Staples for your Cabinets:
· TEA Various antioxidant-rich teas – green, oolong, white, rooibos (red bush) are some of the healthiest.
· OATS Oat bran and steel cut oats – higher fibre than those little packs of instant oats, which are typically loaded with sugar. If I’m trying to reduce body fat and get extra lean, I make most of my breakfasts based on eggs and veggies.
· OILS The only healthy oils I have in my cabinets are virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Macadamia oil may also be a reasonable choice as long as it’s not “refined”. But other than that, all “vegetable oils” (which is usually soy and corn oil) are total junk and very inflammatory. Never use soy or corn oils! Also, always avoid canola oil, it is not a healthy choice.
· COCONUT MILK Cans of coconut milk (loaded with healthy saturated MCT fats) – to be transferred to a container in the fridge after opening.
· RICE Brown rice and other higher fibre rice – NEVER white rice
· TOMATO SAUCES Tomato sauces – delicious, and as I’m sure you’ve heard a million times, they are a great source of lycopene. Just watch out for the brands that are loaded with nasty high fructose corn syrup. You also want to make sure that the tomato sauce is made with olive oil instead of unhealthy soybean oil or canola oils. Also get tomato sauces in glass jars instead of cans, as canned tomatoes can be high in the dangerous chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA) due to the acidic leaching of BPA from the can lining.
· SWEETENERS Stevia – a natural non-caloric sweetener, which is an excellent alternative to the nasty chemical-laden artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose.
· HONEY Raw honey – better than processed honey… higher quantities of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Honey has even been proven in studies to improve glucose metabolism (your efficiency in processing carbohydrates). I use a small teaspoon every morning in my teas. Yes, I know that even honey is pure sugar, but at least it has some nutritional benefits… and let’s be real, a teaspoon of healthier raw honey is only 5 grams of carbs… certainly nothing to worry about, and a better choice than refined sugar.
· Organic REAL maple syrup – none of that high fructose corn syrup crap…only real maple syrup can be considered real food. The only time I really use this (because of the high sugar load) is added to my post-workout smoothies to sweeten things up and also elicit an insulin surge to push nutrients into your muscles to aid muscle recovery.
· Organic unsweetened cocoa powder – I like to mix this into my smoothies for an extra jolt of antioxidants or make my own low-sugar hot cocoa by mixing cocoa powder into hot milk with stevia and a couple melted dark chocolate chunks (what a delicious treat!!).
· Cans of black or kidney beans – I like to add a couple scoops to Mexican dishes for the fibre and high nutrition content. Also, beans are surprisingly one of the best sources of youth enhancing antioxidants! Did you know that black beans and kidney beans have more antioxidants than blueberries…it’s true!
· Dark chocolate (as dark as possible – ideally more than 70-75% cocoa content) – This is one of my treats that satisfies my sweet tooth, plus provides loads of antioxidants at the same time. It’s still calorie dense, so I keep it to just 1-2 small squares after a meal… but that is enough to do the trick, so I don’t feel like I need to go out and get cake and ice cream to satisfy my dessert urges.