Most people keep staples in their kitchens, which are incredibly useful to look at to get an honest idea of whether or not you are eating healthfully. When you get back from your winter vacation if you are on one (otherwise do it now), open up your refrigerator/freezer doors, cabinets, and take inventory of what is in them as well as of items on your counter tops. Write down the food staples that occupy these homes and then execute on changing them if you realize that you have been lying to yourself about what you consume! Are you a healthy eater or not? Try to be as organic as possible and keep in touch for my take on the best of the organic brands out there.
Here is what I keep and refresh on a regular basis for my daughter and me:
Vegetables: broccoli, eggplant, various mushrooms, beets, arugula, romaine, grape tomatoes, avocado, and baby carrots.
* I rotate in vegetables I need for specific dishes I am cooking on any given day.
Breads: Pepperidge Farm Very Thin 100% Whole Wheat Bread, multi-grain breads, and corn tortillas.
Dairy: eggs, Organic Valley 2% Milk, Organic Valley Low Fat Chocolate Milk, Organic Valley Shredded Mixed Cheese, Manchego, mayonnaise, Smart Balance, Organic Valley Sweet Butter, Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
* I rotate cheeses depending on my moods (goat cheese, Jarlsberg) and though I like to have them around, I do not really eat them very often. When I do it is mostly to top off salads or for the occasional quesadilla or crostini.
Drinks: Figi water, Zola acai juice, orange juice, apple Juice, Starbuck’s Cafe Estima coffee, and Diet Coke.
* I only use the acai juice; the other juices are for my daughter who drinks them sparingly. I have one portion of acai juice a day in my morning smoothie. Other than once a day of up to 4-6ozs, juices are killers if you want to stay slim whether you are looking after your children or yourself.
Condiments: maple syrup, Rao’s tomato sauce, low sodium soy sauce, Maille Dijon mustard, Caesar salad dressing, garlic, distilled white vinegar, sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, and vegetable oil.
Fish/Meats: Bumble Bee white albacore tuna, bacon.
* I am pescatarian but rarely eat fish. My daughter eats tuna fish once or twice a week (I am well aware of being careful about mercury content and keep her portions small). I also do not eat bacon but my daughter does. I try not to be too hard on her because she is only 5 years old and I want her to enjoy food, one of life’s greatest pleasures, and trying new things. At the same time, I do keep her conscious and have rules.
Pasta: De Cecco Several Shapes, Granola, Risotto, Rice Select Tri-Color Couscous.
Rice: Lotus Foods jade and black (read about a new study that shows that a spoonful of black rice bran or 10 spoonfuls of cooked black rice contains the same amount of antioxidants as a spoonful of fresh blueberries), Village Harvest basmati, Lundberg short grain white and brown as well as long grain brown, brown and wild rice fusions, and brown jasmine. I am not one hundred percent brand loyal as long as my rice is organic and natural but I definitely love Lotus Foods and Lundberg. Additionally note that their websites are an amazing source of information so I encourage you to visit them.
Snacks: New York Sesame Flats, Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bars, graham crackers, Back To Nature Wheat Thins, Gold Fish, Health Valley Organic Apple Bars, Tic Tacs, and Trident White Gum.
Condiments: sea salt, refined salt, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon sugar.
Nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews.
* I most commonly sprinkle walnuts on salads but rarely eat the others. I keep them more for guests or if I am out of my regular snacks.
Baking: whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, organic brown sugar, white sugar, chocolate chips.
Special Kid Splurge Desserts: mini Kit Kats, gummy worms. Uggh…Oreos and Mallomars! Remember this lifestyle is about moderation and joy, not deprivation!
*I buy what I need again for the special recipes. I keep the above for breakfast dishes such as crepes for my little one and chocolate chip cookie dough, which is my thing!
Fruits: fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, Pinkberry frozen yogurt and toppings, 2 pints Haagen Dazs ice cream
Breads: multi grain breads, Thomas’ Mini Bagels for my child
Miscellaneous: Wild Wood tofu burgers, Morning Star black bean burgers, homemade whole wheat Tate’s chocolate chip cookie dough.
Fruit: bananas, lemons, tangerines
Condiments: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper shakers.