When I get the privilege to help people move towards living a healthier lifestyle, I ask them three questions. The first question is, "What are your goals?" The second question is, "What foods do you enjoy the most?" The third question is, "What's in your kitchen that you know isn't good for you?" After asking any combination of these questions, people sheepishly look at me and say some of the common responses --- potato chips, soda, Aunt Jemima syrup, canned food, and boxed meals. Because I'm not here to judge, I typically say, "No problem." I've been there.
But coming to the realization that what's in your kitchen isn't going to help you achieve your goals is a key to a transition in your health. The next step is mustering up enough courage to get rid of what isn't beneficial for you to eat or could be a temptation in your journey. For example, if your go-to snack is Doritos, you may have to throw them away and purchase a comparable version from the health food store. If you love Coke, you may have to pour it down the drain or take it outside and clean the corrosion off of your car battery. Seriously... it's acid. If you need healthy food in your kitchen to help you achieve your goals, then you may have to purchase some. If you've made it this far in this post, then you're ready for a kitchen makeover.
What in your kitchen has to go and what things do you need to purchase in order to begin preparing and consuming healthy meals? After eating healthy for over twenty-three years, here are a few of my core staples in MY KITCHEN.
1. Alkaline Water - I drink and cook with this water because I know that it doesn't have any chemicals, additives, toxins, and other harmful things that would hurt my body. It also has a PH of over 7.0, which also helps me to keep my body alkaline. Disease only can live in an acid body.
2. Turmeric - I use this spice for its Indian flavor and color but also because of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It contains curcumin, which has powerful medicinal qualities. I take a capsule per day for my joints but I also purchase the powder from Trader Joe's to use when preparing food.
3. Cayenne - This red hot powder flavors food well (if you like spicy food), increases circulation in the body, strengthens your cardiovascular system, and helps with digestion. Since it has more health benefits than black pepper, I use this instead.
4. Liquid Aminos - Since most soy sauce is loaded with too much sodium, I typically either use Liquid Aminos, or Coconut Aminos. Both have great flavor. Personally, I believe that Coconut Aminos has more nutritional value but all I had in the house today was Liquid Aminos.
5. Himalayan Sea Salt - I love this salt because it contains at least 84 naturally occurring minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. Throw away McCormick, Ms. Dash, and all over iodized salt ---- it's killing you and raising your blood pressure.
6. Organic Raw Honey - I'm not really caught up in the title "vegan," therefore, I eat honey. It provides sweetness to food that I prepare, including teas but also is loaded with natural vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutrition. If I'm going to eat something sweet, it might as well add nutrition to my body, right?
7. Chia Seeds - I like chia seeds because they are a rich source of protein, high in fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are a great addition to smoothies and puddings.
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - The purest olive oil is extra virgin. I use it in most of my raw recipes because I've learned that when it's heated it becomes toxic. Additionally, I love it because it provides healthy fat for me and keeps my skin smooth.
9. Organic Almond Milk - This one is easy. Store bought whole milk, 2%, or half-n-half is dairy. Dairy creates inflammation in the body, which provides an environment for disease. Dairy stimulates mucus in the body. I use almond milk in recipes and smoothies at times. However, make sure your almond milk doesn't have Carrageenan in it.
10. Grapeseed Oil - I'm a big fan of using grapeseed oil for raw and cooked food. It's an oil that is loaded with essential fatty acids, and doesn't become toxic when cooking with it.
11. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (unpasteurized) - I've been using this for years. I can't say enough good things about this. It's amazing in almost every way. Seriously!
12. Herbal Tea - This is a perfect alternative to sweet soda while adding nutrition to your body. I like South African Rooibos Tea. But find an herbal tea that you like and enjoy. I drink herbal tea because it's less acid to the body compared to caffeinated tea.
13. Agave Nectar - I use this as an additional sweetener. It has nutritional value and becomes an alternative to sugar when baking and cooking certain recipes.
14. Organic Dates - These are my go-tos for almost every smoothie. If you are looking for a natural sweetener other than honey or agave, use dates. They are a good source of energy, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
I hope this has helped you. If it has, share it with a friend.