Happy Fall Everyone! This is a continuation of the last blog post, with the first 5 Must Haves for your Fridge. I couldn't fit all the information I wanted to in one...so here's the Part II! I continue to love the idea behind this posting, because it really gets down to the basics of what I recommend to my clients. The best part, is that these REALLY TRULY are the things that are in my fridge at all times. Tammy Staples if you will.
1) Bone Broth or Veggie Broth: Broth is a MUST HAVE for sure. I’ve already written about why bone broth is so amazing, but it is so important that it’s worth repeating a bit. Bone and veggie broths are the quickest way to add nutrients to anything that you eat. I always have a quart in my fridge and I use it quickly, within 5-6 days. I use it instead of water to cook quinoa, rice, stir fry vegetables, or for quick soups. It adds flavor and instant minerals. A MUST HAVE.
2) Yogurt: I generally don’t eat a lot of dairy, as according to the OSU medical center (Ohio shout out!), 90% of us Asians are lactose intolerant. However, the bacteria in yogurt eats up the lactose, therefore, some people who are lactose intolerant can handle yogurt better than full on dairy products. The longer the incubation period is, the more lactose is eaten up and the tangier your yogurt will be. Homemade yogurt that is left to incubate for 24 hours is ideal (most people just leave it in the oven with the pilot light on). Most store bought brands are left to incubate from 6-8 hours. Again, organic is important when buying yogurt and I recommend buying WHOLE PLAIN yogurt. Many of the vitamins in dairy products are fat soluble, i.e. vitamin D and vitamin A and we need the fat to absorb these nutrients. There are also lots of non dairy alternatives. I usually don’t recommend soy because we get too much in our diet from processed foods AND it an be hard on digestion, but coconut and cashew yogurts are in most health food stores nowadays.
3) Umeboshi plums/paste: Ume what? Popular in Japanese cuisine, umeboshi paste and plums are pickled plums that are often found in triangular rice cakes wrapped in seaweed. They are also sometimes dried on their own and eaten as a snack. Umeboshi plums and paste are used in small amounts to flavor rice, and are extremely alkalizing for the body. You can drop a plum in hot water and drink it as a tea to help rebalance after a sugar binge, or use the paste and make your own sushi wraps with rice and whatever else you like. You could probably spend about $10 on a case of Eden Brand umeboshi paste, which may seem like a lot, but a little goes a long way. Traditionally, they have been used to help with digestion, morning sickness (I have heard anecdotally that this saved a friend from morning sickness), and hangovers.
4) Rotating meats: I am an avid recreational athlete (yeah Capoeira and who knew that I would love teaching barre classes) and I train hard 3-4 times a week. With exercise and normal metabolic functions, our bodies are constantly breaking down tissue and we need protein to repair. Protein is also not something that we store in the body, so we need to eat it regularly. I am not a vegetarian, and my body handles meat pretty well. I make sure that I am eating high quality animal protein since we can absorb nutrients from meats remarkably well, provided that we have adequate stomach acid. Right now I have pork in my fridge that is ready to go in the slow cooker, and salmon in the freezer that’s on deck next. It’s important to rotate the variety as well as eat fish often, as each will have a different proportion of essential fatty acids, and we want to make sure our Omega 3 and Omega 6 balance is correct.
5) Leftovers: I NEVER cook for just one meal unless I’m cooking for friends. I understand that life gets busy, and some days I just don’t have time to think about what to cook and it’s so helpful to look in my fridge and see a cooked grain and a cooked meat, which I usually warm up while I saute some fresh veggies, top with an egg and some avocado and there’s my meal. Usually I’ll cook 1 cup of dry quinoa or 2 cups of brown rice and have that in the fridge, and I’ll use my slow cooker to make a batch of beef ribs, or pulled pork, and have some in the fridge and freeze some for when I’m really in a pinch.
Done! There you have it folks.... These are the must haves that a holistic nutrition coach has in her fridge. :)
I would love to see comments about something you think is a must have for your fridge. We are all here to learn from each other after all....