Sunday, February 1, 2015

10 Weekly Meal Staples

When I used to open my refrigerator or pantry, I used to find only a few predictable things, if that. Generally, when I went to the grocery store, I did it on a whim and got whatever seemed right at the time. That ended up leaving no food in the fridge or wasting food later down the road.

However, since I have started meal planning, our fridge and pantry tend to be very predictable in quite a few healthy staples. This is helpful particularly when I have the munchies, and reaching for a healthy snack is actually a real option now.

Laying a good foundation of some healthy staples to keep around in your kitchen can be a great key to your success with staying on track with health and nutrition. So I'm going to share some of our top favorite staples that you would likely find on a weekly basis in our kitchen!

1. Spinach or kale. Lately it's been kale, but every week I make sure that we have a stock of some leafy green to throw in smoothies, beef up our veggie intake, and have a great source of nutrients.

2. Eggs. Yup, whole eggs! I've never really liked just egg whites, and studies are showing now that the cholesterol found in eggs is the good kind, not the bad. Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, and a super easy breakfast choice!

3. Sweet Potatoes. These are quick to chop up for roasting along side baked chicken, easy to throw in whole to bake, and all around a delicious source of nutrients! Generally we eat these more than regular potatoes, but you can find regular potatoes in our pantry every now and again too.

4. Greek Yogurt. Good ol' plain Greek yogurt has so many uses! Did you know that you can substitute it for sour cream? Or you can sweeten it up naturally too? So many good uses, and it packs a great punch of probiotics!

5. Carrots. I have a tendency to want to snack on something crunchy...anyone else? Carrots are great to have to curb that crunch craving, and you get a serving of veggies in! These are also great to just throw in some soup or with a roast.

6. Bananas. We go through some bananas, let me tell you! Great "fast food" pick when you are running out the door, really hungry and need something fast that packs an energy punch.

7. Shakeology. Love the stuff! I usually have my Shakeology in the morning or after my workout. It delivers an incredible punch of super food nutrition, gives me energy and also helps curb my sweet tooth!

8. Chicken. Of all meats, chicken is probably the most used in our house. It's fast, easy to throw in the oven with some seasoning, and then you can shred it, chop it, put it in soup, tacos, pretty much anything you want!

9. Zucchini. Since I was given a Vegetti by my sweet husband, we normally keep a supply of zucchini handy in the fridge for some zucchini noodles (or zoodles) at least once a week. We've experimented with a lot of different recipes that are fantastic!

10. Rolled Oats. Super cheap, healthy, whole food. I pick up a container of oats usually once a week and we have it for breakfast with a banana. No instant oatmeal here, just the old fashioned stuff. Seriously, it's so much better and doesn't take a long time to cook.

While of course the contents of our fridge and pantry vary from week to week, generally you can find these staples in there most any week. It's crazy to think back to the way I used to eat, used to grocery shop, and how my cupboards and fridge used to look.

They used to be filled with bread, pasta, lunch meat (the bad kind), heavy calorie sauces, cream, leftover sandwhiches from work. Honestly, nothing good or nutritious. As I've told before in some of my stories,  I hardly ever ate any fruits or vegetables, ever. I honestly am not sure how I kept skipping out on that.

But I am glad to say that I love the change, I enjoy eating fruit and vegetables now, and I love keeping our fridge and pantry stocked with things that will nourish us and help us be healthy. What do you keep in your fridge and pantry? What's one staple you just couldn't live without? 

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