Healthy Living Pantry Essentials
19 February, 2014
We interrupt this Wednesday Wish List with a very important “Local Love” announcement…
I stumbled across the Vegan Sparkles website (click here) a month ago and since, I have been trialing out healthy living AND healthy recipe’s (like cherry ripe smoothie, apple crumble and mexican street corn!!!!) which ALL recipe’s just so happen to be GOOD for you and are vegan. Now, I am not a vegan…being married to a butcher it’s hard to cut out meat however these vegan recipe’s definitely help to bring a healthy lifestyle into play for you. Founder, Rebecca Wellers, a lovely Perth (healthy living) saint, takes over the blog today as she discusses the pantry essentials to a healthier lifestyle.
Rebecca Weller is a Holistic Health Coach passionate about helping women transition to happier, healthier living, re-ignite their sparkle, and fall in love with life again. She writes for various on-line health and wellness magazines such as MindBodyGreen and One Green Planet, provides one-on-one health coaching, hosts wellness events, is the author of ‘Eating for Energy’ and creator of ‘The Sparkle Project’ – both available from her wellness site VeganSparkles.com.
Have you ever felt amazing after eating packaged, processed food? Me neither. Food is energy and everything we eat becomes part of our bodies at a cellular level. It affects our looks, moods, thoughts, sleep, and energy levels. So it’s vital for our quality of life and overall happiness to eat great food. But where to start? Whether you’re completely at a loss as to where to begin or just need some help getting back on track, these steps will help you overhaul your kitchen and plant you firmly on a journey towards that happy, healthy lifestyle you truly crave.
1. Clear the clutter!
Clutter zaps your energy, slows you down, and keeps you trapped. Schedule an hour or so to give your pantry, fridge and kitchen cupboards a spring clean. Pump your favourite tunes and get down to business. Donate or recycle anything that no longer serves you: appliances you no longer use and containers you never liked. Having a funky, well-organised kitchen will inspire you to use it more and to get excited about the magic of home-cooking and nourishing yourself.
If you’re serious about creating a healthy new lifestyle, also purge your kitchen of all junk food offenders. If it doesn’t promote health, donate or get rid of it. Be a food detective and read the labels of everything in your pantry. If it contains artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours, preservatives, or any ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s outta there! The more you stay committed to whole, natural foods and simple ingredients, the healthier you’ll be. Kick packaged, processed foods to the kerb, and watch your energy levels sky-rocket!
2. Re-stock Revolution!
Now that your kitchen is all shiny and organised, it’s time to bring in the good stuff! Head to your local farmers market and stock up on as many wholesome goodies as you can. Think beautiful, juicy fruits, fresh herbs and crisp vegetables the colours of the rainbow. Show your pantry some love too, stocking it up with dried herbs & spices, beans, nuts, lentils and whole grains, so you can whip up a great meal at a moment’s notice.
Buying great quality food doesn’t need to be expensive. Save money by buying fresh food in season, and buying pantry staples in bulk. Stores like Loose Produce and Kakulas Bros offer great bulk discounts and encourage you to bring and fill your own containers and glass mason jars.
Remember to only choose healthy foods you actually like. There are plenty of healthy options that will make you feel amazing without you having to force yourself to eat foods that don’t excite you. Creating a healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation or punishment – it’s about building great, lasting habits and creating a life you love.
3. Organisation is key, baby!
Streamline wherever possible. Plan your meals for the week ahead so there’s less temptation for take-aways and fewer trips to the supermarket, freeing up precious time, energy and money. Make a double serve of rice/quinoa for dinner and save half to bulk up your salad the next day. Prepare parts of your meals and snacks ahead of time, so you’re not tempted to reach for junk. Fresh fruit, veg and herbs keep really well when chopped and stored in airtight containers in the fridge. Invest in a groovy lunchbox and containers to encourage you to pack your own.
4. Keep it simple.
Complicated meals can wait until you’re sparkling all over the place. I’m a huge fan of Buddha Bowls because they’re fast, simple and delicious – especially if you’ve already prepped most of the ingredients. You can throw any combination of your favourite, healthy ingredients into a bowl and be completely nourished and satisfied. They’re a great way to make being healthy fun and easy until you get the hang of the new lifestyle and it becomes second nature. Then you can experiment with more elaborate meals and ideas.
Try the simple, nourishing recipes in my Eating for Energy eBook, or build your own:
Start with leafy greens + any salad veg you like (or even grilled or roasted veg from dinner the night before) + any combination of whole grains, beans or lentils, nuts, seeds, herbs or spices + dressing.
Start with a bed of whole grains or lentils + grilled or roasted veg + any combination of beans, nuts, lentils, seeds, herbs or spices + avocado + dressing.
Start with a bed of whole grains + your favourite, crunchy vegetables + any combination of nuts, seeds, herbs or spices.
Want the simplest meal planner and shopping list ever? Check out this handy tool from the Eating for Energy eBook. Circle your favourite foods in each of the sections (or add your own), head to the market and stock up. Then mix and match the ingredients to create salads, buddha bowls and stir-fries all week. Job done!
You can also find Rebecca on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.