The perils of how to stock a kitchen for improved eating success.
One of the most challenging daily tasks for someone trying to improve their eating is how to stock the kitchen with items that are readily at hand but also provide a healthy, low-fat, low-calorie, low cholesterol benefit. One tip is to choose at least one day out of the week and meal plan for the entire week. I know this sounds tedious but it will really benefit you in the long run. Try to include items that are positive “grab and go” snacks like unsalted peanuts, dried cranberries or blueberries or buy both and mix them together along with a sprinkling of toasted almonds, pistachio and walnuts for an energy boosting heart healthy snack on the run. Also, the South Beach brand of products makes some sinfully delicious power packed snacks such as their 100-calorie packs of dark chocolate covered soy nuts (adding these in to a healthy unsalted trail mix is a wonderful “grab and go”.) The key is DON’T go crazy with any snack. Health benefits are most realized when moderation is exercised.
For the Pantry:
Low Sodium Canned Tomatoes (diced works best)
Low or No Salt Canned Beans (Black Beans are always good for a quick salsa)
Whole-grain pasta, brown rice, bulgur wheat, barley, or like products
Low-Fat ready-made sauces
Low Fat or Fat Free broths and/or soups
Olive and/or Canola Oil IF you simply must fry then fry in heart wise oils
Fat-Free or Low fat breadcrumbs
Choose to either grow or purchase (fresh or dried) a variety of herbs
(In a later segment I will introduce you or enlighten your pallet to spices from around the world that add flavor and pizzaz to dishes without adding calories.)
Now the Fridge:
I highly advocate and am a fan of frozen vegetables, particularly ones without pasta or additional flavorings or sauces. Many companies “flash freeze” vegetables thus they do not process the vegetable and it maintains its nutrients.
Fruits – While FRESH is always best, flash frozen fruits are also an acceptable alternative to enhancing healthy eating. Read that label though to ensure they haven’t added fructose corn syrup (a sugar) or outright cane sugar to the product.
Frozen fish fillets (non breaded and not seasoned) are always a hit in a healthy eating plan. From tuna to salmon, trout to catfish, fish provides positive benefits.
Skinless, boneless chicken breast now that it is grilling season there are even improved ways to cook tasty dishes all together right on the grill.
I am not a real fan of “lean” frozen dinners, as the sodium content is often undesirable. But, if you MUST consume one have a side salad at hand or carrot and celery strips. Even if you simply add cut up apple with a small 2 tablespoon serving of peanut butter (chunky peanut butter adds a nice treat like edge to apple wedges.)
With these tips in mind you can arm you for the grocery trips ahead.