When I was growing up it was an unwritten rule, a requirement, an expectation, to have salt, pepper, flour, sugar, bread, eggs, lard, potatoes and milk in your home. Those were considered the staples of the kitchen. And as long as you had those nine ingredients either in your refrigerator or pantry you could pretty much create a meal from scratch without a recipe.

But it is important to note that these nine ingredients meant you would be able to eat, it did not equate to healthy eating.

I believe if your kitchen is filled with healthy foods you can reset your diet and stick with it.
Here are my five must-haves to help you prepare healthy, fast, and flavorful meals this year.

Fruit and veggies
A healthy kitchen starts with fresh produce–all year round. Fruits and vegetables produce vitamins, minerals, and plant nutrients that protect against various diseases. I always keep a bowl full of fruit on the kitchen table so they are easy to see and grab. Also, I make it a practice to stock my refrigerator with vegetables that make great soup i.e. potatoes, onions, garlic,carrots, celery, spinach and kale because they are also good with other dishes.

Dried and canned beans are one of the most versatile and convenient staples to stock in your healthy kitchen and my favorite food. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beans are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, potassium, and iron. Best overall meal ever. 

On-the-go healthy snacks
Start off with precut, prepackaged, bitesize veggies, i.e. carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, red or yellow bell pepper for starters. Secondly, nuts since they are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat and protein and provide nutrients like vitamins B and fiber and lastly create your own trail mix with low fat nuts or sodium and lower sugar dried fruit healthy ingredients.

Herbs and spices
When you can, purchase fresh herbs and enjoy the aroma and flavor they provide. When fresh you can eat in salads or cook with them.If fresh herbs is not an option buy freshly dried herbs and spices to add to that favorite dish for great flavor. In addition to great flavor you will use less salt.

Extra virgin olive oil
Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low in unhealthy saturated fats,This is to replace the lard we used to cook and bake everything. This is an essential oil and necessary for you to add in your diet.

Whole grains
On everyone of my weight loss eating plans I include whole grains. They are considered as complex carbs or your good carbs.  Items such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley would decrease ones risk factors and help you to burn calories so that you lose weight. Whole grains provide filling fiber plus beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Linda J. Hawkins, Savvy Health Coaching, LLC

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Fit and Lean in 2018, Drop 2 dress sizes in 30 days. Simple as 1-2-3.



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