Why is it so hard to commit to healthier eating despite our best intentions?
To answer that, take an honest look into your kitchen:
When you open your fridge, do you see a bottle of plant-based milk, coconut water, or soda, and dairy products? When you open your cupboard, do you see raw nuts, seeds, or potato chips and chocolate bars? When you open your freezer, do you see frozen fruits or chunks of frozen meat?
What we keep in our pantry, cupboards and fridge determine the food choices we make daily.
And contrary to conventional opinion, eating healthy does not take a lot of time or effort, and you'll be amazed at all the wide range of plants that are ready to serve your body and taste buds.
If you are short of time, a smoothie is by far the easiest way to give your body a balanced, nutrient-dense meal. Simply pack one or two handfuls of greens (e.g. baby spinach, kale, cabbage, etc.), a banana, some frozen fruits, some seeds, nuts, and water, and blend!
Here's a peek at things I always keep stocked in my pantry.
1. Tools and Books
Make sure you have a quality blender like Vitamix. You can make all the smoothies and sauces with it. I use it at least twice a day.
2. Cashew Nuts
Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, cashew nuts are the basic and must-have for making plant-based vegan cheesecake and cheese sauce.
Make sure all your nuts are either raw or activated, so it's easy to digest and the nutrient can be readily absorbed by the body.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
A powerhouse of nutrients packed in a tiny house, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium, and are also high in dietary fiber and antioxidants.
Add them to your smoothie, salads, or even stir-fries. Have the raw or baked for two minutes to entice your kids. Yum!
4. Chia Seeds
These little darlings are also a powerhouse of minerals, protein, dietary fiber, omega-3, and omega-6. No wonder it has become one of the most popular super foods in the health community.
Add them to your blend, or sprinkle on top of any smoothie. If you soak them in water for 10 minutes and then drink it, they'll make you feel full and keep you hydrated.
5. Cacao Powder and Nibs
Do you know that the REAL chocolate, aka cacao, are actually super good for your health? These raw cacao beans, nibs, and powder are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
There are so many yummy recipes, and you have permission to eat as much as you desire without feeling guilty, but knowing you're doing your health a great service!
6. Coconut Oil
This is one of our most healthy fats! It's easy to digest and is quickly converted to energy. It also helps reduce inflammation, improves digestion and so much more!
7. Medjool Dates
My son and I both have a sweet tooth. Since we're eliminated refined sugar in our home, we mostly use medjool dates as our sweetener. Medjool dates are high in dietary fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and helps regular blood pressure.
8. Frozen Fruits
Berries, mangoes, cherries, even bananas. You can buy organic frozen fruits in a package, or you can freeze your own fresh fruits if you buy in big bulk and can't finish them all while they are still fresh. I always have a few bags of different frozen fruits in my freezer to add to my smoothies.
9. Green Vegetables
Eat your green vegetables! This should be our main source of nutrition and should make up the largest portion of our diet.
Not a fan of chewing raw vegetables, I never liked salads. So the best way for me to get some raw greens in every meal is, again, adding them to my smoothies.
Greens like baby spinach, kale, cabbage, and silverbeets have such mild taste that once you blend them with some fruits, and/or other things from this list, you really can't tell you're eating raw vegetables.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to eating healthier?
Do you think changing the things you keep in your pantry would help you make better food choices?
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