Its been exactly thirty four days since I said auf wiedersehen to refined sugar, white flour and dairy and man, am I feeling good! (And by the way, my cravings for not-so-healthy things are gone for those who are curious). Something that really helps me stay on track is to ensure my cupboards are void of unhealthy food and well-stocked with nourishing foods and snacks. If I'm not prepared that's when temptation creeps in. Here are my most favorite food items that are usually in my kitchen:
1). MaraNatha Natural Creamy + Raw Almond Butter
I mostly use this on toast but sometimes when I need something sweet I mix a couple Tablespoons with Simply Organic cinnamon powder and Sweet Leaf SteviaPlus for a sweet treat. A healthy alternative to peanut butter too!
2). Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
What a great shame that I hadn't tried this until I found it in my stocking at Christmas. Sure, I'd used tons of beauty products that contained it, but had never consumed it. During my Christmas vacation, my mom was serving me Ezekial 4:9 toast with coconut oil on it at breakfast and it tasted a lot like butter - but like a tropical kind of butter. I'm about half way through the bottle she gave me and I've been putting about 1 Tablespoon on toast and cooking with it as well (it can withstand very high temps, unlike olive oil). I love this stuff and it has loads of health benefits!
3). Annie's Naturals Tuscany Italian Salad Dressing
I feel like I've found the holy grail of salad dressings. It tastes to me like "restaurant salad dressing". I love it and when its on sale I stock up. There's usually always one in my fridge and one in the cupboard for back up. It gives my salads great flavor. I've been using it for a couple years now and I'm not sick of it yet.
4). Amy's Organic Lentil Vegetable Low Salt Soup
This is my lunch or dinner standby when I don't feel like cooking. I also send this to work with my husband as its easy to prepare when he's in a hurry. It has good flavor, great ingredients and its totally filling.
5). Barlean's Highest Lignan Flaxseed Oil
This stuff is entirely nutritious. I try to consume 1-2 Tablespoons per day which is why I opt for the 32 ounce bottle - because it will last about a month if two people are using it daily. The bigger the bottle, the better the value (usually). Unlike coconut, olive and macadamia nut oil, flax seed oil should not be heated. I mostly use it to add to my daily smoothies. If you have problem with breakouts, definitely get some of this - it can help to clear them up and it also helps to balance hormones and some have reported it helping reduce cellulite (hmmm....clear skin and less cellulite...what woman wouldn't want that?!).
6). Newman's Own Organic Olive Oil, Olio Beato USDA certified organic olive oil, Bragg's Organic Olive Oil, Bariani Olive Oil, or Spectrum Organic Olive Oil
I use to cook and saute with. There's always a bottle on my counter right next to the stove. I also use to make salad dressings or to drizzle on steamed veggies. No kitchen should be without a good bottle of organic olive oil. Not all olive oils are created equal - you can definitely tell the difference between a good quality olive oil and cheap refined, processed versions. Kroger, where I shop frequently, has their store brand (Private Selection) USDA certified organic olive oil at a good price - so check your local store and watch for deals (I've even found really great organic olive oils at Marshalls, TJ Maxx & Homegoods too so keep an eye out for bargains).
7). Mary's Gone Crackers
I can't live without these. I love all four flavors: Original, Caraway, Herb, Black Pepper (haven't tried onion). These are the only crackers I've been consuming and they really satisfy crunch cravings and totally healthy to boot! I think I found these a few years ago and having been munching on them since. This cracker invention, in my opinion, was genius. There's no other cracker out there like it (that I know of) and probably not as delicious if there is. (psst...they also make Mary's Gone Crackers Sticks & Twigs which are equally as tasty).
8). Nativas Naturals Organic Chia Seeds
These are my second new favorite thing (see #11 for my most favorite thing). I hadn't tried these before this last month - they remind me of poppy seeds. These are in the "SuperFood" category, have a ton of fiber, and have this amazing ability to squash hunger pangs and keep you full for hours. I'm eating 1-2 Tablespoons a day...sprinkling on salads or eating by the spoonful (followed by a glass of water). Cha cha cha chia!
9). Lundberg Organic Brown Rice
Truth be told, white rice has pretty much no nutritional value, it converts to sugar in your body and is not helping your healthy and/or weight loss efforts. Brown rice is much better for us and keeps me feeling full longer. Lately, I'm loving Lundberg's short grain rice.
10). Bragg's SPRINKLE All-Purpose Organic seasoning
This is so good and so versatile. My kitchen can no longer be without it. I use it to season most things. I just sprinkle it on whatever is in my Le Creuset french oven (best kitchen tool purchased to date btw) and let it do its thing. Or I use when I'm sauteeing veggies on the stove or even when they're steaming. Its just the perfect blend of spices and herbs and you need to try it.
AND the one I JUST discovered and is my new favorite food product at the moment is......
11). Food of Life Brown Rice Tortillas (Wheat + Gluten-Free!)
Without a tortilla in sight for a whole month, I was thrilled to find these at a health food store 32 days into my journey. No wheat and no refined white flour?! Perfect. Hello again wraps!
Image credit: hashai (I'm pretty much obsessed with her blog and her home...amazing!)
Disclosure: None of the products above were sent to us for review. At some point in time, I tossed them into my shopping cart and they became my must-haves.