One thing I know for sure is that the best way to help you follow through with any change to your eating habits is to BE PREPARED. Make sure you have plenty of healthy foods and snacks in your fridge and cupboards to quickly grab when you feel like cheating.
I usually cook enough food to last about 4 days, including a large bowl of salad, a large pot of soup, and seasoned beans or lentils. I also have a variety of fresh and frozen fruits and veggies to make a quick smoothie.
Stocking up the pantry will probably set you back a few bucks initially, but having well-stocked cupboards is crucial to making meals easy to prepare, as well as providing variety to your menu. Here are the staples I keep on hand at all times:
Nut & Seeds (all raw): almonds (whole, slivered and sliced), pepitas (pumpkin seeds), whole cashews, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts (kept in freezer because they spoil easily), pistachios, hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, tahini
Spices & Herbs: dry mustard, Italian seasoning, Herb de Provence, pre-made curry powder, dried chili flakes, black peppercorns, dried basil, ground cumin, dried thyme, Greek oregano, rosemary, dried parsley, chili powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, tomato paste, arrow root powder, cayenne pepper, Cajun/creole seasoning, dried dill, ground sage, cardamom, ground fenugreek, anise seed, pre-made garam masala, turmeric, ground fennel, whole cloves, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, coriander, whole nutmeg, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, fresh ginger (kept in the freezer to cut off pieces as needed), saffron, chili paste, bay leaves, Thai chili peppers, sweet onions, fresh garlic
Dried Fruits: figs, dates, raisins or currants, apricots
Grains: rolled oats, buckwheat, 100% buckwheat soba noodles, Einkorn wheat berries, quinoa, 100% wild rice, brown rice
Beans & Legumes: dried yellow lentils, dried red lentils, brown lentils, dried black-eyed peas, and low-sodium canned black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans and chickpeas
Frozen Vegetables: edamame, sweet corn, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, sweet peas, okra
Frozen Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, mango, shredded unsweetened coconut, pomegranate seeds
Liquids: unsweetened vanilla-flavored soy milk, unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk, low-sodium vegetable broth, low-sodium tomato juice (I know these last two are not on Dr. Fuhrman’s list, but I use them very sparingly)
Flavorings: Bragg’s Amino Acids (or low-sodium tamari or soy sauce), apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar
Now for the groceries. Plan on going to the grocery store twice a week. You can do the majority of the shopping on the weekend, but in order to have really fresh greens on hand, you’ll probably need to do a mid-week run as well. Since my husband is travelling this week, I’m just cooking for myself.
Week One Grocery List (for one person)
Fresh Fruit: 4 apples, 8 bananas (if you read my blog, you know I’m bananas about bananas!), 2 grapefruit, 3 oranges, lemons & limes, 2 avocados, 1 melon
Fresh Veggies: 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach, 1 5-ounce bag baby kale, 1 5-ounce bag mixed salad greens, 1 5-ounce bag baby arugula, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 1 pound one-the-vine tomatoes, celery, green onions, carrots, 2 red bell peppers, 1 English cucumber, 1 bunch fresh kale, 1 bunch broccoli, 2 sweet onions, 1 pound white potatoes
Extras: 1 pound mushroom, 2 packages extra firm tofu, whole wheat pita bread
Everything else I need I can get from my well-stocked pantry. So I’m off to the grocery store. Later today, I’ll do another post showing what I cooked in advance for the week, the menu plan for the next four days, kitchen equipment essentials, and helpful hints. So check back later!