Being a health coach, I wanted to share more about the foods I enjoy and which foods I always have stocked up in my pantry and kitchen. I hope that by sharing these with you they give you some ideas of new foods to try and to show you that health foods can also be yummy! Plus, I wanted to share some tips and tricks along the way to help you incorporate more health foods into your diet.
These aren’t the only foods I eat and my fridge is always packed full of different and varying ingredients as I love switching up my routine and my weekly meals. These are just the foods that I ALWAYS have in my pantry and that are my GO TO foods that I always have to hand. Plus, most of these I’m totally obsessed with because I enjoy eating them!
Remember bio-individuality and that what works for me may not work for you – I’m just hoping that by sharing my top 10 foods in my pantry it will give you some inspiration for your diet and kitchen too!
Greens powder is basically a powdered form of green fruits and vegetables that are concentrated down so that a small amount provides you with all the benefits of eating ‘greens’. I love greens powders because they’re a great way of adding even more nutrients, vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants into your diet. Greens powder isn’t a substitute for the real thing and I always make sure I eat a variety of veg throughout my day (especially greens) – it’s just a great way of adding even more good nutrients to your meal! I always have 2 types – one that’s purely a greens powder that I add into smoothies or salads and one that’s a chocolate greens powder that I can add to clean treats, morning oats and even my favourite PB&J smoothie!
I will always have some form of leafy green in my fridge whether that’s kale, spinach, rocket, salad leaves etc. Leafy greens are full of vitamins and packed with nutrients and antioxidants that our bodies need to flourish. They’re great to put with every meal and I always have a bed of leafy greens to go with my lunches and my dinners – they’re also really handy to put into smoothies and blend with a banana if you don’t like the taste of them.
I also have other green vegetables in the house such as broccoli, green beans, courgette (my main 3 that I buy every week) and I try and eat them with every main meal too. Even breakfast! I love making courgette (or zucchini) oats in the morning (zoats) and I’ll steam up a big batch of broccoli and green beans so it saves time cooking it when I’m in a rush. Green vegetables are a fantastic source of fibre and great for keeping that digestive system ticking along nicely.
I am TOTALLY obsessed with everything to do with peanut butter so anytime I can add peanut flavouring to my foods, I will! Peanut flour is finely ground roasted peanuts and that’s it – no sugars or preservatives so it’s basically just another form of peanuts that you can use in your cooking. It’s high in protein, full of those ‘good’ fats and perfect for gluten free baking. I love adding this to my clean treats, smoothies, oats and baking. This is a great alternative to peanut butter because it adds another dry ingredient into the mix and also creates such a smooth texture.
When it comes to protein powder I’m very fussy with the ingredients on the packet and making sure that there are no added sugars, salts or preservatives in there! I love the HAPPY WAY one but that is a tad expensive having to ship it from Australia to the UK. Having said that, I LOVE the ingredients because I know I’m only putting good whole foods into my body. Protein powders are great for giving our bodies and our cells that protein boost they need – there are vegan protein powders around – so if you’re looking for a protein powder then keep your eyes peeled on the packet and check the ingredients. Know what you’re putting into your body and make sure that it’s good for you. Our bodies need protein as it makes up the main building blocks of our cells so it’s vital for optimum health. I love having protein powder in my morning oats or in a smoothie after I come back from the gym to help with that muscle repair.
I am a massive chocolate fiend and couldn’t live without cacao powder! It goes into most of my baking, smoothies and clean treats – yup, I may have a slight obsession. Raw organic cacao powder is also full of antioxidants and can help to support heart health, improve circulation and reduce inflammation!
Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat but it’s a better saturated fat than most and is really good for our body. Our bodies actually benefit from small amount of the fat in the coconut oil so it’s a great health food to have in your pantry. It’s great for cooking with as it can be heated up to higher temperatures and it adds flavour to all of your food. I also use it in my baking and clean treats so that I get a healthy boost of fats which our bodies and brains need to work optimally.
I always have some form of nut butter in the house such as peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter. Nut butters are a great source of protein and fibre and again are a healthy source of fats. When you buy your nut butters check the label and make sure that there aren’t any additives in them – so the nut butters I buy are 100% roasted nuts, nothing else. They’re great to have on some toast as a snack, or a teaspoon with some apple or banana and even great to use in clean treats. Most of the time when it comes to nut butters though, I will have them in some form of a snack. Remember moderation is key! Nut butters are good for you and yes, they are a healthy fat – but only in small amounts! Try not to over indulge in them.
Bananas are a great source of vitamin C, fibre and potassium. They are great for reducing inflammation and helping your digestive system run smoothly. I ALWAYS have bananas in the house – besides the fact it’s Ben’s favourite fruit, I use them in my smoothies, to make banana nice cream, on toast with some nut butter and I’ll even just eat them as they are if I’m on the go. They are so versatile and are the perfect sweetener. Again, just remember that moderation is key and that where possible you want to try and keep your sugar intake low. So, when I add them to my smoothie I’ll only use half or even a third of a banana depending on the size. To avoid wasting them, I chop the banana up and freeze it in a zip lock bag – this is also a great tip if they brown quickly to avoid having to throw away food and waste it.
Chickpeas are a fantastic source of protein and a great vegan/vegetarian alternative to protein (or even if you just fancied a plant based meal). They’re also my GO TO savoury snack whether I roast them with some pink himalayan salt in the oven or if I create hummus with them. One of my favourite plant based meals is my chickpea curry which is full of anti-inflammatory ingredients so if you’ve not checked it out already then I recommend you do so!
Both chia seeds and hemp seeds are fantastic sources of protein, omega 3 fats and are high in fibre. So, they not only support a healthy digestive system but they also help to reduce inflammation and give our bodies those essential omega 3 fats. Our bodies can’t create omega 3’s so we have to incorporate them into our diets and chia seeds/hemp seeds are a great way to do that. I use chia seeds to make chia puddings as a dessert, in my oats in the morning (they’re even great for overnight oats) AND if you want an extra boost of all that goodness then you can simply add them to your water! I mainly use hemp seeds in my cooking to add some texture, I sprinkle them over my salad or meals and I use them in my clean treats. Both are so versatile and to be honest I don’t think I have a favourite which is why I wanted to share both with you!