Or on the flipside, some people try to hide their cart so I won't see nonsense contained within. After a few unwarranted apologies for what I see them buying (BTW, no need unless you are a client) people usually ask me "Well what do you eat"?
We try to keep staple foods in regular circulation. Healthful foods that we can use for quick meals, and foods we plan to use for more time- consuming recipes. With two busy teenagers, and an energetic toddler, we need a mix of both options. Here's what you'll usually find:
- The big barrel of oats. One of my morning faves. There are a ton of variations of recipes for super-healthful oatmeal, so this is a no-brainer. Here's a base: 1/2 cup to 1 cup of oatmeal with double that amount of water, then add in 1 to 2 tablespoons flax seed, and you've laid the foundation for a power breakfast ready to dress up however you like.
- Canned tuna/salmon. Not only are these two sea-dwellers a great source of muscle-building protein, they also contain vital minerals and healthful fats, as well. We use tuna and salmon to make easy meals like my favorite tuna-and-three-bean salad with avocado and green onions, and Kat's famous salmon cakes, which she makes with flax seed.
- Nuts. We eat a variety of nuts including cashews, peanuts, almonds and pecans. These are great snack options as they are low in sugar, and high in heart-healthful, essential fats. A handful or two a day in place of starchy carbs can even help promote weight loss, according to recent studies.
- Dried fruit. Dried cranberries, raisins, apples, prunes, cherries, etc., are a great add-in to yogurt, oatmeal and salads. Dried fruit (unsweetened) is a great source of vitamins —and quick energy. Be careful, because a serving of dried fruit should be significantly smaller than a serving of fresh fruit. Watch those portions.
- Quinoa. Pronounced "keen-wah," is a highly nutritious, protein-rich grain from South America that is gaining popularity here in the United States because of its versatility, and hearty taste. Prepare it instead of potato with vegetable or chicken broth and chopped carrots for a super supportive and tasty side dish.
- Beans. Beans are a great source of a fiber, protein and a multitude of vitamins and minerals. There are a wide variety available. We usually get black, red kidney, cannelloni, lentils and garbanzo beans.
- Coconut milk/flakes. This is a relatively new resident in our pantry. This stuff rocks for so many reasons. One being that coconut milk is a great source of healthful fat, as well as calcium, potassium and other minerals. I recently started using coconut flakes in my oatmeal, and love it. Coconut isn't native to the continental U.S., so it can be a little pricey, but believe me, it's well worth it.
So, there is a li'l peek into what's in my pantry. Now I want to know what's in yours. It's only fair. Shoot me an email to email@example.com.
Chad Smith is a Hagers-town personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to
www.hometeamfitness.net for more information.