Healthy, fresh eating is surprisingly simple.
I used to think it was hard. I used to think it involved measurements and ratios and calorie counting and all those other things I don't have time for. Who wants to spend an hour preparing breakfast?
Eating healthy and fresh is a great way to live. But, I'm lazy. And I don't want to go out of my way to find exotic, complex healthy foods that take a nutritionist to prepare. I want the things that are already in my pantry to surprise me with how healthy they are.
I did some research and came back with great news. It appears that the ten most common things health and fitness fanatics eat to stay buff and clean aren't that out of reach for people like us. In fact, they might already be in your pantry, and if they aren't, I've got the best places to find them.
So, without further ado, let's take a look at the ten healthiest, freshest ingredients that the most disciplined of us keep in their kitchen.
1. Organic Eggs
Man, was I relieved – I love eggs. Like potentially bordering on an unhealthy obsession? Thank God my fitness idols also love them, too.
I already know that most of you out there like eggs, too. While eggs are off the cards if you're vegan, they're a great vegetarian staple to have that can accompany almost any delicious breakfast or snack.
One of my favorite things to do with eggs is make a frittata in the evenings when I'm at my laziest, and the thought of cooking makes me want to go straight to bed. With all that protein, you'll be sound asleep in no time.
Seeds might seem a bit boring, especially when you'd rather be snacking on some biscuits or leftover pie. However, seeds are totally underrated, which is why they've probably been hiding in the back of your cupboard for some time now.
I spice up my seeds my flash frying them in a pan and then adding them to my salad at lunchtime. You can also add a bit of curry powder or cayenne to spice things up a bit. If you don't like the texture of seeds, I recommend adding them to your smoothies – that's what I do if I'm too lazy to get the frying pan out.
My favorite brand is Naturevibe Botanicals organic sunflower and pumpkin seeds. They're naturally non-GMO. Get your Naturevibe's pumpkin seeds here and your sunflower seeds here.
I don't think I can be in denial about this one – my kumara obsession has definitely gone too far. I shouldn't be worried about the eggs – it's the kumara that I overeat.
Because you might not be from New Zealand, in America Kumara is called sweet potato.
With all that vitamin A and potassium, you can consider yourself a health freak if you eat as much of this vegetable as I do.
One of my favorite ways to eat sweet potato is in a quiche, as you can see below.
4. Organic Oat Milk
One thing that I try not to drink too much of is regular cow's milk. While I love the taste of it, it's something I've been trying to get off of completely.
The obvious alternative to cow's milk is soy milk. However, there are disadvantages to soy milk, too.
Oat milk is a great alternative that tastes great and doesn't mess up your tea or coffee too bad. It's also a great source of riboflavin and vitamin D, too. My favorite pick for oat milk is Pacific Foods organic oat milk. Get your daily oat milk fix here.
5. Brown Rice
I used to eat white rice, and then I got educated. Brown rice has way more fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals than its super refined counterpart. Now I can't stand eating white rice; it just feels so wrong.
I love the flavor and texture of brown rice. I put it in my salads and have it with my salmon and chicken at dinner time. It's a great alternative that's also tasty, too.
6. Mixed Herbs
Do a little bit of investigating and it won't take you long to realize how dense the nutrition is in some of your common pantry herb staples. They all come with their unique nutritional qualities and are great as an addition to almost any meal.
I put them with soups and stews in the winter and sprinkle them over my salads in the summer. Since learning about how much I can get out of mixed herbs, I've tried to add them to as much of my diet as I can.
Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse and an extremely versatile vegetable. I boil it up and eat it with cheese sauce when I'm feeling extra lethargic – that's one of the kid's favorites.
If I'm feeling extra ambitious, I'll cut it up, sprinkle some mixed herbs over it, and place it on a roasting tray to pop in the oven for twenty minutes or so.
If the taste isn't enough to get you going, know that a single serving of cauliflower is going to give you 77% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. That's a number I can happily get on board with.
There's nothing like starting the day with healthy, fresh avocado. I often add half of one to my morning smoothie – it's an excellent way to improve the texture and create some creaminess.
Avocados are chock full of healthy fats that help keep your heart in tip-top shape. It's no surprise that everyone loves them.
9. Rolled Oats
If I'm not eating a salad for lunch, I'm cooking up a delicious bowl of rolled oats. They are so good for you, in fact, that they've done studies to show that eating a bowl a day can even help to prevent cancer.
They're also a really good slow-release energy source, keeping you full right through that three o-clock slump.
Because I'm mostly gluten free and am always on the look-out for gluten-free products, my newest organic rolled oat obsession is Nature's Path organic gluten-free rolled oats. Get yours here.
That word might be French to you because I know that in America, you call it cilantro. It's the best topping for anything spicy, healthy and fresh, and it just became the go-to herb that's going to pump you full of nutrition.
Among its many amazing properties, coriander – or cilantro – supports healthy menstrual functioning and can improve your cholesterol levels.
When you're a busy mum, I know it can be impossibly hard sometimes to get healthy, fresh meals made in the small amount of time you've got. There's enough to worry about when you've got kids, let alone finding the time to get creative and become a master chef in the kitchen.
I guarantee that you've already got at least one of these fresh, healthy ingredients in your kitchen already. If you don't, you know where to get them!
If you want to take it one step further and find out which foods can help increase your metabolism, check out my blog post here.
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What's your favorite fresh food on this list? Let me know!