It seems as though spring is finally here! Now is a great time to clean out your pantry and fridge to prepare for the summer. Perhaps you can replace some of your existing foods with healthier, lower calorie options?
As a dietitian, many people ask me what I eat. I thought that for this blog post I would share with you some of the things that are in my pantry and fridge on a regular basis. I do like my sweets, but try not to keep them in the house!
In my pantry:
· Kashi GoLean cereals – filled with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
· Prunes – loaded with fiber to help keep you full and regular.
· Tea bags (green and black) and coffee – contain antioxidants and can count towards your fluid intake for the day since they are made with water.
· 100% cacao baking cocoa powder – contains antioxidants, iron, and a little fiber. I like to make my own hot chocolate with a cup of milk, a teaspoon of this, Splenda and a drop of vanilla extract.
· Unsalted mixed nuts – contain heart healthy fats and protein. Just watch your portion size and consume no more than a handful.
· Canned tuna and salmon – a cheap, easy source of protein and heart healthy fats.
· Canned pumpkin – filled with beta carotene, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. I usually make pumpkin pancakes with this on the weekends.
· Spices (cinnamon, oregano, cumin, etc.) – filled with antioxidants and a great way to flavor your food without salt!
· Oatmeal – a whole grain that provides fiber. Choose the oatmeal in the large tub (whether it be quick oats or ones that need to cook longer) over the pre-sweetened, packaged oatmeal.
In my fridge/freezer:
· Tofu – the only plant protein that is a complete source of protein. I like to add it to my eggs, pasta, smoothies, etc. It takes on the taste of practically anything you cook it with.
· 100% whole wheat bread – loaded with fiber, which helps keep you full and your bowels regular. Just make sure you read the label to ensure that it is made with 100% whole wheat flour.
· Greek yogurt – great source of calcium and protein. Some are fortified with vitamin D, too!
· Raw vegetables: kale, red onion, garlic, spinach/green mixture – filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
· Mayonnaise made with olive oil – a lower fat version of your favorite mayo. Creamier than light mayo.
· Ground flax seed – providing fiber and protein, flax seed has a somewhat nutty taste. I like to add it to my yogurt, cereal, and smoothies.
· Eggs – great source of protein, vitamin, and minerals. I like to eat mainly egg whites and only a few yolks per week.
· Skim milk – a low calorie source of vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin D. Aim for at least two glasses per day of skim or 1% milk.
· Salad dressing made with yogurt (you’ll find it in the produce section at the grocery store) – provides lower fat, lower calorie versions of some of your favorite flavors like ranch and Caesar.
· 100% whole wheat flour – I use this when baking. It contains more fiber than white flour.
· All fruit spread (instead of jelly) – has less sugar and a little more fiber than regular jelly.
· Vegetable burgers – with lots of different varieties, these can be part of a quick, easy meal. Just be cautious of the sodium content of some of them!
· Frozen vegetables: spinach, eggplant, broccoli florets, edamame, pepper and onion mix, green beans – Just as nutritious as raw vegetables, frozen tend to be cheaper and obviously, won’t go bad as quickly! Make sure you are not choosing varieties with added sauces and salt.
· Frozen quinoa blend – a great whole grain, even for those who cannot eat wheat.
· Water pitcher with filter – I always try to have a bottle of water with me that I reuse. A pitcher with a filter (like a Brita or Pur pitcher) is an inexpensive way to ensure safe drinking water.
Feel free to post comments to share what's in your pantry!