In order to improve your dietary intake, you must have the right foods on hand to make those healthy homemade dishes (especially during a hectic work week!). A well-stocked kitchen can save you time AND money. When you cook, YOU are in control of what goes into your dishes. Your homemade dishes have so much more to offer than their fast food counterparts!
I want to share with you a few essentials that you should always have on hand in your refrigerator and pantry.
Fresh fruits and veggies - For the sake of convenience, consider pre-cut/pre-washed varieties
Eggs/Liquid egg whites
Plain Greek yogurt
Low-fat or skim milk (or use dairy alternatives such as almond, soy, rice)
Reduced-fat cheese (or non-dairy alternatives)
Uncured bacon (i.e., contains no nitrates)
100% natural fruit spread
Frozen vegetables (watch those creams and sauces though!)
Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ground turkey breast
Whole grains (quinoa, couscous, brown rice, barley, pasta, etc.)
Whole grain breads and cereals
Old-fashioned oats/Steel cut oats
Whole wheat flour
Canned beans (low-sodium or no salt added varieties)
Diced/Crushed tomatoes (low-sodium or no salt added varieties)
Applesauce (no sugar added)
Fruit cups (in fruit juice)
Chicken, beef, vegetable broth (reduced sodium)
Herbs and spices (I buy most of mine from the farmer's market! They're cheaper!)
Pure vanilla extract
Vinegar (red wine, apple cider, balsamic)
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Pure maple syrup
Soy sauce (reduced sodium)
Unsalted nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chia)
Oils (olive, canola, coconut)
If you stock your kitchen with these foods, you'll make it so much easier to achieve and sustain your healthy eating goals.
Remember, your refrigerator/freezer and pantry components set the pattern for what you eat!