So I can hardly believe it after looking at last week's post about a blizzard ... yes as in SNOW storm, but the past few days have beeeauutiful here. In fact, I have a slight sun burn to prove it! Manitoba weather never ceases to amaze me even though I've lived here my entire life!
So this week's post is by request and is actually something that has come up frequently with some of my new clients lately - grocery staples. I often get asked things like: How do you think up most of your meals on a weeknight? What types of foods do you always have stocked in your pantry? What foods should I always keep on hand for those I-need-a-meal-in-a-minute type nights?
The answer really boils down to creativity and learning to love your kitchen. As you may know if you've read some previous Whitty Nutrition posts, I am not one to use a lot of recipes. I love to look at recipes and get ideas on pinterest but find that sticking to a recipe causes me a lot of problems because A) It slows me down having to read every direction and measure every ingredient and B) it discourages me from making something I'm craving if I'm missing 1 or more of the ingredients listed on a specific recipe. Now don't get me wrong, there are many times when a recipe is necessary to get used to a new technique, or achieve a specific flavor like in a sauce or soup, and of course for baking. Baking is much more of a science whereas cooking is more of an art (at least in my opinion). Baking requires much more careful measuring and weighing while cooking can be adjusted as you go and based on what you have on hand. This is why I am not a great baker but a pretty decent cook. My husband takes pride in the fact that although I can whip up a complete and tasty dinner when it seems like we have no groceries, he still makes better chocolate chip cookies than I do.
I've also learned that to eat nutritiously and reach your health and fitness goals you HAVE to cook. It's just the reality and I think learning to love your kitchen, finding ways to enjoy grocery shopping, and having nutritious foods on hand that can easily be turned into a meal are great steps to ensuring your success in achieving a happy, healthy life!
So what are grocery staples you ask?
These are foods that are good to be kept on hand at all times, some of them you may need to purchase frequently while others may only need to be replaced every few months. Grocery staples will also vary from person to person depending on you and your family's unique tastes but I've complied a list of things I like to keep on hand so that I know I can whip up a meal anytime without having to resort to the drive-thru or take-out. The list I've suggested also doesn't include all of the baking staples you may want to keep on hand such as flour, baking soda/powder, salt, sugar, etc since I honestly find I don't reach for these things very often when I'm cooking meals but rather when I plan on having a bake-a-thon at which point I would go shopping with baking on my mind and not so much meal prep.
So without further adieu here is the list of items that I like to keep my pantry stocked with! I've broken the list down into categories to make it easier to navigate the different sections of the grocery store and also left some room for you and your family to incorporate some of your favorite foods from each category!