Moving away from home can make it difficult to stay on track if you’re out of routine, or on a budget. Here are some very budget friendly foods to store in your kitchen at all times so that you can still assure you’re getting in a healthy dose of nutrients.
- Hemp hearts are a great add on to increase the nutrient profile of your meals. Hemp hearts are high in protein, essential fatty acids, fibre and so much more. Sprinkle these on your meals or in your smoothies, and you’ll soon become obsessed. I’ve gotten so used to putting these little guys on my plate, that my meals feel naked without them. Store them in the fridge or freezer so that they don’t go rancid. Manitoba Harvest is a great Canadian brand.
- Apple cider vinegar is a great all-in-one kind of drink. Its amazing benefits consist of: Metabolic boosting, clearer skin, better digestion, more alkaline body, stronger immune system, etc. Start your mornings with a shot of apple cider vinegar, or mixed into warm water with lemon. Start by taking a teaspoon per day and then moving up to a tablespoon once the body has adjusted to the acidity. Once you start using acv, it will be so hard to get off of it. Store it in the cupboard, or put it in the fridge to stop the fermentation. When shopping for apple cider vinegar, make sure to purchase the one that has “the mother”. The brand I would recommend is Braggs.
- Lemons! When life gives you lemons, use them to your full advantage. Lemons are great to use in so many ways. For starters, adding lemon to your water is a great daily detox, as it creates a more alkaline environment for the body. Lemons are also great when squeezed into a salad, or as part of the dressing. They are also high in vitamin C, so when squeezed into a salad, they help increase the nutrient absorption of your foods. If you add the actual lemon peel to your water, make sure to buy them organic. If not, conventional lemon is okay.
- Extra virgin olive oil is a great oil to use for cooking and adding to salads. Evoo has a very high smoking point, so the fats in the oil are not damaged easily. Make sure when buying olive oil, you look for: A dark, glass bottle that states it is non-GMO and organic. Many olive oils on the market are highly GMO. Oil that is in a light bottle, or plastic bottle has already gone rancid and can also expel xenoestrogens.
- Sea or mountain Salt. You have probably heard that salt is something you should watch for, and its true. Table salt has been heavily processed to get rid of any contaminants, which also rids the natural vitamins and mineral content. Table salt is also bleached, and high in heavy metals. Sea or mountain salt on the other hand, work wonders for the body. Real salt helps to pull water into the organs, and hydrate the body. I love Giddy Yo Mountain Salt, and would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a high mineral content salt.
- A blender! It may cost you some money initially, but it is well worth it. From smoothies, healthy desserts, whole food sauces and dressings.. You can do it all at home. If you want to start making smoothies for the morning, prep your dry ingredients at night in the blender, and freeze the wet ingredients in the freezer. When you’re ready to blend, take the wet ingredients out from the freezer, add water into the blender, and you’re set. Vita Mix and Nutri- Bullet are great blenders.
- A water bottle, that you’re constantly filling up with filtered water. Make your water bottle you accessory! Invest in a nice water bottle; its crazy how much more motivated you will be if you’re carrying around something you like. If your only access to water is tap water, look into getting a mineralizing stick for your bottle. Remember that if you are using a plastic water bottle, do not add lemon or warm water. Both warm water and lemon (citrus family) interfere with plastic and create xenoestrogens.
- Chia seeds are also a great add on to your smoothies or dishes. They are high in essential fatty acids, protein, fibre and minerals. Due to their fibre content, they help to keep you fuller for longer. As chia seeds expand in water, it is extremely important to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Salba Chia is a great brand for chia seeds.
- Cayenne pepper is great for boosting both the immune system and metabolism. Add a little bit of cayenne to your meals.
- Turmeric is a spice you have probably been hearing so much about. Turmeric is extremely anti-inflammatory and aids in proper digestion. It’s benefits are great for healthy skin, digestion, immunity, weight loss, etc.
- Kombucha or sauerkraut are some great fermented foods to add to your fridge. Fermented foods provide the body with real, living probiotics, which increase immunity. Probiotic rich foods improve skin, digestion, mood, mental clarity, and so much more. Having just one tablespoon of sauerkraut a day is equal to 1 million beneficial bacteria. Always keep in mind that the sugar content should be low if shopping for kombucha. Some brands that have low sugar kombucha include: Welo, Tonica, GT’s.
- Fresh cilantro or parsley are great body detoxifiers. They aid in eliminating heavy metals from the body and cleanse the system. Always buy these organic.
- Greens! Keep your fridge stocked with greens, whether its kale, spinach or arugula, use these for each of your meals. Some of the easiest ways to get more greens in is by adding it to the bottom of your plate or adding them into a blender. Mix up your choice of greens as you want to be obtaining good amounts of vitamins and minerals from each source.
Something that makes a huge difference is meal prep. Find a few hours a week to write out what you’re going to make, compile a grocery list, and cook your meals. Look for colourful meals and always keep it different so your body is being exposed to as many nutrients as possible.
Some of the best meals to make during the school year are ones that you can freeze: chickpea burger, turkey meatballs, soups, chilli.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe school year!