Ok there are more than 8 but these are the ones that are staples in my kitchen. What foods can you not live without?
Nut butter is always in my cupboard. It will fill you up for a quick snack on celery, gluten-free toast or in a smoothie to give you longer lasting energy and a creamy texture. Sometimes I just have nut butter on a spoon! You can easily make your own nut butters using a variety of different nuts (I have a recipe for that coming soon) or visit your local health food store where they grind the nuts freshly for you. As always, try to buy organic as you don’t want the pesticides/fungicides. I like to keep my almond butter and nuts in the fridge to prevent mould growth.
Note: some peanuts contain aflatoxins, a mould that is carcinogenic, so either buy aflatoxin free or steer clear of peanuts all together.
Good quality sea salt is actually really important for your health. I’m not talking about the white table salt you might get at restaurants or cafes (that’s the refined, bleached stuff that messes with your health). I’m talking about unrefined sea salt that still has all the trace minerals it’s supposed to. Salt is not supposed to be white; it’s actually an off-white, brownish-grey color or pink if its Himalayan and it contains all the trace minerals that are essential to your health! Minerals are actually precursors for so many metabolic processes in your body including, enzyme, muscle and nerve function. I add a small pinch of sea salt to a litre of my filtered water for the day. The type of salt you buy is important as a lot of companies bleach their salt and some even dye their salt pink and say its “Himalayan”. So be sure to buy pure Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt. Basically you want your salt to be as unrefined as possible to ensure it’s retained all the trace minerals.
Water is another basic key to great health. Without adequate water we cannot survive for more than 3-5 days. However the quality of water you drink is cause for concern these days. Tap water can be full of bacteria, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals and basically has no life in it. How can tap water compare to the energised water trickling down the mountain through the forest, full of minerals and purity? This is the water we’re supposed to drink! However unless you live by a beautiful, clean water spring, chances are you’re not drinking this kind of water. But there are ways to purify your water from the tap and add the minerals back in that your water should contain. Some form of water filtration is better than none I think. There are many different water systems that you can use. Some get rid of more pollutants than others and some are more efficient and cost-effective than others. Do some research to find out what system is best for you. Here is a good breakdown of water systems to help you choose. http://wellnessmama.com/8079/best-water-filter-options/
Back when I taught swimming to young kids, I’d be in the pool for up to 4 hours. My skin was dry and my hair was brittle after the chlorine in the pool had been eating away at me for so long and as much as I loved teaching swimming, chlorine is a real health concern. I try to avoid chlorinated pools as much as I can now. Chlorine in our drinking and shower water can be even worse. It kills the good bacteria in our gut which are the foundation for our immune system and our skin, being the biggest organ in our body, absorbs the chlorine from the shower water. Try using a filter on your shower head as well to reduce the amount of chlorine exposed to your skin.
Coconut oil is very beneficial to your health and the only oil you should cook with as it can tolerate high temperatures without going rancid! It balances weight, is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and has anti-viral properties. Coconut oil also protects against insulin resistance, boosts brain function and protects against heart disease. Definitely a SUPER FOOD!
You may notice the taste when you initially switch from whatever oil you’re using to coconut oil but I love it and don’t even notice the subtle coconut flavour in my cooking anymore. It’s also great for DIY beauty – I will be posting more about this soon.
I add lemon juice to my morning water, juices, salad dressings, pasta and hot lemon drinks if i’m feeling a little under the weather. I love lemons! They’re high in vitamin C, alkaline and great for detoxification.
Some form of Greens
Whether it’s kale, celery, spinach, cos, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber or herbs, get greens into your shopping bag! I always buy some sort of greens when I’m at the health food store. Notice that I say health food store – I tend to stay away from “supermarkets” like Coles and Safeway. Supporting health food stores or organic farmers markets as much as you can is something I believe in. However, there may be some health conscious or organic products in these supermarkets and that is also another great way to support the organic health food industry. In Australia try buying products at Coles and Safeway such as TomOrganics, Five AM Yoghurt, Soma Organics and organic fruit and vegetables if they have them! If you’re in the USA stick to Wholefoods, Sprouts or any Natural food store. If you are in the USA you need to take special care to select foods that are Non-GMO Project verified. Australians should also become aware of potentially GMO foods such as corn and soy.
Spirulina and Chlorella powder is also a great way to get greens in your meal, especially when you’re traveling. You can add them to energy balls, juices and smoothies.
(See our free recipe book for a green smoothie and juice recipes)
Possibly my favourite food ever! Avocados are super healthy for you and great for dips, salads, smoothies or desserts. Desserts? Yes, they are creamy and smooth and you won’t know its avocado once you jazz it up with cacao, dates or a bit of maple syrup. Avocados are high in mono-unsaturated fat which is the good kind. Having good fats in your diet is important for brain and nerve function and also the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. Avocado is also high in vitamin C, E and K. It’s also a rich source of folate, fibre and lutein which is great for your skin and eyes.
RIPE TRICK: pop your avocados in a bag with some bananas this will speed up the ripening process.
Organic/biodynamic free-range eggs
Eggs are full of protein and omega 3 DHA which is important for brain function and development. They have healthy cholesterol so there is no need to worry about eggs affecting your cholesterol. Another great thing about eggs is their vitamin D content. Vitamin D is super important for our health and if you’re not getting enough from the sun,be sure to find other sources of vitamin D in your diet. Eggs are also rich in selenium, choline and vitamin B12. Be sure to buy organic/biodynamic free-range eggs, with chickens that are fed a diet high in omega 3’s to get the highest omega 3 content. FYI: Boiling them is the best way to retain the omega 3 content, frying them may destroy some of these fats due to the higher heat.
Eggs also contain:
- Vitamin A, E, D and K, B6 and
- Calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium
- Copper, manganese,
What can’t you live without? Leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]!