Staple Foods You Should Always Have In The Fridge Or Cupboard

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Kara Martin Snyder

Kara Martin Snyder offers pragmatic health & lifestyle options for frazzled entrepreneurs with all heart and no bullsh*t. Take care of you as much as you take care of business.

 

Q:

foodFrom the Lioness Instagram community: “I would like to eat less processed food. However, it’s just so fast to cook. I’m always busy. What are some quick, healthier options and are there any staple foods I should always have in the fridge or in my cupboard.”

A:

As women entrepreneurs, we are certainly busy. I know because I’ve built my 5-year old health coaching from the ground up. Despite really enjoying my playtime in the kitchen, sometimes you just need to get shit done in the office.

I know it’s really, really tempting to bust out the Ramen noodles. Yes, you’ll feel full, but you’re going to be empty on nutrition. While they take literally minutes to cook, how much will they crush your productivity when your blood sugar crashes back down a few hours later? You know what also kills your productivity over the long-term? An increased chance for heart attack, stroke and diabetes. That’s from just two weekly servings according to Baylor University researchers. Think of how many trips to the doctor’s office that can lead to over a lifetime. So, one of the first things you have to decide is how much time you realistically have to prep and cook in a given week.

Be kind to yourself as you transition off processed foods. Even one additional minimally processed, and optimally organic, meal per week is progress. Here are some ideas to get your pantry stocked:

Organic Frozen Fruit & Veggies

Yes, these are processed. However, they’re often flash-frozen at their source, which helps preserve their nutritional value. These guys are washed, chopped and ready to be thrown into soups, stews and risottos. (Those are some of my favorite cook-once-eat-twice dishes. Additionally, frozen fruit and veggies partner excellently with some of my other pantry-friendly staples – coconut and almonds milks.

Whole Grains

If you’re typically a big pasta person, keeping some whole grains (and technically seeds) around might be a great place to start stocking your pantry. You’ll still get that starchiness, but you’ll also get some extra fiber, vitamins and minerals. Think: brown rice, pre-rinsed quinoa, oats or go a little more experimental with higher protein teff, amaranth or kasha. Many of these cook in fewer than 20 minutes with minimal effort.

Bekaraans & Lentils

These little guys are going to have lots of fiber and protein to keep you sustained longer. Canned beans just need to be opened and rinsed, but will be higher in sodium. Dried lentils will cook in about 15-20 minutes on the stovetop. Dried beans, although seemingly daunting, are really quite easy. The lowest commitment method: Toss them in a large bowl of water to soak before you go to bed. (Make extra for the freezer.) The next morning, rinse and toss them into a crockpot with fresh water. Cook on low. To control their “musicality,” start with small portions, literally ¼ c. or less, if they’re a new addition to your diet. Also, you can add bay leaves or rinsed kombu during the cooking process to increase their digestibility. (Just yoink them when the beans are finished cooking.)

Vegetable Broth

Personally, my favorite is Seitenbacher broth & seasoning in powder form. It’s requires less space to store than big septic-paks of liquid broth. Liquid or power, it’s a timesaving addition to add a lot of flavor to your grains, soups and stews. Plus,

You can always supplement with fresh veggies and animal protein to your belly’s delight. It’s tempting to attempt these food blog-worthy masterpieces, especially if you’ve spent hours on Pinterest. Trust me, I know. Yet, if you’re goal is to just start cutting out the processed junk, just start with one new meal or one new food that’s figuroutable, replicable and delicious.

 

Photo Courtesy Of Becca Peterson [FLICKR]

About Kara Martin Snyder

Kara Martin Snyder, CHHC is the Owner & Chief Strategist over at vital corps, a health and wellness studio located at the intersection of strategic action and self-care. Kara's not your run of the mill, woo-woo wellness coach, though. Sure, she's got the classroom and professional creds that many health coaches have but she's also got an arsenal of bad-assery stemming from her boardroom, kitchen, and street savvy. Serving whipsmart, Type A, professional women since 2009, Kara deconstructs the broken processes in her clients' lives and together they co-create actionable, manageable steps to creating healthier lives spiked with passion and slathered with joy. Forget frazzled and famished, it's time to get focused and downright fierce... without starvation, deprivation, or tribulation. Visit her little slice of digital Shangri-La at http://vitalcorpswellness.com/ and get on the list to receive exclusive action-stoking and thought-evoking goodness in your inbox.

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