We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat”, right? And we know that its pretty much truth, right? We eat healthy foods that fuel our bodies properly and we, as the people eating the healthy foods, thrive. On the other hand, we eat junk and we, as those eating the junk, end up tired and sick.
How do you put this saying into action though? Its easy to say “you are what you eat” if you are already keen on what to eat. Or, its just as easy to say “you are what you eat” as you eat your Cheetos and feel like absolute crap but have no idea how to do any better.
So how do you implement the “you are what you eat” saying so that it works in a healthy and logical way for you?
To implement this overused saying, I like to say “you are what is most convenient to you”.
What do I mean? Well, its simple. Fill your fridge, cupboards, and pantry with the foods you know you should be eating. If your kitchen is filled with fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, chicken, beef, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds, then you will eat these things.
Ok. . .but this list is so vague, what do I actually buy when I go to the grocery store? How can I make sure that the foods most convenient to me are the ones that are also most healthy. Well, I created an extensive shopping list (with ideas and tips too!) for you divided into sections for an easier shopping experience. Because this list is quite extensive, please take note that not everything on this list is (or should be) purchased during one shopping trip. Also, not everyone will like or want to eat everything on this list, that’s ok. I’m not here to give you a specific plan on eating or a specific menu, I just want to give you guidelines that will help you bring foods into your home that will make eating healthy a convenient practice.
Whole fat plain yogurt – whole fat yogurt plain yogurt has no sugar added
Grass fed butter and or ghee -if you are lactose intolerant, ghee might be a great alternative to “fake butter”, ghee has no lactose so it might be easier on your stomach
Pasture raised eggs/cage free eggs – eggs from chickens who are eating a mixed diet as opposed to one where they are just eating corn are much more nutritious
Nut Milk – Almond or coconut for adding to coffee, smoothies.
100% grass fed beef – the Omega6/Omega3 balance in 100% grass fed cows is more beneficial to what you actually need in your body which is 1:1. The average American has a ratio of somewhere between 15:1 and 17:1.
Whole organic chicken- I like to cook chicken on the bone because it just think it is so much tastier! Also, I save the bones (in the freezer) and use them for a big pot of bone broth which I make once I have bones from at least 2 chickens saved up. This broth is usually made in the crockpot and takes about 18 hours to “brew”.
Low mercury fish- Fish such as wild caught salmon, trout, anchovies, and sardines are all low in mercury.
Anything dark, leafy greens should be at the top of your list here. Spinach, green/red leaf lettuce, kale, etc.
Other dark green veggies- asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers.
Other veggies so that you have a wide array of colors in your grocery cart- red peppers, summer squash, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, onions, and mushrooms.
Fruits- berries, apples, citrus fruits, melon, mangos, pineapple, and bananas are my top picks. Avocados and tomatoes that some call veggies are also in the fruit category and are two of my favorites.
Black, kidney, garbanzo, and pinto beans. I buy canned beans to save time BUT it is easy to buy these in bulk and soak them yourself too.
Raw almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts. Raw is important here, no salt or oils added. I’m not against oils but I am against the types of oils they use to roast these nuts (sunflower/safflower, canola). If you love roasted nuts you can easily roast them yourself in olive oil or coconut oil.
Chia seeds- these are fiber and protein packed and are perfect for a chia pudding ( grain free alternative to “overnight oats”). You can also add them to smoothies or nut butters.
Raw pumpkin seeds- I like to mix these with nuts for a homemade trail mix. Again, get the raw ones because the roasted ones are always roasted in sunflower or canola oil.
Rolled oats- for oatmeal and overnight oats.
Raisins- for snacking and adding to homemade trail mix.
Coffee- brew your own at home!
Herbal tea- a MUST for pre bed time wind down. Find something with lavender, peppermint, or chamomile.
Dark Chocolate- the darker the better, did you know that dark chocolate even contains fiber (usually about 5g per serving in a 70-85% dark). I love this brand.
Olive Oil – for making salad dressings and roasting veggies/meat
Avocado Oil- for high heat cooking , dump ranch, and salad dressings
Coconut Oil- for cooking veggies, adding to morning coffee , and smoothies
Apple cider vinegar- I add this to my salad dressings.
Dijon mustard- for burgers, tuna salad, and salad dressing
Natural Peanut butter- get something that contains no extra oils! Peanuts and salt are the only ingredients you need
Honey- for tea, oatmeal, and to sweeten almost anything else too
Canned diced tomatoes- for adding to sauces
Canned coconut milk- thicker than the stuff you can get cold in a carton. I use this stuff for my chia pudding and also for smoothies
Brown rice- for skillet meals and side dishes
Sea salt- for everything
Pepper and other spices- for everything you add spices to
That’s my list. I might be missing a few things but I tried to cover all areas of cooking and the kitchen. Hopefully this will help give you a good place to start when beginning to incorporate healthier foods into your kitchen.
Remember, when changing your food environment take small steps. Don’t throw everything you are used to eating away at once. Pick one healthy item a week to add and go from there. If you have any questions about the list, recipes, or if you would just like support in getting healthier, find me in my Facebook group! Hope to see you there.