I Eat What I Want

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.

Lies.

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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9.  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!
  10. Brown Sugar – Similar to my flour staple!
  11. Bread – Whenever I buy bread, I normally get multi-grain breads for PBJs, toast, etc.
  12. 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. As 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. 😉

 

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I Love My Body and Don’t Want to Take It For Granted Anymore

Right off the bat – this isn’t a post about Alkaline the dancehall artist or a deep dive into why people tattoo their eyes to appear demonic. (Google ‘Alkaline eyes’ if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) This is also not meant to be preachy; I am not an expert and merely sharing what I’ve learned in my research and invite you to join in the conversation because I think it’s an important one to have.

If you practice or are knowledgeable about healthy eating, you most likely know what it means to be on an alkaline diet. After experiencing minor health issues, commonly experienced by women, all last year, I became interested in learning more about prevention. What some people don’t know is when you take antibiotics, it kills both bad AND good bacteria in the body. We need good bacteria for a healthy digestive system and we need SOME bad bacteria to help prevent diseases. My goal was/is to learn more about balance.

There’s no other way to do this than to jump right in. In order for our bodies to stay regulated and healthy, our pH levels must be balanced. (pH stands for potential of hydrogen…curious minds want to know.) The levels range from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline). See below for a chart for foods/behaviors that promote an acidic or alkaline body.

pHscale1

People tell us all the time, “You need to eat salads and yogurt and drink lots of water.” Personally, hearing people tell me what to eat doesn’t motivate me to eat better. It does help, however, to imagine what is happening inside the body. As a recovering germaphobe, the idea that we have bad bacteria living in our bodies still freaks me out but not to the point where I could go on a completely acidic-free diet…mainly because I would physically wither away. A while ago, I was advised by my coworker to drink apple cider vinegar daily. After many visits to the doctor for check ups and Duane Reade for prescriptions, I finally decided to incorporate apple cider vinegar into my diet – 1 to 2 tbsp everyday in a glass of water or a smoothie. It supposedly helps your stomach break down acidic foods, and in the same breath it helps promote good bacteria. The goal is to keep track of any changes I notice then report back in about two months (that’s how long it will take me to finish this bottle.)

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If something is wrong or off about your body, obviously it’s important to get checked by your doctor. In my situation, after the same issues kept occurring, I had to take a step back and assess what I could do to help. The fact that antibiotics destroy good bacteria in my body makes me uneasy. Why rely on quick fixes when you can work on prevention? In addition, no one should cut out acidic foods cold turkey. At the end of the day, changes to your diet depends on your specific situation, your age, your tolerance to certain foods, etc. If you see me posting pictures of pastries or pizza or chicken roti on Instagram, just remember that I never said I’d give up these foods. I just try to include more alkaline foods in my diet – more onions, olive oil, garlic, spinach, sweet potato, broccoli, avocado, etc.

Curious to know your thoughts! 🙂