With the holiday craze of “Elf on the Shelf” looking to make children behave, it’s now time for us to look at our own habits and lifestyles so we can try to behave in the New Year with “Health on the Shelf”.
One way to do that is to take stock of what’s in your cupboards! I’m here to help you fill your shelves with healthy pantry staples to keep you on the right track this year.
There are three main components to start your healthy shelves. Once you’ve got all this in your cupboards, there won’t be any room left for the prepackaged stuff you used to buy.
Fibre is absolutely essential to a healthy diet. Fibre fills you up, so you eat less overall calories. Fibre regulates your blood sugar levels so you don’t have crazy spikes/lows of energy throughout your day and fibre lowers your risk of heart disease and strokes! And it’s in so many delicious foods!
- Steel-cut oatmeal
- Nuts such as raw almonds and walnuts
- Flax and chia seeds
- Whole grain pasta
- Quinoa, farro, freekah, brown rice
- High-fibre cereal such as Shredded Wheat
Did you know that the United Nations have named 2016 the “International Year of the Pulse”? What is a pulse you ask? Well, they are part of the legume family, specifically dried peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils. Not only are these amazing foods versatile, they’re full of protein, fibre (there it is again!) and vitamins.
- Canned beans such as black, pinto, navy, kidney, etc.
- Lentils including red, green, black and brown
- Split peas, dried peas, pea flour
- Canned and dried chickpeas
You’re not going to want to eat all your new favourite foods if they’re bland. Make sure you’ve got some ingredients on hand for a flavor punch!
- Dried herbs such as bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and dill
- Dried onion and garlic powder
- Vinegars including red and white wine vinegar, apple cider rice, and balsamic
- SPICE! Curry powder, chili flakes, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika
- Canned tomatoes
- low-sodium broth
And surprise! Here is a recipe so you can start using those pulses and spices RIGHT NOW. I call this my “Orange Soup”. No, it does not contain actual oranges…but what is does contain is pure health. GET THAT FIBRE IN YOU.
Not only will you love this soup at home and at work, but your kids will love it. It’s basically neon orange. Who doesn’t like to eat soup that’s NEON? Enjoy.
- 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 2 small white onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped (don’t peel!)
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 6-8 cups broth
- salt and pepper
Using a soup pot over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and carrots for about five minutes. Add tumeric and curry powder and cook until fragrant.
Add sweet potatoes, squash, lentils and 6 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Once vegetables are cooked and lentils start to fall apart, take off heat.
Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. If it’s too thick, add remaining broth and blend again. Season with salt and pepper and feel yourself getting healthier.