Staples in my kitchen

Healthy eating comes with the stigma that it’s not enjoyable or may even be all of the foods that you hate. Now, before I jump into how healthy eating can be delicious, I need to address something. If you’ve read my posts you know that I don’t use the word cheat but rather indulge. That being said, if you are like me there are going to be plenty of times that you want pizza or a burger or a big bowl of pasta drenched in alfredo. But, you need to opt for the chicken and rice instead and postpone your preferences until your indulgence day. That is just part of changing your eating habits and creating healthy relationships with food.

One of the largest reasons that people are deterred from losing weight, building muscle etc, isn’t actually the intimidation of the gym though for many it may be. The number one complaint that I’ve heard from others is this, “I don’t like eggs, salad, or veggies and I don’t want a chicken breast every night for dinner.” Is this you? Once upon a time, it was me, but there is good news on the horizon. Eating healthy does not have to include stuffing foods that you hate into your mouth while simultaneously trying not to gag. The first time I went shopping for “healthy food” when I decided that I wanted to change my eating habits, I bought, fruit, veggies, eggs, and chicken because that was my perception of what I had to eat if I was going to reach my goals. To me, that was healthy eating.

Now, those items are staples in my kitchen but they are often added to other things and are cooked and served in many different varieties. Here are some of the staples that we always have on hand.

Proteins
We have a lot of meat on hand, yes it’s mainly chicken. Every dinner at our house is a protein with a carb and a veggie, again cooked and served in different ways. Meats can go in tortillas, on homemade pizza, on a bun, in pasta, served alone and more. We do most of our shopping at Costco and purchase in bulk but if you don’t have a need for a membership you can purchase these items in your local stores.

We usually have chicken breasts and chicken tenders in our freezer. Sometimes a chicken breast is too large for a lunch and sometimes if I’m short on protein for the day I’ll just cook up a few of the tenders. Also, unless I’m meal prepping, I try to only make what only will eat because leftovers tend to go bad here. We try to waste as little food as possible.

You can find DELICIOUS turkey bacon at Costco which is perfect for a morning protein or you can also go the ground turkey route. After trying lots of different kinds I’ve decided that Jennie-O is my favorite.  Just make sure that you have plenty of lean meats on hand, that’s the key.

Food 1

You do need eggs. I eat boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, egg whites….lots of eggs.
I buy these egg whites so that I’m not wasting the yolk of the eggs that I purchase and it makes things lots easier, quicker and cleaner.

Something that I genuinely cannot live without is best purchased in bulk and it’s Premier Protein in the individual shakes. We also have a protein powder that we use for shakes and put into other things such as pancakes, waffles, muffins and more. This protein powder is the one that we use. I always use chocolate but there are lots of different flavors.

Food 2

Carbs
This one. This is the one that people don’t actually shop for. This one is one that people eliminate when they think about a healthy lifestyle. My favorite carbs include sweet potatoes, WHITE rice, tortillas, rice noodles, potatoes, corn and more.

One of my favorite carbs, my go-to breakfast and post workout food is Kodiak Cakes. I buy the power cakes from Costco, you can find them here.  I’m also a huge fan of the individual ones for when I’m on the go.  Kodiak Cakes also makes a syrup that you can occasionally find at Costco or Walmart. If you can’t find them there, here’s my favorite flavor.  I also top my pancakes with Halo Top ice cream. If you’ve tried Halo Top and didn’t like it, try it again on your pancakes. I love the vanilla bean. (Insert drool here.)

I also really love the dark chocolate flavor of Kodiak Cakes. It’s a little pricey at my local store so I buy the small box and then I do 1/4 a cup of the dark chocolate and 1/4 of the buttermilk. It tastes AMAZING and it makes my dark chocolate box last longer.  Win Win.

Fruits and Veggies. I could live on fruit and could live without vegetables but both are good for you and should be a part of your everyday diet. They can be included in smoothies and shakes, on top of pancakes or waffles. They can replace rice or potatoes and as always are an excellent side.

Fats
Eggs again. I get a good portion of my fats from egg yolk. When I make scrambled eggs, I will use the liquid egg whites (link above) and then mix in a few whole eggs so that I can balance out my fats and proteins.

Food 3

I love cheese, it belongs on everything. Cheese is a good fat as long as it’s consumed in moderation. You can find low-fat cheeses such as this mozzarella. I also use laughing cow cheese for quite a few things in place of Mayo. The Spicy Pepperjack one is my fave but you should try them all! You can also get cheese sticks for when you’re on the go.

I will say that avocado is a great source of fat but I don’t like it so…. I eat Jojo’s dark chocolate instead. I buy mine at Costco of course but they do sell it in most local grocery stores.

Peanut butter is my favorite fat BUT it’s easy to overdo it because it’s sooooo fat and calorie-heavy that just a little bit is actually a lot.

Lastly, YOU NEED FLAVOR. Spices, marinades, sauces and more are going to play a key roll in making it so that eating healthy foods remains enjoyable. Eating a plain chicken breast every single night is not sustainable. Just make sure that in the process you aren’t taking away the “health” from what you are consuming by drenching it in something else. Like, have some carrot with your ranch dressing kind of thing.

There are so many options out there, these are just a few of my staples. When you’re starving and running around the house trying to find something to eat, obviously your only choices are what you have in that kitchen. I know that when I get to that “starving” point I’m going to make 1 of 2 choices and spoiler alert, neither of them are healthy.  First, I’m either going to eat all of the oreo’s that I have stashed in the cabinet hidden from the kids OR I’m not going to eat anything because there are no “healthy” options available. Fill your home with things that you can go to so that you never have to pick between those two and remember that all food is good in moderation.

Explore different ways to prepare your food, spend more time on the seasoning aisle, look through Pinterest, surf the internet for food blogs. Try new recipes and then try them again until you get them right. Healthy food is meant to be enjoyed too, you just have to practice and find the combinations that make it that way.

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