A Nutritionists Kitchen
Want to eat healthier?
The single most important piece of advice I can give is to be prepared.
If I have junk food in the house I’m likely going to eat it in binge like proportions.
However, if my pantry and fridge is stocked with delicious vegetables, homemade sauces, and dips – my snacks are going to make me feel elevated and energized instead of lethargic and exhausted.
Here is a list of which foods you’ll find in my kitchen at any given moment. Time to take a peak.
Peak in my Pantry
DRIED GRAINS AND LEGUMES
This is the bulk of my pantry. There are dozens containers stacked in my cupboard that hold everything from lentils to couscous. Here is a post giving you a deeper look at the grains I keep in my pantry. I might run out of coconut milk or olives but there is no way that I’m not going to have a giant jar of brown rice. These staples are closely watched on my radar.
HERBS AND SPICES
Do you know how many nutrients you can sneak into a meal when you add a pinch of paprika or rosemary?
My pantry is fully stocked for the moment my sweet tooth kicks in. Obviously all to be consumed in moderation but here are some of my favorites I have on hand: maple Syrup, honey, applesauce, dates, blackstrap molasses, coconut sugar, dried fruit, and my personal favorite, dark chocolate.
OILS AND VINEGAR
There will always be a variety of oils in my pantry. They are the base of my dressings, are drizzled on top of my meals, and are used to cook some of my favorite dishes. Oils however easily oxidize with the presence of heat, air, and light. The smoke point of different oils differ by their fat components. Learn more about how oils oxidize and get a list of six of my favorite dressings.
Fresh is always best, but there are times when we just need to grab a can. Another step in being prepared is to have a backup plan.
I like to cook or steam almost all of my own beans. These cans are for when I’m in a pinch or if I forgot to soak any the night before. I also rarely cook my own kidney beans because I think they take forever. I usually have black beans, garbanzos, white beans, and kidney beans on hand.
Tomato Paste/Diced Tomatoes/Sun Dried Tomatoes: I love making my own pasta sauces, chilis, and soups. These tomato products can be a great base to build on especially in the winter when tomatoes aren’t in season.
I know you can get these fresh at almost any grocer but I love to have a few cans of green olives on hand as they are a great sources of phytonutrients and healthy fats. Plus they taste so freaking good.
Vegan whipped cream anyone? Literally this recipe is life changing. Don’t try to gorge on it all by yourself because this has some seriously filling fats. Besides coconut whipped cream I love using canned coconut milk in curries and soups. The fats will help with satiation when adding coconut milk to your dish.
What’s In My Freezer
It’s not the easiest or the cheapest to get fresh fish year round especially if you don’t live near the sea. Even while living downtown Seattle I buy my fish filets already frozen and store them in my freezer. Read this article on why I choose to eat wild and not farmed and which fish are highest in omega-3 fatty acids.
Don’t get duped! What might like look a beautiful bag of berries could be coated in syrup or fragrance. Check the ingredients on the bag. Frozen blueberries should only have one ingredient: blueberries.
Again, read thy label. Look for veggies that don’t have additives like margarine, sodium, and other preservatives. A few options that frequent my freezer are peas, edamame, and string beans. Having veggies in the freezer is a great backup for the days you just didn’t go grocery shopping.
bars and balls
These are my favorite filling snacks. Whenever I make homemade granola bars or fat balls I double the batch and put half in the freezer. They make for a filling and satisfying snack. Try one of these plant-based recipes that I know will delight your tastebuds. RECIPE RECIPE RECIPE
Even if I make a giant batch of food I rarely have leftovers because my husband is a human garbage disposal. However, if you are able to make a big healthy pot of soup, or cook too many beans, stick that stuff in the freezer and enjoy it on the “there is nothing on my fridge” night.
My favorite post work-out treat is a creamy smoothie. I have frozen bananas, steamed cauliflower, and frozen cubes of avocados all ready to be tossed into my Vitamix. Yet another way that meal prep can save your butt when you don’t feel like making anything in the moment. Plan ahead and make Monday morning a little easier.
A recent discovery of mine is tea cubes. I know it sounds weird but bare with me. Costco was carrying a giant box of ginger and they always have those big bags of lemons, so I took it upon myself to do an experiment halfway through a nasty cold. A couple hours later I had juiced all the lemons and ginger and frozen the juice in my ice cube tray. Boy did having one of those in hot water three times a day make my cold go away.
WHAT’S IN MY FRIDGE
nuts and seeds
Having a stockpile of nuts and seeds in my kitchen is a no brainer. They are dense in minerals are a healthy source of unsaturated fats. I store both my nuts and seeds in my fridge or freezer because the oils within them are subject to rancidity. To learn about the further health benefits and how I consume them daily in my diet check out my extensive post on nuts and seeds.
beans and grains
I feel like an accomplished human being if I can get myself into the kitchen to cook a few batches of beans and grains. Any time I need to throw together a meal I can scoop out a cup of quinoa from my Tupperware and level up my boring spring salad. Beans and grains are both a rich source of complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and nutrients. They are both an essential part of my daily diet and when paired with veggies, healthy fats, you have yourself a full on meal.
Probiotics are incredible for our gut’s microbiome and act as food for the bacteria to feed on. Consuming fermented foods on a regular basis is a great way to introduce this gut beneficial into your gastrointestinal track. I always have a jar of sauerkraut on hand and my husband regularly can be found sipping on kefir. Read my full post on probiotic rich foods – I’m sure you’ll find a fermented food you fancy.
In the winter I’m an herbal tea girl. But I’m always a sucker for a good smoothie. You won’t look in my fridge without seeing some kind of murky homemade oat or hemp milk. The door of my fridge has a bottle of sparkling water or kombucha for when I’m feeling like being a little fancy.
Find what works for you. Fruit juices and soda are full of sugar. There are several alternatives to these ultra sweet drinks. Don’t be duped by healthy juices. If it’s full of fruit it’s also full of sugar.
dark leafy greens
You will always find plenty of dark leafy greens in my fridge, I usually rotate between swiss chard, spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, and arugula. After I wash my kale, swiss chard, and herbs I store them standing straight up in a glass jar filled with water.
Not only does this keep them fresher longer – it is always the first thing I see when I open my fridge. The smaller spinach and arugula leaves are either stored in a glass Tupperware with a wet paper towel or are wrapped in on of these genius reusable bags. Whatever you do, make your greens accessible. If they stay in a plastic bag you bought them in from the store it’s likely you will forget you even bought them while they rot in the back of the fridge.
fruits and vegetables
There are always a wide variety of fruits and vegetables filling up my fridge. Broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage, and mushrooms are all eaten in heavy rotation. When I meal prep I come home – wash, cut, and cook them. After they have cooled I store them in glass containers so they are fast food throughout the week. If you have greens, grains, beans, and veggies ready to go it’s easy to throw together a nutrient dense meal in mere minutes.
Which fruits I have in my fridge are highly dependent on the season. If you buy local fruits at your farmers market it will be full of flavor compared to lackluster imports. My bottom drawers will usually have apples, lemon, and limes but you won’t find fresh berries in my fridge in the middle of winter. Organic berries will be stockpiled in the freezer in courtesy of Costco.
sauces and pastes
My fridge door is usually full of little jars of this and that. Tomato paste, tahini, almond butter, and miso are in unmarked glass jars stacked next to one another. I compiled a full list of all the sauces and pastes I keep in fridge. Take a look and test some out. They are healthier than most dressings you’ll find in the grocery store I have no doubt.
Eggs, black bean dip, tempeh, and hummus are all quick hits of protein. They can be added into any Buddha bowl or can even be a great snack. No meal is complete without a little bit of protein.
This two part series breaks down what I will have in my fridge and pantry at any given moment. It’s my compiled stock list of the foods that make me feel great and taste delicious. This is made to give you a point of reference not a pantry compare sheet. Build your pantry slowly over time. You don’t have to go out and buy six different “superfoods” or ten varieties of dried beans. Pick and choose what sounds good to you. You aren’t going to eat it, cook it, or prepare it if the food itself isn’t stimulating your taste buds. I hope this serves as a source of inspiration for your future shopping trips.
HOW I PUT IT ALL TOGETHER WITH WHAT I EAT IN A DAY POST