10 Feel-good Super-foods I Keep in my Kitchen at all Times

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

This may or may not be surprising to you, but the secret to eating healthy actually has nothing to do with deprivation. In fact, what I've personally found on my own wellness journey and through my clients experiences is that when it comes to eating better and feeling good, adding foods has a greater impact than removing foods. Especially when done strategically.

Ultimately the desire to eat better comes down to two common drivers - weight-loss or health. The difference is when it comes to weight loss, eating habits usually involve the removal of certain foods which work for the short-term but leave you feeling deprived. When it comes to health however, it's more about learning and developing health promoting eating habits. The great thing about the latter is that weight-loss usually happens as a bonus. It's a win-win!

My philosophy around healthy eating is to swap before you remove. Modify your current eating habits by swapping out ingredients for better ones. This gives you the feeling of having your cake and eating it too.

If you stepped into my kitchen at any given time you will find 10 items. These foods have become staples over the years but let me just tell you it didn't happen overnight. My advice is to pick one ingredient and start playing around with it. Try adding it to your current recipes or experiment with new ones until you start to like it.

My Tip: When someone says they've "tried" something and didn't like it as if to never try it again, it seriously breaks my heart. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, you're not going to love everything you try for the first time. The key here is to be open to trying it again in a different way. It's kind of like when trying to introduce foods to toddlers, you NEVER try once and give up. Keep reintroducing foods until it sticks.

Here are 10 feel-good super-foods I keep in my kitchen at all times

1. Oats

I like to think of oats as a super-food. They are a great source of complex carbohydrates, resistant starch, beta-glucans, protein, zinc, iron, selenium, and magnesium. They are also much higher in fat than other grains making them more filling and satisfying. The nutrients found in oats make them a great immune supportive and hormone supportive food.

Ways to eat them:

  • Eat them as a porridge with chopped nuts, plant-based milk and fruit

  • Grind them into a flour for baking

  • Toss some rolled oats into a smoothie for some added soluble fiber and protein

2. Buckwheat (Kasha)

This naturally gluten-free grain is actually not a grain at all. In fact, buckwheat is actually considered a seed. Buckwheat has many benefits including cholesterol reducing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. These benefits relate to their flavonoids and how they are metabolized in the colon.

They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and provide many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy GI, blood sugar balance, and adrenal health.

Ways to consume it:

  • Ground into a flour for baking

  • Add to soups

  • Replace rice in rice-based dishes

  • Soak overnight and puree in the morning along with fruit, nut milk, and maple syrup for a healthy breakfast

  • Cook for 10 minutes and add berries, milk, lemon juice, chia seeds, cinnamon, and maple syrup for a warm comforting winter breakfast

3. Lentils

Naturally high in iron, protein and insoluble fiber, lentils are a fantastic immune supportive, detoxifying and weight-loss food. They are also alkalizing which keeps the body's PH balanced and supports a healthy gut environment. In fact, emphasizing more alkalizing foods reduces stress on the body and helps all systems work better.

Lentils have a hearty texture making them a good alternative to meat. I personally like red lentils for soups as they cook fast and green lentils for more hearty recipes like burgers or casseroles. I eat lentils at least 2-3 times per week.

Ways to consume them:

  • Cook them and puree them as a good source of iron and protein for small children

  • Cook them and toss them in salads and stews

  • Make a taco meat by combining cook lentils, toasted walnuts, and taco seasoning and stuffing them in a tortilla with salsa and avocado

4. Avocado