Your kitchen needs to be your safe place, not a place to fear when hunger strikes. To help ensure that you have a healthily stocked kitchen, I am going to provide you with a grocery-shopping list. Hard work in the gym is one thing, but consistently making healthy choices in the kitchen is what really decides the results of your hard work.
I suggest that you go through your entire kitchen inventory today and throw out or donate absolutely everything that can possibly be detrimental to your new dieting efforts. If it’s in a box in the cupboard with ingredients that didn’t grow, throw it out. If the word “refined” or “artificial” is on the nutritional profile label, throw it out. If it has been there since last Christmas, please, throw it out, or donate it. You get the point. Perform a kitchen cleanse, and start fresh. Consider all of this junk and non-nutritious food like people with bad and negative attitudes—they need to go, and it’s time that you replace them with positive influences that will help you to advance your progress as a physical body and a conscious soul.
All the products on this shopping list have multiple health benefits and should become a staple in your daily nutritional intake. My hope for you is that only days after reading this, all of these foods will become regulars in your kitchen.
I will quickly explain how each of these items can be a vital addition to any health and wellness regime, regardless of your past fitness history or your future goals. From here I encourage you to start your own research of how to include these foods into your daily diet, as this way you will have full confidence and a clear understanding of exactly why it is that you are using them. After all, the more you learn, the more you can help yourself!
So here they are in no particular order, the new additions to your kitchen cupboards.
- Organic virgin coconut oil
- Organic sprouted brown rice protein
- Organic hemp protein powder
- Organic flax seeds
- Organic pumpkin seeds
- Organic almonds
- Organic macadamia nuts
- Organic Brazil nuts
- Organic walnuts
- Organic apple cider vinegar
Here is a brief explanation of why each of these nutritional items should be included on your upcoming shopping lists.
Coconut oil is one of the only oils that you should put in a frying pan. It has a very high tolerance to heat, meaning that its healthy nutrient profile remains unaffected in extreme temperatures, which is perfect for frying or baking. So, not only is coconut oil a healthy source of fat and nutrients in its raw pure form, but it maintains this healthy profile when you cook with it as well.
Coconut oil boosts your metabolism and naturally stimulates the thyroid, leading to enhanced fat loss and an improved body composition. More good news for us coconut oil users: coconut oil has the ability to improve our digestion and intestinal health, and it also lowers cholesterol due to and helps to enhance the body’s immune system. Do you need more proof that coconut oil is amazing? I didn’t think so.
Sprouted Brown Rice Protein
Sprouted (or germinated) brown rice protein powder is also among the highest bioavailable proteins in the world. Eggs are the gold standard in protein bioavailability, and cold-filtered whey protein isolate is right up there with them, but sprouted rice protein is almost equal.
Sprouting any seed or grain unlocks its key nutrients and allows humans to maximize the health benefits from these foods, and with sprouted brown rice, a complete profile of amino acids become available.
Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp seed is a vegan high-protein food that is packed with fiber and essential fatty acids, and it’s also high in antioxidants. Because hemp seeds include the nine essential amino acids (EAAs) that our bodies cannot produce, it’s a great addition to any healthy diet, and enhances the efforts of your exercise program. Having a tub of raw organic hemp protein in your home ensures that you can have a quick, high protein meal replacement anytime of the day.
Organic Flax Seeds
The principal health benefits of flax seed come the omega-3 fatty acid content, the lignans and fiber, and a dense profile of health-promoting vitamins and minerals. Please remember that you must grind the seeds (freshly) so that your body can efficiently digest them and profit from all of the potential health benefits.
Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Wherever flaxseed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health.” What a wise man he was.
Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a super-seed. They have a variety of health benefits and they can even help eliminate certain types of parasites. They are a perfect blend of healthy fats, fibers and dense nutrients, including cancer-fighting phytosterols. Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which can help to elevate your mood, and they are also high in zinc, which helps to boost our immune system. They also help to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and raise HDL (the good kind), which is beneficial for anyone at any age.
Organic Raw Almonds, Macadamia, Brazil Nuts, and Walnuts
I have selected these four nuts as my personal recommendation as they all contain an ultra-high density of nutrients, fibers, and healthy fats. They are also delicious, and I rarely hear people complain when I add these to their nutritional intake.
Between the selenium in the Brazil nuts, the vitamin E in almonds, the polyphenols in walnuts, and the unique and healthy fats in macadamia nuts, adding these four nuts to your diet is an incredible step in the healthiest direction possible.
If you really want to go the extra step and maximize the health benefits of your nuts, you can “activate” them, by soaking them and allowing them to begin the sprouting process. Personally, I soak my raw nuts in warm water and apple cider vinegar in order to remove any potential mold, phytic acid, or pesticide residue, and then I dry them in my oven for about an hour, at a warm but not scorching 90 degrees Fareneheit.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Personally, I add ACV to my clients’ diet mostly for improving digestion and intestinal health. However, there are so many different health benefits of ACV that, regardless of your goals, it is certainly a food supplement that can benefit all of us.
Numerous studies show that apple cider vinegar can significantly lower blood sugar response during meals, which is the reason why I suggest to always take ACV in a small glass of warm water right before meals. For the same reason, it’s a great dietary addition for those with type 2 diabetes.
If you are anemic (low iron), ACV can become an extremely beneficial supplement for you, as it will enhance your potential for absorbing iron from your foods. So take 1 tablespoon before two meals daily, and you will positively increase your iron uptake without having to supplement with additional pills.
One thing that I would like to mention is the importance of proper food storage.
I have seen the most success in diets when my clients become organized and orderly in their food storage and preparation. Performing a kitchen cleanse is a great start, and replacing old, large plastic storage containers with smaller glass airtight mason jars is a major improvement and will lead to an enhanced experience in your kitchen. Spice jars should always be tightly sealed as well. Remember, humidity and oxygen over time will reduce the quality of your foods.
Go out and buy a dozen or so mixed-sized mason jars from a small, one-cup size to the larger one-quart capacity, and use these beautiful storage containers to showcase all your healthy nuts, seeds, and whatever other superfoods that you have. Seeing your healthy food in a clear, clean, attractive jars is subconsciously uplifting, and this will lead to you make better choices about your food intake on a day-to-day basis.
Always keep your flax or chia seeds in the fridge, and buy smaller packages of them (a couple hundred grams instead of a kilogram) as this keeps them fresh and free of any potential oxidation or mold. I put all my nuts and seeds in glass mason jars in the fridge, and I recommend you do the same. The organization factor is very useful, and this way your products remain in their purest state, which will offer you with the maximum possible health benefits. Also, raw nuts seem to taste even better when cold, so try this trick right away! Making simple little changes around your kitchen can lead to big results, and you’ll feel great about your new healthy environment that you created!