How to Stock Your Pantry During the “Car-ona” Pandemic

 

I'm sure we've all heard the  phrase HEALTH IS WEALTH!  It seems like now more than ever, these words have so much more meaning. This might be the perfect time to batten down the hatches and get serious about the types of food we're putting into our bodies. I mean,  how cool is it to say “Wow, the corona-virus whipped my arse in shape and got me back on the self-CARE train!”

When it comes to boosting your immunity, it's super important that you are consuming plenty of citrus foods, but it's also important that you are eating foods with plenty of Vitamin A as they act as the protective barriers to your cells. 

With a little planning, you can make sure you and your family are set for the rest of quarantine, whether that is 2 weeks or 30 days.

Okay, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of how to stock your pantry so you can move through this  remaining  self-CARE quarantine with key foods to support your body. This might turn into a time that you make some significant changes in your lifestyle and how you nourish your body! Your thoughts become your reality….

  1. NUTS AND SEEDS: these little powerhouses are calorie-dense and loaded with omega-3s that are major brain boosters (we could all use that now) and support healthy cells. I’m Pretty much a fan of most nuts- walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, halibuts  as well as chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. Top your yogurt, cereal, or salads with them or just eat a handful with a piece of fruit for a quick snack (apples, pears are great for the liver and can stay on the countertop for long periods of time). Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium but you only need one, maybe two a day otherwise you OD on ‘em and cause hair loss, nerve damage, fatigue and irritability. MODERATION WITH THE GOOD STUFF! More isn’t always better darling….

  2. BEANS AND GRAINS: YES YOU NEED CARBS!! This is where paleo, keto and all the high protein, low-carb diets get it wrong (and btw why they are unsustainable). These high fiber carbs have awesome nutrients and FIBER (and plant-protein) for your gut bacteria, keep you fuller for longer periods of time AND are loaded with B-vitamins. With this heightened time of stress, guess what’s getting gobbled up? B-vitamins. You might think “well I’ll just take a supplement” but here’s the rub. You get all the co-factors and bestie nutrients IN the whole foods versus getting from vitamins and supplements. My first choice is always get it from the food, and then with nutritional deficiencies add in supplements. Carbs soothe the brain, belly and body so go for variety if you can: chickpea, red, kidney, black, white, lentils, peas, pinto, black-eyed,  all the beans, lentils + peas (can you tell I LOVE beans!). They are also loaded with gut healthy fiber, which, if you didn’t know is the only carb that doesn’t get stored as fat if you don’t burn it off. Oh, and don’t forget about grains: I’m a fan of old fashioned and Irish  oats,  brown rice, quinoa, millet if you’re gluten-free, but branch out and try some exotic ones like freekeh, farro, and other ancient grains to add to salads. One of my favorite ways to use grains is to  make a grain bowl. Just add sautéed or fresh veggies, some olive oil and vinegar, sriracha, whatever flavor you love.  I love use  oats for my energy balls and Loaded Oat Bowls (oatmeal with fresh fruit and your favorite toppings- nuts/seeds or nut butter). Portion sizes are individual based on your daily caloric needs.  if you have a food coma, then it could be from too many carbs)

  3.  PASTA: This is great to always have on stock for a quick meal. You can add a red sauce, a wine based sauce with veggies etc I like to season ground turkey or bison a little spicy and then add spinach, mushrooms and zucchini or crumble up tempeh if vegan, and boom, a delicious balanced meal. Gluten-free options include plant-based pastas by Banza, Explore Asian and Tolerant brands. If you’re Italian, you probably won’t like the plant-versions, so start with 1/2 plant based + 1/2 regular and educate your taste buds if needed :)

  4. CANNED FISH OR JERKY: if you can, grab canned pink salmon, sardines, and light tuna since they are shelf-stable. Loaded with omega-3’s that make the brain happy, protein that can help you stay satisfied for long periods of time, and helps support muscle. Canned fish is a staple in our house. We love to mix tuna with olive oil, fresh lime, red onion salt and pepper and then put it on a bed of arugula. Another little combo is olive oil, pickled jalapeño pieces, salt and pepper. Another option? Make a quick sammie on whole grain bread, touch of yogurt and chopped celery with herbs for salmon or tuna salad, or add to salad. If you’re elderly or immuno-compromised your body needs adequate protein for the immune system and to prevent muscle wasting. Jerky is another source of protein but is typically high in sodium so not the best choice for hypertension or people who don’t drink enough WATER.

  5. OILS + VINEGARS: I am a big fan of olive oil, avocado oil,  grapeseed, pumpkin seed, sesame, and high-grade oils as well as coconut to cook with or use for a homemade dressing. I love a variety of vinegars like apple cider (get “the mother”), balsamic, coconut, elderberry and other fancy vinegars. Use a 1:1 of oil to vinegar for a quick dressing with a pinch of mustard + maple syrup, agave or honey (whatever liquid sweetener you have available). If you are short on time, Tesseme's organic dressing is the bomb! my favorite flavor is Green Goddess. You can find it where refrigerated dressings are found 

  6. PASTA SAUCE OR CANNED TOMATOES (TO MAKE SAUCE): I usually have 3-4 jars in the pantry for a quick meal. I just add extra veggies to it.  Add a simple salad and it’s a balanced meal. Our meals aren’t always gourmet, sometimes you have to focus on nutritious and nourishing. 

  7. Protein MILK: With a house full of young men, getting enough protein is important. My guys love the Premier Protein brand which boasts 30g per carton. 

  8. ONIONS + GARLIC: cooking with these two powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal bulbs on the daily! Use in veggie + protein of choices for stir-fry with brown rice or quinoa or even cauliflower rice. Not great if you have IBS since onions and garlic are the top problematic foods so if you increate your intake and notice your bowel habits change, could be this.

  9. TEA + COFFEE: I’m a big fan of herbal teas  and you know I loooooove my morning coffee. Herbal teas are great any time of the day. Green tea will give you extra immune boosting antioxidant and organic Coffee will get you through home schooling and working from home. 

  10. WINE OR BOOZE: yup, my parent clients say, “please don’t take away my wine (or tequila)” so that will be the decision of each individual to figure out what you need. Just know that alcohol DOES negatively impact your sleep and prevents deep, restorative sleep so this might be a good time to find balance. If you need a nap the next day, take it. I am enjoying a glass or 2 of wine and my booze of choice is tequila, because I love to make a skinny Margarita on the weekends. I also use kombucha as a base which is awesome for gut health.  I'm all for making my Rita's healthy. Just be smart about it and don't overindulge. 

  11. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are so great to throw on those grain bowls mentioned above. I also looooooove slicing them and roasting them to use as hamburger buns, and they taste delicious tossed on top of a salad. 

12. Pancake Mix....If I don't make pancakes from     scratch, there are 2 mixes that I love. Kodiac cakes is not gluten free but it has 14 g of protein per serving, (21 g if you add eggs). When my boys aren't home, I reach for Birch Benders Paleo Mix made with eggs whites and Cassava sweetener. This mix makes the best waffles!! I get both of these at Costco. 

 

And a Bonus!

  1. DARK CHOCOLATE: for many of us, this is life. Dark chocolate or cacao is loaded with magnesium (helps your muscles chill out), antioxidants and can bring joy to your taste buds during times of stress. Chocolate does heal the heart, positively impacts blood pressure, but avoid overeating at night since it can disrupt your sleep and that is super important right now (see below). Some of my fave dark chocolate brands are Lilly's (which is also sugar free) and Ghiradelli 

Well there you go! Hopefully, you are staying sane and doing what you can to ramp up your health during this time of quarantine. If you are running out of ideas on what to cook for dinner, be sure to follow me on Instagram @bodybyruth. I share lots of meals on there. 

Putting the Care in CAR~ona!

 

Ruth xoxo

 

 


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