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10 Foods Every Healthy Kitchen Needs

Polly Pitchford - Friday, February 21, 2014

When it comes to eating healthy, you need to set yourself up for success. A kitchen filled with cookies and chips, for example, won't encourage you to reach for that piece of fruit instead. Be smart by stocking up on these ten healthy items that keep for a while and will help you whip up a healthy meal no matter how time-pressed you are.


1. Baby SpinachToss a handful or two of these nutrient-rich leaves into almost any meal, from smoothies to soups to pastas. You won't really notice the taste, but since the leafy green is packed with iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and more, your body will thank you.

2. Chia SeedsAdd a tablespoon of these tiny seeds to your breakfast smoothie or bowl of oatmeal for an energizing start to your day. When mixed with liquid, the seeds swell up, which helps you feel fuller longer, as does the fact that chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and protein. 

3. FruitEasy-to-eat fruits make for a convenient snack when you're ravenous and ready to reach for anything. Keep fruits like apples, bananas, pears, and oranges stocked in your kitchen so you can grab a healthy and portable snack whenever hunger strikes.

4. Greek YogurtWhether you're enjoying it with a few fresh toppings or using it as a cooking substitute to cut calories (try it instead of sour cream, butter, mayonnaise, and more), nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt is a healthy fridge essential (unless, of course, you are vegan or lactose intolerant).

5. LemonSqueeze it in your water, on top of your salad, or into your tea: Having a lemon or two on hand is an easy way to add dimension to your home-cooked meals and cut back on the salt.

6. Raw NutsWhile they may be high in calories, a handful of nuts helps keep you full, and many give you a much-needed dose of heart-healthy omega-3s. Make sure your nut habit is a healthy one and stick to just what fits in the palm of your hand, PER DAY!.

7. QuinoaA healthy diet includes many types of whole grains, but keeping a bag of quinoa in your cupboard is always smart. The versatile grain cooks up quickly for a hot dinner, while leftover quinoa blends well with almost any salad to keep you satisfied during lunch.

8. SpicesA well-stocked spice rack can cut your dependence on salt and sugar to flavor your food. Add immune-boosting, blood-sugar-regulating cinnamon to your coffee, for example, or a sprinkle a teaspoon of anti-inflammatory turmeric into your hearty dinners.

9. Avocado - Not only is it a delicious source of heart healthy fats but an avocado can be used in place of butter on your breakfast toast or turkey sandwich.  Scoop 1/4 of one into a smoothie for both the creaminess it gives it and the staying power you feel.  On salads, in salsas and the ever popular Guacamole, avocados rule in my kitchen!

10. - Garlic & Onion - The starting point for all delicious meals, garlic and/or onion not only adds a deep savory note to your meals but the compounds in it help to reduce the risk of some cancers.  Don't forget to mash a clove in your Guacamole! 

 So if you want to eat healthier, stock your kitchen with these 10 items.  Add them to your shopping list today!

In Health, 

Polly

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