Food Staples For A Slimmer You!
My efforts to lose weight resulted in a wealth of knowledge about food and fitness. At times, it can get costly. Especially if you find you are buying various produce and then tossing out more than you even got a chance to use. I am not a fan of wasting money so for me, I tackled this by planning flexible food menus for the week, or even just a couple of days. If you keep finding yourself running back and forth to the store for more herbs, onion or eggplant 1 of 2 thing will happen:
1– You run in and out of the grocery store and get exactly what you want. Nothing more. Nothing less.
2– You run in and out of the grocery store and get exactly what you want. Nothing more. Nothing Le…WAIT! Is that an ice cream special?? Who knew baguettes were on sale this week?? Ooh! I needed more toothpaste! What was I here for again?? ….See what I mean!? You never just run into the store for 1 thing and accomplish that mission. Truth is, if you are hurrying to snag something to make for dinner you are already hungry and no human being has self-control when they are hungry. That being the case, we have to attack the issue before it gets out of hand and your standing in line with a bottle of wine, milkduds, celery, sunglasses and the newest issue of “People”. All to make a healthier chicken pot pie. Pathetic. Am I right?
Point: Staples. Ask you hard-working Mom or Grandma. Staples is the key to maintaining a dinner at 6Pm every night. All we are doing here is creating a healthier food staples list. By staples I am referring to the key ingredients that will get you through any recipe. Staples that can allow you to tweak or “get by ” or simply have on hand so you are sticking to your recipes and sticking to that healthier life style. Less running to the store. Less cheating. Less cost. and Less hassle. When you were growing up your moms staples might have been Macaroni and Cheese, Eggs, Butter, Milk etc. We are adults now need new “staples” to make it through our days and weeks of healthier eating. I totally give you permission to print out the following grocery list to upgrade your kitchen cupboards and fridge to the healthy standards worthy of someone just like you!
Skinny Staples Grocery List:
Olive Oil – Good for sautéing and adding flavor to flat breads or personal pizzas. Watch the calorie vs. tablespoon ratio! Be sure to check the calorie count on this one before purchasing!
Low- Calorie/Low-Carb Pitas or Wraps– I find these everywhere. I have been privy to the brand “FlatOut Flatbread” and “Joseph’s” Pita Bread which uses flax seed. Wraps and Pitas are amazing for everything. Chicken wraps. Pizza Pockets, flatbread creations, personal pizzas, mexican dishes, bread sticks, etc. These puppies are your healthy eating canvases and you will see me use a lot of them on here. Great way to cut calories and still feel like your having a real meal.
Deli Meat- Ham. Turkey. Roast Beef. You name it. All of these are low-calorie and super easy to roll up in your wraps or slice and dice onto baked potatoes or those personal pizzas we talked about with flax seed pitas. I have been known to grab a piece of ham and chomp on that to curb a quick craving. High in protein too! You can’t go wrong.
Chicken- Chicken is bland. I know. Chicken is also super high in protein and super low in calories. You can cook a few chicken breasts at a time and make it a part of several of you meals each for a week! Grab a piece after a work out or sauté some cubed pieces in a mexican dish or italian seasoning for a chicken parm that will knock your socks off. (Recipes on both of those coming ASAP!) Seriously, it is a life saver.
Spice Rack – To me, the spice rack was the holy grail of my weight loss success. As mentioned above, chicken is bland. Bland and cheap I might add. As a single girl who had to pay rent and bills solo, money was scarce at times and often I didn’t have a lot of meal options except for chicken. This spice rack was my saviour! I still do not know exactly what did it for me but the discovery of all these wacky spices such as Marjoram, Coriander, Dill, Basil and a wide variety of others really spiced up my creativity in the kitchen. If you are adventurous, get a spice rack. If you are not adventurous, get a spice rack. Don’t question me on this one. This is where the real fun begins. Promise.
Italian Seasoning/Garlic Bulbs/Garlic Salt/Pepper/Salt/Taco Seasoning – If you can’t buy a spice rack at the moment but still need some zest in your culinary life, all of these spices are the perfect helping hand to assist you in preparing food dishes you will be sure to love. I use all of these almost daily and will have them featured in most of my italian and mexican faux cuisines.
Salmon/ Tuna: Fish! Low in calories, high in protein, AND full of Omega 3’s which are great for your heart and cancer prevention. You can not go wrong here. I love creating fish tacos and salmon wraps with these every chance I get. I’m not opposed to buying tuna in the can but spring for frozen or fresh salmon or tilapia when you given the option.
Eggs: As I child I loved the book Green Eggs and Ham. Still do. As long as your eggs aren’t green it is safe to say that eggs are still both the “incredible” and “edible”. You can have eggs for breakfast as a hearty veggie omelette or whip ’em up scrambled. For lunch or dinner I use eggs in my asian stir fry dish & fish taco recipe to hold the tuna together. Eggs are a perfect staple because you never know when you may need one and they are so versatile. Keep lots of these handy!
Onion– This is one of those things I thought I hated. Forever. Never going to like. Now I’m to the point that I almost crave a raw onion. It’s crazy I know. I hear the words coming out of my mouth and I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. These are 100% a must. Fajitas, Italian cuisines, Tacos, Soups, Eggs, etc…onions add an amazing taste to every meal. My mom lied when she said “oh just eat it, you can’t taste it…”because you can taste it and it’s incredible. Seriously, play with it for a couple of weeks if you’re not a believer. You will be.
Parmesan Cheese or Feta– I like to cook food that makes my mouth water and I know I shouldn’t say it but I am so cheese-dependant. Some days I’m strong but other days I need something to trick my mind and tell me that there is cheese in my food so it’s satisfying enough that I won’t wind up having a snack attack over gooey nachos in about 2 hours. Feta and Parm is where it’s at. Cheese BFF’s for life. I can sprinkle some on veggies or layer a few crumbles on my tacos or flat breads. It makes a world of difference and I never feel cheated.
Green, Red, or Yellow Peppers- Much like the onion, the peppers are an easy addition to pizzas, breakfast egg dishes and deli meat sandwich wraps. High in nutritional value like Vitamin C and Lycopene. Festive addition to many of my mexican food dishes or salads.
Lettuce- You gotta have your greenie greens! Lettuce is the probably the most obvious 1st pick for healthy eating. Definitely has that “eat like a rabbit” vibe. I use lettuce for various salads and love being able to stuff my pitas or wraps with theses. Super fibrous and filling too! I tend to use lettuce frequently in the summer for lighter dishes but have no problem adding them to the tops of mexican enchilada cuisines to aid in quicker food fulfillment.
Sauces. BBQ, Ranch, Cesar, Hot Sauce & Marinara- Eating isn’t nearly as fun if you don’t have something to dip it in. I get it. Like I have mentioned before. I am a total fat girl. It is important to mention that there are many hidden sugars and high salt content in several sauces. You will have to dig a little deeper on the nutritional value label to dissect what will work best for you. Keep in mind the serving size while using them too. I know that the key to long-term healthy eating is to eat something that tastes good and is a meal that you will enjoy. You will be more likely to eat a BBQ or Ranch chicken wrap than a plain chicken wrap any day of the week. It is what it is. Just don’t go crazy. A little goes a long way.
Frozen Vegetables – You cannot be expected to come up with amazing super creative meals for every meal. This is where frozen vegetables come in handy. Boil, add seasoning from your awesome new spice rack and BAM! You have a side dish my friends. You will notice with my recipes that I tend to keep frozen corn, green beans, peas, broccoli, and a mixed medley on hand most of the time.
Quickies- Quickies is a generalized way of saying “food you can snag on the run.” For me that includes clementines, apples, grapes, yogurt, carrots, granola bars, & pretzels. Helps you stay on track in a pinch!
Chocolate– That’s right, I said it! Chocolate. All that is holy and good and super fattening I know. But I kinda fibbed here with the title. What I am hoping you will find is a great chocolate craving killer. For me, it is in the 90 calorie fiber brownies or bars, or 40 calorie fudge pops found in any grocers freezer. They save the day like superman because for me, chocolate is my kryptonite.
Take a snap shot of your food cart and post on Instagram #eatlikearabbitrecipes or tag eatlikearabbitrecipes on Facebook.
Good Luck and Good Choices!
* As a general note: I always check the caloric intake when determining what product to buy. That seemed to work for me but not all people are created equal. I also count my pennies so cost definitely affects my decision on what product to buy. This blog is for everyday people not millionaires.