My Top 10 Pantry Items for Healthy Eating - Eat Well Enjoy Life - Pure Food, Radiant Energy (gluten free)

My Top 10 Pantry Items for Healthy Eating

summer saladThere has been a lot of interest in this summer’s Nourishing Foods Summer Cleanse starting Aug 3. Many people have already signed up, thank you, I am very excited for us to do this together.

The summer cleanse is very special. This is the time of year to eat cooling, cleansing summer fruits like peaches, cherries and watermelons, that will encourage looser stools and/or frequent urination – stimulating the body’s heat-removing channels.

In this cleanse we eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have been cooked by the sun on the vine to deliver all the lymph-moving and fatty tissue-cleansing only available this season.

The summer harvest provides a high-carb, low-fat diet to keep us energized during long, hot days in the summer.  Let me guide you through a delicious cleanse that will protect and rebuild the good microbes in your intestine. You will shed some weight and boost your energy by improving the digestion and assimilation of the foods you eat during the cleanse and after the cleanse is over.

Doing a cleanse is like hitting the reset button on your body. Unfortunately we live in a toxic world which makes it more important than ever to cleanse the toxins from our body a few times a year.

The Top 5 Benefits of Cleansing:

  • Weight loss – Cleansing improves your ability to digest resulting in weight loss.
  • Improved sleep – One of the most common reported benefits of a body cleanse is better and deeper sleep
  • Skin clarity – Improved skin quality is another key benefit of removing toxins from your body.
  • Boosts your Immunity – In the Nourishing Foods Cleanse you repopulate your gut with good bacteria benefiting your immune system.
  • Digestive regularity – Cleansing cleans out the built up toxins which may be causing your system to be sluggish.

There are also secondary benefits to cleansing.  These are benefits to your mind and spirit.  Most of the time people are focused on their body when they cleanse but in the Nourishing Foods Cleanse we also put our attention on our mind and spirit.

Mind & Spirit Benefits of Cleansing:

  • A Renewed Ability to Cope with Stress – The abundance of nutrients from fresh smoothies, soups and veggies along with deep breathing, and other processes calm down your stress hormones. You emerge renewed, ready to take on the world.
  • Emotional Release – As your body releases toxins, it also begins to release layers of emotions. This may not happen the first day but as you release the deep seated toxins many emotions like anger, fear or sadness get flushed out along with the toxins.
  • Connecting With Your Higher Self  The action of cleansing and purifying the body helps release stagnation, making room for revitalized, easy flowing energy. Spiritual seekers over the centuries have cleansed to feel more alive, awake and aware.

The Nourishing Foods Summer Cleanse
Revitalize Your Small Intestine
August 3-7  Mon-Fri
  

In the Nourishing Foods Summer Cleanse  I tell you the exact foods you need to get built up mucus and toxins out of your system this summer.

In addition to the delicious food you will be guided through gentle breathing processes, tapping and meditations that will cleanse your mind and spirit along with your body. This a level of cleansing that provides real transformation. This is optional but recommended.

Many of the foods I eat to nourish my body regularly are included in this cleanse.  You will learn how to incorporate them into your diet not just for the 5 days, but as a permanent addition to your healthy eating routine.

Today’s post is about the top 10 nourishing foods in my pantry.

My Top 10 Pantry Items for Healthy Eating

Pantry PhotoI invite you to take a peek into my pantry filled with my top 10 favorite nourishing staple foods.  I am sharing the ingredients, the health benefits, how to use it and a recipe.  More recipes can be found on under recipes.

1. Chia Seeds

chia seedsChia seeds enhance your diet with an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids that improve heart health and cholesterol levels..  The fiber they provide gets waste products out of your body.  They are a great aid for constipation.  Chia seeds help with weight loss. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling quality of chia seeds make you feel full so you eat less.  Chia seeds help balance blood sugar by regulating insulin. Chia seeds are used by athletes to keep their cells hydrated.

How to use chia seeds:

I like to put chia seeds into my smoothie.  Chia pudding also makes a nice breakfast or snack.  It is best to soak chia in water or other liquid like nut milk for 30 minutes or overnight before using.  Since they absorb liquid you don’t want them soaking up water from your digestive system, drying you out.   Click to buy online.

For 2 people – Soak 2 Tb chia seeds in 1 cup of water for at least 30 minutes.  Add to your smoothie.  The chia water mixture will stay in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

NOTE OF CAUTION:  If you are not used to much fiber in your diet, start with only 1-2 tsp.  If you eat too much at once you could get stopped up until your body gets used to additional fiber.

Recipe: Peach Chia Pudding

2. Hemp Seeds  

hempseedsHemp seeds are one of natures richest sources of easily digested protein. Protein is essential for growth and maintenance of body tissue.  Hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids, are rich in omega-fatty acids and fiber. While many proteins (soy, whey, animal) are acidic, hemp protein is alkaline helping to maintain the proper pH in your body.  Oh and don’t worry they won’t get you high, all the THC is in the buds not the seeds. 

How to use hemp seeds:

Hemp seeds taste nutty and can be sprinkled on salads and added to smoothies.  They can be used in salad dressings, desserts, candies, energy bars and more.  My favorite non-diary milk is hemp milk, you don’t have to soak it or strain it. (recipe included with latte). Click to buy online.

Recipe Matcha Hemp Latte  This is my favorite morning beverage since I gave up coffee.  Which leads me to my next favorite healthy food.

 

3. Matcha Green Tea

Green tea contains unique and powerful antioxidants know as catechins, phlyphenols and flavonoids which have been proven to reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.

Matcha is a powder form of green tea. When drinking matcha green tea you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients. It has 137 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea.

How to use Matcha:

Enjoy as a beverage (recipe above).  Sprinkle on popcorn along with Celtic sea salt in a ration of 1:2 and olive oil. Add to a smoothie. Use to make chia pudding, energy bars or put into candy.

Recipe: Matcha Chocolate With Macadamia Nuts and Goji Berries

4. Microgreens-Sprouts

Sprouts2These are plants harvested at the seedling stage and have been shown to contain four-six times as many nutrients as the mature plant. They are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.  Another benefit is you don’t have to cook them.  They contain enzymes that make them easy to digest. These enzymes help digest proteins and carbohydrates.

How to use microgreens:

My favorites are sunflower sprouts, broccoli sprouts and pea shoots.  They are perfect added to salads, served with grilled fish and are very tasty in combination with avocado.  Add them to your vegetable juices or smoothies.

They are easy to grow at home.  Click here to get started

 

5.  Kale

 Kale is one of my favorite greens to eat weekly.  It provides a variety of vitamins and flavonoids. I started eating Kale many years ago when I was pregnant.  My doctor told me I was anemic and deficient in iron.  I didn’t want to take iron pills as they made me constipated. I had heard kale was good for anemia.  I started eating kale every day and by my next visit my red blood cell count was up. I have been eating kale ever since.  Kale also contains several nutritional compounds that are converted into isothiocyanates in your digestive tract which have been show to help prevent cancer. Kale along with the other cruciferous vegetables lower cholesterol due to the fiber content and antioxidant compounds. Kale is also high in absorbable calcium.  Good for your bones.

How to use Kale:

Use in stir fries, add to soups, smoothies and vegetable juice.  Kale chips make a great snack.  When using in salad I like to massage the kale. Check out my Massaged Kale Salad for the full process.

NOTE OF CAUTION: Cruciferous veggies like kale, when eaten in very large quantities raw may impair thyroid function.  If you have any thyroid problems it is best to avoid eating too much raw kale, eat it cooked instead. When steamed or cooked the compound found in kale that may interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis is inhibited.  Also be sure to incorporate selenium rich foods into your diet as well.  Selenium is good for your thyroid.

Recipe:  Sauteed Kale with Carrots and Fennel

6. Cauliflower

cauliflower mixCauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables (along with kale, broccoli, cabbage etc.) which have many health benefits.  Cauliflower is anti-inflammatory and alkaline. It is full of antioxidants to support your heart and brain. I like cauliflower because it makes a delicious potato replacement for people like me who want to eat a lower glycemic diet to support their health. Keeping my fasting blood sugar at 85 is one of my biggest health challenges. Therefore I choose cauliflower over potatoes. When steamed and pureed cauliflower turns silky and velvety just like mashed potatoes.

 How to Use Cauliflower:  

Puree in soups, roast with spices,  process in a food processor to make “rice” for raw sushi.  Click here to find recipes and information about cauliflower

7. Brazil Nuts

I love Brazil nuts for the selenium.  One Brazil nut contains a day’s worth of selenium which is need for thyroid health.  They break down toxins and help reduce your risk of cancer.

 How to Use Brazil Nuts:  

The protein, fat and fiber in Brazil nuts make them an ideal snack.  You can make nut milk from them, use them in trail mixes or baked goods.  Add to a green smoothie to balance out the naturally occurring goitrogens present in dark leafy green vegetables, especially kale. Store them in the refrigerator to keep from going rancid.

Recipe:  Almond Maca Energy Bars

8. Maca

Maca is a root grown in Peru usually sold in powder form.  It is an adaptogen, which means it helps our body adapt to whatever it is it experiencing.  It has a balancing influence on our body. I like it because it gives me a slight energy boost and also calms me down when I am stressed. It has been used in Peru for centuries to balance hormones, increase libido, relieve anxiety and depression and provide strength endurance and clarity. The Incan warriors would take it before going into battle.  Read full article.  Buy Maca online here

 How to Use Maca:

It has a nutty malty flavor and can be added to smoothies, desserts, energy bars, baked goods and oatmeal.  You don’t need much to get the taste and benefits.

Cacao Maca Latte –  This is a favorite on my Nourishing Foods Cleanses.  It is a fabulous coffee replacement.

9. Avocado

Avocados are a regular part my diet, I eat them almost every day.  The healthy fat in avocado turns a salad into a meal that will keep you satisfied through the afternoon. They are high in minerals and fiber including B5 and B6. One cup of avocado contains 2 grams of easily absorbed protein and provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form complete proteins. Eating avocados helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and supports your cardiovascular system.  This delicious fruit helps your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene (carrots) and lutein (leafy greens) when eaten together.  One avocado has twice the potassium of a banana without spiking your blood sugar.

How To Use Avocado:

Add chopped avocado to a salad. For a quick satisfying snack slice up an avocado, sprinkle with salt and lemon. Add to a smoothie for additional fat to keep you satisfied.  Use in salad dressings, cold soups and desserts for a creamy texture.

Recipe:  

10. Lemons 

Having a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to support your body each day.  Lemon water alkalizes you, flushes the toxins that have built up while sleeping and jump-starts your digestion. Making this a morning ritual is an easy way to make a big improvement in your health.

 

Even though lemons are acidic outside the body, when they are metabolized inside your body their minerals are transformed in the bloodstream and its effect is alkalizing.  It raises your pH, reducing acidity in your blood. They’re loaded with vitamin C and bring great flavor to any dish.

How to use lemon:

Start your day with lemon juice in warm water, not cold.  Add lemons to salad dressings instead of vinegar.  Squeeze lemon on fish, vegetables or chicken to create a balanced flavor.  Lemon zest is also great to use in cooking.

Recipe: Lemon Water


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