Our mission everyday is to fuel our bodies properly in order to help us conquer the battles that life assigns us each day. Without nutrition as our shield of armor, there is nothing there to protect us from illness. Whether it’s a last-minute meal or on-the-go snack, keeping your pantry and fridge armed with these essentials is a sure-fire way to keep yourself nourished with healthy options on the daily:
1. Fresh fruit:
Always have a fruit on hand whenever you feel like eating something sweet or need a snack. My favourite go-tos are apples!
2. Nuts and seeds:
Opt for raw and unsalted. Rich in fiber and protein, a small handful a day is enough to provide nutritional benefits and give you a boost of energy. Try your own version of my superwoman trail mix.
3. Lean proteins:
Eggs, fish, and chicken are great sources of protein. Tempeh, which is a fermented soy bean patty, makes a great meat alternative.
4. Dried beans:
High in fiber, protein, and complex carbs, beans make an excellent base or accent to any meal or side dish.
5. Whole grains:
These are unrefined grains that haven't had their bran and germ removed by milling. Quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, teff, and millet are perfect gluten-free options. Serve as a warm side dish or as a great alternative to your morning oatmeal, like this quinoa porridge.
6. Superfood toppings:
I love adding a tablespoon a day of hemp seeds, cacao nibs, or chia seeds onto anything! They are fantastic ingredients to super-power your smoothies or add into baked goods.
7. Bagged/boxed salad:
This is the quickest way to eat your greens because they require no chopping up! Just grab a handful to put into smoothies, serve as part of your meal, or simply use them for a salad.
A great source of vitamin C to help build up your immune system. I always have them on hand to squeeze into my water first thing in the morning to kick start the day by awakening the body and flushing out toxins.
Help to promote heart health and regulate blood sugar. You can use them to thicken smoothies, or use as a fat replacement in baking.
10. Frozen produce:
Throw frozen veggies like edamame, peas, or carrots into soups and stews. Frozen fruits are perfect for smoothies, or whiz them in a high speed blender for a natural sorbet or a try making this soft-serve ice cream.
11. Herbs and spices:
Cinnamon, oregano, mint, turmeric, and ginger (to name a few) are great to include in your dishes to provide an array of health benefits and of course up the flavour factor!
12. Condiments and oils:
Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, tahini, almond butter, miso paste, and olive oil are basic ingredients for making your own salad dressings or to flavour any meat or veggie dish. Only use coconut oil or ghee when cooking since they are heat-stable.
13. Natural sweeteners:
Use maple syrup for baking or for use in sauces, raw honey to add into salad dressings, and liquid stevia to lightly sweeten tea.
14. Sea salt: Unlike table salt which is processed, refined, and bleached, sea salt contains trace minerals and you don’t require much of it to bring flavour out in your dishes.
Incorporating a mix of these essential foods in every meal will have you feeling happy, healthy, and as strong as a soldier. Don’t be afraid to get creative with these staple items – keep good food around and you’ll soon discover that it’s all your body really needs to operate at its best.
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Maya Eid is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) whose goal is to inspire you with convenient and delicious recipes that target fat loss, improve muscle gain, and provide fuel for you to power through your workouts. For loads of health tips and recipe inspiration, visit Maya's blog, follow her on Instagram, and Facebook.