January is the month of healthy choices, right?! While the treadmills at your gym may be a bit more full than usual, encouraging yourself and others to follow through with healthy habits is so important! Last June S and I completed an entire round of Whole 30 and guess what? We’re back at it! To sum it up, Whole 30 is clean eating/cleansing for an entire thirty days meaning no sugar, dairy, grains or processed foods in order to reset your body. You can read more about my first two weeks [hardest part!] of the Whole 30 experience here and my tips and tricks here. While it’s certainly a challenge, it’s the best I’ve ever felt in my life and you’ll learn so much about your body and foods in general.
For today’s post, I want to share a bunch of items that are always in our pantry and fridge. Whole 30 is exactly that – for thirty days. I consider it a body cleanse, rather than something to live by every single day. On days in between our Whole 30 months, we like to keep our panty stocked with certain nutritious items to avoid eating out, caving to unhealthy treats and overall just feeling GOOD.
I love squeezing a bit of lemon into water to drink throughout the day. I carry this water bottle with me from the office, to errands and home to make sure I stay hydrated. Lemons not only make water taste so great, but they also detox your skin, boost energy level, provides vitamin C and even increase collagen production which reduces fine lines. We go through lemons so quickly, I always make sure to grab five or more each week grocery shopping haha.
Bananas are a life saver for curving sweet cravings and for filling your belly before working out. Before we head to the gym in the morning, I reach for a banana because it is just enough to get me moving, but not too heavy on my stomach. I used to have a greek yogurt, but dairy is way too heavy on my stomach before going for a run adn honestly after Whole 30 [cutting out dairy is a requirement] I’ve felt SO good – way less digestion grumbles/tummy aches.
We also make “nice cream” or cook up slices bananas on a skillet for a sweet dessert. S loves to sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon and honey on them too!
If I skip the gym in the morning, I’ll pack a grapefruit to eat right when I get to work. On top of being packed with vitamin c, grapefruits are known to be a major fat burner. I remember my dad drinking grapefruit juice when I was little and just the thought of it made me sick because it was such a bitter taste. When I first tried them a few years ago, I couldn’t get over the bitter flavor so I’d put a little honey on it, but now they actually taste sweet to me! Maybe I’ve grown to like them or maybe it’s because my tastebuds changed, but either way if you think they taste gross at first, your tastebuds might become accustomed to the fruit eventually.
Adding mint to lemon water gives it even more yummy flavor! Trader Joe’s offers a big bundle of mint for less than $2, so it’s a really cheap treat for the week! We’ll also add it into dishes we cook up each week. S and I always pick two-three new recipes to cook up and many call for mint so tit’s great to have on hand.
We always grab avocados while at the grocery store because they are not only full of amazing healthy fats and oils, but make yummy spreads and dips. We love adding a splash of lime and cracked pepper for a healthy dip for baked sweet potato fries instead of sugary ketchup. Avocados are also great plopped on top of a slow cooker turkey chile instead of sour cream. Plus, they’re just as yummy by themselves as a snack topped with sunflower seeds or cubed for a creamy salad addition.
While on Whole 30, you can only use coconut oil and avocado oil for cooking. Both of these oils have become pantry-musts in our book. Avocado oil has a high burning temperature, similar to olive oil, and has honestly no taste so using it to grease your pan before cooking is great. Coconut oil’s flavor can be overbearing in certain dishes, so this is a great oil that won’t leave any left over flavor.
S always pokes fun because I have at least three cartons of almond milk on our fridge. Every week at the grocery store I ask “Are we out of almond milk” because it makes me have anxiety thinking I don’t have back up! It makes the perfect replacement for dairy in baking and coffee. At Starbucks I order a double or triple espresso and foam up my own almond milk at home to put on top. When I work from home, I love to make up smoothies in the afternoon if I get a sweet craving. Adding spinach, frozen berries, cinnamon and almond milk is a quick, yummy snack!
In addition to smoothies, spinach is perfect to steam for a dinner veggie, base of a salad or tossed into homemade pasta sauce. It’s full of vitamins like vitamin A, C and iron. Plus a cup of spinach has even has more potassium than a banana!
Seltzer water helps me feel full in between meals because of the bubbles! My favorite is La Criox, but Polar Water is great too. Whichever brand you try, just make sure that it doesn’t have any sodium or else you’ll feel bloated.
LOOSE LEAF TEA
While I’m a coffee lover, S loves tea and from that, I’ve become to enjoy it more too. While mint green tea and matcha is yummy for the day, we like to try out different herbal teas to have before bed. Peppermint is a personal favorite! David’s Tea is fun to go to because they let you smell all the teas and have so much knowledge about how to brew each different type too!
If I’m looking for something a bit more filling in the afternoon, I’ll add half almond milk, half coconut milk to my smoothie. While it has high levels of fat, they are the good kinds of fat. Long gone are the days of low fat “diets” [I mean unless your fat intake is McD’s then that’s probably not the best haha]. Just like avocados, coconut milk has healthy fats and also help lower cholesterol, provide electrolytes, is full of vitamins and actually helps BURN fat! WE love making this Frosty copycat recipes too. The coconut milk makes it similar to a traditional ice cream texture!
UNSWEETENED COCONUT FLAKES
Sprinkling these unsweetened flake onto smoothie bowls gives an extra crunch!
The best on the go snack! I keep a bag of unsalted, raw almonds in my purse so that I always have a filling snack when I’m in a pinch of at the office. They hold me over between meals and help me avoid quick meals that aren’t healthy choices. Plus they control blood sugar levels, prevent overeating and support healthy brain function.
My girl Tay Tay swears that chia seeds attributed to her maintaining a healthy weight and staying fit while touring for 1989. While I’ve been adding them to smoothies for years, this was just a reminder about how great chia seeds are for your body! Sometimes smoothies aren’t very filling so chia seeds help add protein and boost your metabolism. I love making overnight chia seed pudding too. When chia seeds sit in almond milk or liquids, they expand and have a unique texture. Plus they aid in digestion health, build muscles and promote healthy heart health.
Flaxseeds have a distinct flavor, so I prefer flaxseed meal since it’s more subtle. It’s full of omega-3 essential fatty acids which are those good fats mentioned earlier. They’re high in fiber, low in carbs which and full of antioxidants. One tablespoon in your smoothie can help promote healthy skin and shiny hair too!
You can always follow along on this Pinterest board for constant recipes too. S and I always pin a bunch of ideas while meal planning on Sundays! Xoxo Mindy
SHOP KITCHEN FAVORITES
Please keep in mind that the information above is research and experiences I have gathered over the years. I hold a business degree, not a medical degree so please consult your doctor before making any nutritional adjustments.