It is in your moments of decision that your habits are shaped.
That’s the first and perhaps the most important step. Then it takes a bit of prepping and a lot of consistency until your new habits grow roots and become your lifestyle.
It does not happen overnight but if you can do a 1% of a change each day you’re on your way to success.
When it comes to forming healthy eating habits it all comes down to good planning. For me, that’s a rather gratifying procedure as it is, but even if it’s not your cup of tea you have to learn to love it.
Being realistic is also crucial. Your work schedule, general lifestyle and personal preferences must be taken into account when you jump on the let’s -make-a-healthy-turn wagon otherwise you are simply setting yourself up for failure. In any case the ultimate goal is a sustainable,easy to follow and satisfying plan so instead of going on a keto diet and pouring grass-fed butter in your coffee, please consider a viable,realistic, balanced regime built on a plant-based, seasonal, colourful, mindful diet.
If you have been following my blog for a while you already how frugal I am with food and that ‘unpretentious’ is the most frequently used word on my recipe posts. I stand by my principles despite the social and professional pressure that comes with being a chef. Food should be simple, local,seasonal and yes unpretentious.
I’ve put together a basic guide that will hopefully help you stock the pantry that will change your life to the better.
Start by cleaning everything out. Give away all sorts of foods that do not fit in your new healthy mindset. Don’t save it for a rainy day, the rainy day will be later tonight when the Netflix is on and the night cravings are knocking on your door.
Then it’s time for pens and papers or phone notepads whatever gets your inner planner-addict excited,bring it on, make a list and let’s get started.
Start with the things you love.
Like pasta. Whole wheat and egg-free pasta is what you are after and they are perfect for those midweek nights that you need a quick, yet comforting heartwarming meal after a long day at work.
Next comes grains and rice. Brown rice, barley and cous cous . They all work great in salads or soups so that you can ditch that bag of croutons.
so that you won’t have to go for that store-bought donut when you are running late for your morning meetings: Oats, whole wheat corn flakes (even though I’m not a fan as a personal nutritionist, Nick likes to mix them into his porridge) flaxseed and perhaps some dried fruit to keep things exciting.
Lentils, chickpeas and beans, perfect for burritos, chillies, pasta toppings or meatless burgers! Legumes are a great alternative to meat and they do not contain cholesterol. Their fat composition mainly comprises of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and less of saturated fats which help in weight reduction and blood pressure control. And I know you are going to ask about the protein so there you go: Their protein content ranges from 15-40% and includes the essential amino acid, leucine. Eat your beans, ok?
for diving into the joys of baking from scratch at home. Whole wheat or oat flour, baking soda, dry yeast,unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut sugar as an optional treat. Corn flour is an excellent thickening agent for soups and sauces. Vanilla is a classic must have. Honey (non-vegan) or maple syrup if that’s available and affordable where you live. If not you can always count on good-old frugal dates to sweeten you puddings.
Cans of tomato sauce, unless you make you own in which case they will be stored in an air tight container, tahini or peanut butter (depending on where you live). Canned beans and/or chickpeas and corn are excellent for quick chillies and curries.
Snacks to make the healthy choise easier:
Nuts, popcorn kernels and dried fruit or homemade oil-free vegetable chips that you can make in bulk and neeble on through out the week.
Herbs and spices
are the most healthy and nutritious way to add flavour so make sure to stock up. Buy in bulk, they have an enormous shelf life and you save the planet from yet another piece of plastic packaging. Farmers markets are great for stocking up on bay leaves, oregano, dried basil, cumin and so on.
OiL & Vinegar
Olive oil is affordable and of a great quality in Greece where I’m currently based but if you can’t get your hands on that there are other excellent options wherever you are, such as coconut or avocado oil.
Vinegar is a can’t live,if-living-is-without-you staple, plain or balsamic.Why not, both.
I hope this inspired you to take a closer look at your pantry and kitchen cupboards and reevalute your needs in order to improve the quality of your life! Please don’t forget to subscibe and comment below with your pantry essentials! Find me on instagram,pinterest, facebook or tumblr and keep in touch. Being a part of a supportive community is always helpful and will give you a boost to go the extra mile.
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