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Stock your pantry

Posted Oct 17 2012 7:00am

People ask me all the time how I stay on track and stick with my new healthy way of life without falling off the wagon. Truth is, it ain’t always easy! I have been able to completely squash any signs of MS thanks largely to the fact that I have committed myself fully to healing, and I continue to make my health my #1 priority. I have learned a few things over the years that have really helped me stay the course, and one of the main things is making sure I always have healthy food options stocked at my house so I can make healthy choices every day.

I thought I’d give you a little tour of my kitchen, so you might find some inspiration and ideas on how you can keep yourself on track to your own healing. So without further ado, here’s what I keep in my kitchen in addition to seasonal fresh produce:

Whole Grains

Short Grain Brown Rice
Purifies the blood. Expels toxins. High in B vitamins. I try to have a cup or two soaking at all times, so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. You can make a bunch of this in one go and keep it to make different things all week.
Sweet Brown Rice
Delicious. Easy to digest. Higher protein than short grain brown rice. Strengthening for the kidneys. I like to mix some of this with the brown rice to keep things interesting.
Gluten Free Rolled Oats
Helps reduce cholesterol and regulate weight. Soothes and restores nervous system. Strengthens the spleen-pancreas. These are great for breakfast when I don’t have time to make my green smoothies. Ideally I soak a cup in fresh almond milk and a squirt of lemon in the fridge, for extra digestibility and Bircher Muesli goodness.MMmmmmh.
Quinoa
Complete protein. High in iron. Contains more calcium than milk. Quick Cooking. Even quicker when you’ve soaked them overnight. They grow little tails and cook in no time flat.
Millet
The only alkalizing grain. Easily digestible. Highest Iron content of all grains. I sometimes combine Millet with the Soaking Quinoa.
Amaranth
Similar amino acid and protein profile to quinoa. Sacred food of the Aztecs. Still learning about the versatility of this seed.
Forbidden Black Rice
Great for breakfast and puddings. High in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its black pigment. Again, best if you can soak it overnight.

Dried Beans/Protein

Chickpeas
My all-time favorite. Creamy. Delicious. Iron rich. I usually have some dried and a couple of Organic canned ones just in case.
Adzuki Beans
Tonifies kidney and adrenal function. Detoxifies and promotes weight loss.
Mung Bean
Soothing. Detoxifying. Helps treat high blood pressure. Shorter cooking time than other beans. I keep these around for my favorite Indian dishes.
French Lentils
Boosts vitality and high in protein. Quick cooking.
Red Lentils
Beneficial for the heart and circulatory systems. Great for quick soups.
Tempeh
High in protein. Contains Omega-3 fatty acids and natural antibiotic properties. Delicious, nutty flavor. I recently learned how to make my own Tempeh, Miso and Koji Salt. I’m a new woman!(More on that later;-)

Seeds, Nuts and Berries

Pumpkin Seeds
Good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Helps fight parasites. Always eat toasted. One of my favorite snacks. The only natural source of Zinc!
Unhulled Brown Sesame Seeds
Great source of calcium, protein, and iron. Delicious sprinkled over grains. I also use these to make Gomasio.
Raw Cashews
I love making cashew based desserts (Chia Pudding, Cashew Cheese Cake) and I throw cashews in the blender whenever I need something to be creamy.
Flax Seeds (keep ground flax in refrigerator)
Highest plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Grind and sprinkle over meals or soak whole seeds overnight and blend into smoothies.
Chia Seeds
The second highest source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Great endurance food. Love them in smoothies or to make Chia Pudding.
Almonds & Almond Butter
The only nut that alkalizes the blood. High in calcium. I have hace Almonds soaking at all times for fresh almond milk. I also love love love almond butter + green apples as a snack.
Goji Berries
Antioxidant rich supper food. Improves immunity. Anti-aging. Good in the aforementioned Bircher Muesli.
Frozen Blueberries
High in antioxidants. Delicious stirred into cooked oatmeal, or a smoothie.

Seaweeds

Kombu
Add to broth, soups, grains and beans to infuse with minerals and increase nutritional value of meals while making them more digestible.
Nori Sheets
Convenient way to get all the benefits of seaweed. Highest in protein. Reduces cholesterol.
Dulse
High in iodine and B vitamins, helps promote deep restful sleep. Dulse flakes are great to sprinkle on almost anything.

Noodles

Brown Rice Fettuccini by Tinkyada
Great when you feel like pasta. Truthfully, I make them rarely but they are good.Cook carefully – they’ll get mushy if you overcook!

Oils

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Versatile. Most trusted vegetable oil. Lowers bad cholesterol.
Coconut Oil
Great for high heat cooking.
Unrefined Sesame Oil (untoasted)
Mild tasting. Detoxifying and anti-microbial properties.
Toasted Sesame Oil
Great for adding rich toasty flavor to vegetables and dressings.
Coconut Butter
Unrefined. Contains flesh and oil, making it more of a whole food ingredient. Use to enrich curries, desserts and smoothies.
Ghee
Homemade clarified butter – great for high heat cooking, ok for people who don’t eat dairy.

Vinegars

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Cleansing. Healing. Energizing. Helps acid alkaline balance. Contains live enzymes if it’s raw.
Brown Rice Vinegar
Naturally fermented. Warming and Energizing. Helps Reduce accumulations in the liver.
Balsamic Vinegar
Delicious sweet flavor. Adds depth to sauces and stews. Very versatile.
Red Wine Vinegar
Tasty addition to salad dressings and marinades.

Spices

Tumeric
Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Highest known source of beta-carotene. Strengthens immunity.
Cayenne Pepper
Promotes good circulation. Detoxifying and anti-inflammatory.
Cumin Seeds
Benefits digestive system and liver. Essential in my curry powder and Mexican inspired bean dishes.
Dried Oregano
Flavor keeps well when dried. Oregano oil is an excellent natural antibiotic

Seasoning + Condiments

Naturally fermented Tamari
Great everyday seasoning. Tamari is gluten free.
Umeboshi Paste
Alkalizing. Excellent for nausea and stomach upset. Delicious on sweet corn!
Sea Salt
Best quality salt. Minerals intact.
Shio Koji
a fermented seasoning made from rice malt and salt, this stuff is rocking my world! I learned how to make it recently and I’ve been using it on everything. It’s a wonderful tenderizer and a short marination in shio-koji and your fish, veggie or meat dishes will melt on your tongue. Koji-magic!
Black Pepper Corns
Anti-inflammatory. Protects against viruses. Always use freshly ground!
Raw Sauerkraut or Kimchi
Helps regenerate intestines, thanks to fermentation. Stimulates digestion. Enhances immunity.

Vegetable Staples

Garlic
Helps eliminate toxins and protect against viruses.
Onions
Great for lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Fresh Ginger Root
Stimulates digestion. Both warming and cleansing. Gotta have it in my smoothies and almost everything else too.
Greens that keep well: Collards and Kale
High in calcium and iron. Detoxifying and cancer fighting.
Parsley
High in vitamin C, iron and magnesium. Excellent for the kidneys. Excellent in smoothies to ;-)
Scallions
Antifungal. Great for fighting colds.
Radishes
Helps to cleanse gall bladder and absorb fat. Cut up some radishes and turnips, throw in some Shio-Koji and you’ve got instant delicious Koji pickle. yum!

Canned Items

Crushed Tomatoes
Great for adding to bean or lentil soups and making quick pasta sauces.
Coconut Milk
Quick way to enrich soups and curries.
MISO (keep refrigerated)
Always buy naturally fermented and unpasteurized (or make your own!). Protects against environmental toxins. Anti-carcinogenic and alkalizing. Rich in amino acids and protein. Aides digestion.
Chickpea Miso
Sweet and mellow, this is a more easily digestible version.
White Miso
Sweet tasting. Great for dressings and blending with other misos.
Wild Planet Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Perfect when I need a quick, healthy snack or even for dinner with some greens.

Crackers

Black sesame crackers
Thes have some Tamari on them so I like them just by themselves.
Brown Rice Cakes
Great basic cracker for hors d’oeuvres and snacks
Mary’s Gone Crackers
Love these flax based crackers with Hummus or Guacamole.

SOURCES:Healing with Whole Foods Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. By Paul Pitchford.
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating. By Rebecca Wood.

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