect snack food.
- For the refrigerator, stock with low fat yogurts, fresh fruit (cut, washed and ready to munch), hummus, fruit juice (no added sugar), bagged salad, fresh veggies, low fat cheeses and lean lunch meats. For the freezer, purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salmon, chicken patties, frozen vegetables, ground turkey (extra lean) and frozen fruit (perfect for smoothies).
It takes time to change your eating habits, particularly if you have children, but it’s worth the effort! By eating a diet rich in vitamins and proteins, you are establishing a healthier lifestyle with long-term benefits.