Healthy Living Kitchen

Stocking a Healthy Living Kitchen: Best Ideas for Eating Healthier at Home

You may think that stocking a healthy living kitchen is only for “health nuts” like me. Well, you’re wrong. That’s ridiculous. It’s actually quite easy. The best way to do it is to buy all-natural, whole, unprocessed foods. Here’s what I mean …

How to Stock a Healthy Refrigerator

  • Milk: I prefer organic whole or 2 percent milk (here’s why organic matters). But if weight loss is your goal, choose skim because it has less calories.
  • Eggs: I suggest only buying free range, cage free eggs from a local farm … know your farmer!
  • Hummus: I go through about two containers of hummus a week. When I don’t have time to make my own hummus I like Trader Joe’s and Garden Fresh brands, which don’t have any preservatives.
  • Deli turkey: This is one of the few processed foods I eat. My favorite turkey is Dietz and Watson Gourmet Lite Turkey Breast, which has no nitrates and half the salt of most brands.
  • Green leafy vegetables: I buy several big bags of organic spinach, romaine, and/or kale each week. When the farmers market is open here in Michigan, I like to grab some different types of fresh leafy greens each week, like collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, etc.
  • Carrots and celery: This is my go-to snack I eat every day: either carrots or celery with hummus.
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are loaded with antioxidants and are an awesome dessert when you serve them with a little Greek yogurt.
  • Almond butter: Some health foods stores sell almond butter, or you can make your own. It’s a great snack that has healthy fats, protein, and fiber. I love it with celery too!
  • Greek yogurt: I like the full fat variety but again, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to go the fat free route because it has less calories.

How to Stock a Healthy Freezer

  • Spinach: I always keep a bag of organic frozen spinach in my freezer. I add a handful to my smoothies in the morning. It’s an easy way to get an extra serving of veggies each day … and you can’t even taste it.
  • Strawberries: Frozen strawberries are another great thing to have on hand for smoothies and healthy desserts. Toss some in a blender with a little Greek yogurt and milk and you have a healthy strawberry milkshake.
  • Raspberries: Another great frozen food to have in your freezer for smoothies and healthy desserts.
  • Corn: Frozen corn is great to have in your freezer because you can use it to make a variety of soups, salads, and appetizers. Choose organic corn because most conventionally grown corn is genetically modified.
  • Broccoli: Frozen broccoli is convenient when you’re pressed for time but still want to get a quick serving of veggies.
  • Chicken breasts: Chicken breasts are a healthy, lean source of protein. If you’re a meat eater, I highly recommend having a large stash of frozen chicken breasts in your freezer. If you can find a local farm to buy your chicken from, that’s even better.
  • Fish: Stock up on fish like Alaskan sockeye salmon, halibut, perch, and more. Most fish is high in protein and low in calories. Always pick wild fish over farmed.

How to Stock a Healthy Living Kitchen/Pantry/Cupboard/Counter

  • Olive oil: Olive oil is one of the best sources of healthy fats. Make sure you choose a high quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is still an oil, which means it’s high in fat, particularly saturated fat. But not all saturated fats are created equal. Coconut oil is high in a type of saturated fat called lauric acid, which can help improve your HDL “good” cholesterol. It’s my second favorite type of oil to cook with, and pairs great with vegetables.
  • Vinegars: Vinegars are a great flavor enhancer that have virtually no calories. I have red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and sherry vinegar in my cupboard. 
  • Avocados: My wife and I havetwo big bowls on our kitchen counter where we keep our produce that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. And we always have it stocked with avocados. They’re one of my all-time favorites fruits (yes, they’re technically a fruit). I highly recommend my healthy guacamole recipe.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a must-have when you’re stocking your healthy living kitchen.
  • Onions: Onions are another staple. They go well with nearly every meat or vegetable dish. I use onions in my recipes nearly every night.
  • Lemons and limes: Lemons and limes are awesome low-calorie flavor enhancers.
  • Cocoa Powder: Organic, raw cocoa powder is one of the healthiest dessert ingredients you’ll find. It’s high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants. I like Navitas Naturals.
  • Beans: Beans beans, the glorious legume. Beans are one of the cheapest sources of high quality protein you’ll find. Stock up on dried beans, or buy salt-free canned versions.
  • Nuts: Nuts are an excellent snack or salad enhancer. They’re high in healthy fats and protein.
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