When it comes to eating healthy, we all try – some succeed, others fail, and the rest of us land someplace in between. As we know, life is about balance. What I figured out is that we go crazy over diets and we think that what works for one person will magically cure us all.
Yes, diets can be used to lose or gain weight. People talk about it as a very temporary thing, however, to me diets are a life style. You build around it.
We all know how expensive food is, especially foods that are good for you.
See below for 12 foods that I always have stocked in my pantry, fridge and/or freezer. Freezers are my best friend; there’s nothing more gratifying than extending the shelf life of food that normally perishes within a week of opening.
- Almond Milk – I normally get unsweetened almond milk (or almond beverage as they affectionally call it) from Trader Joe’s – half a gallon for $2.99. Why almond milk? Because the “shelf” life is longer. Why unsweetened? Because it tastes similar enough to the original or vanilla, and when you think about all the added sugars we consume on a daily basis, why not cut back where you can?
- Eggs – Besides eating this staple for breakfast and on nights when making a big meal for dinner is a no-go, I use eggs in a lot of recipes. Pancakes, bread, muffins, chicken parm, etc. What are these foods without eggs?
- Yogurt – A few years ago, I learned that our bodies host good and bad bacteria. First of all, that shit skeevs me out, but the end of the day, bacteria is alive and can multiply for better or worse. Yogurt helps keep all of that in check. I buy plain greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s; I forgot how much it costs, but it’s 16oz for not a lot. I sometimes buy packs of individual greek yogurt from Target as well.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Anti-everything – fungal, bacterial, biotic, septic, viral. I posted about this a while back and now, literally preach to everyone I know about it. I don’t take this every day anymore, but a few times a week for sure. 1 tbsp in a glass of water. As a heads up, it tastes horrible, but as with everything that becomes habitual after you consistently interact with it, it becomes normal after a while. I went from drinking it from a straw to downing in two (big) gulps.
- Ground Flaxseed – Super inexpensive way to add nutrition to your diet. Add it in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, breads, etc. And when you buy it, store it in the freezer!
- Brown Rice – I buy the 5lb back. I think it’s the Carolina brand. Obviously a healthier alternative and if you add some butter and a little seasoning, you’ll be good to go!
- Unbleached Flour – I bake often, so flour is a staple in my pantry. I get unbleached flour because was made with less chemicals. You can also go the whole wheat, almond, or whatever other route (than regular bleached, white flour) is available out there.
- Vegetables – Broccoli, spinach, peppers, peas, corn, string beans, etc. Sometimes I buy these things fresh, cut them up then store them in the freezer, or I buy them already frozen. My thing with vegetables is that depending on what it is, its shelf life varies. Do you research and see where you can save here. I only buy certain vegetables for meals that I cook within a day or two of purchase – brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc. Root vegetables are also a staple since they last longer.
- Fruits – Similar to how I operate with vegetables, I store some in the freezer and then buy mainly fruits that last long and store in the fridge. In the freezer I store: blueberries, pineapples and mangos for smoothies. In the fridge I store: lemons, tomatoes, apples and/or grapes. I also buy bananas often and store them outside, of course. Trader Joe’s have bananas for 19c each!
- Brown Sugar – Similar to my flour staple!
- Bread – Whenever I buy bread, I normally get multi-grain breads for PBJs, toast, etc.
- Meats/Seafood: Chicken, Ground Turkey, Shrimp, Tilapia – Regular, degular meat and seafood in my freezer all the time.
Reading through this list, what you will notice is that not everything is completely healthy according to…whoever. Unbleached flour, bread, yogurt, eggs, shrimp. I’ve heard unfavorable reviews about each of these things, and no they don’t work with every diet. However, to me, they are healthier than eating complete crap all the time. If you take anything from this post, I hope it’s that some of us only have so much. We have to do with what we can. I’m big on the nutritional value of foods and getting this in as many inexpensive ways as possible. I also read ingredients to help me make better decisions. Ask yourself basic questions: Can you pronounce majority of the ingredients? What is the first ingredient listed – is it sugar? Water? Figure out alternatives that work best for you and your budget. My philosophy is that if your core, your base, your foundation (however many names you call it) is stable and filled with nutrition it gives you a little more liberty to eat other things – ice cream, cakes, etc., etc. 😉