As we head into the new year, it’s only natural to think about how we can revamp our health and wellness. The key to starting fresh and achieving our health goals is preparation. A well-stocked pantry and kitchen means being prepared to cook healthy meals, not to mention it can seriously save money in the long run from avoiding takeout.
Here’s what we recommend grabbing...
Milk frother - You know those fancy lattés you pick up for $4+? Yeah, ditch those and pick this up instead. Having a milk frother on hand allows you to make lattés with coffee, tea, matcha, turmeric, or even hot cocoa. It makes a regular ol’ morning cup of coffee feel decadent without the price tag, and it takes about 20 seconds instead of the 10 minutes it takes to get to the coffee shop and wait for the barista. Now that’s a win-win.
Really good chef’s knife - This one’s a no-brainer. Who here has ever tried cutting a tomato with a dull knife? It’s a total buzzkill. A sharp, high-quality chef’s knife makes life about a billion times easier, and cutting meat or vegetables has never been faster.
High-quality blender - If there’s anything easier to make than a smoothie, I’d really like to know because throwing a bunch of superfoods in a blender and pressing “go” for 10 seconds is just about as low-key as it gets. That being said, a good blender is a must because nothing is worse than chunks of kale popping up in your green smoothie or a half blended frozen strawberry that’s stuck at the bottom, am I right? Invest in a high-quality blender so you don’t have to think twice about making smoothies or soups at home - it’s another great way to save on those trendy acai bowls, too.
Stainless Steel Saucepan - Here’s another one that takes the guesswork out of meal prep. Pick up a 2-quart saucepan, it's good for oatmeal, water for my French press, hard boiled eggs, soups, and a ton of everyday meal essentials.
Oats - An inexpensive pantry staple, oats are rich in antioxidants, fiber and tons of other nutrients, have the potential to lower cholesterol, and are a completely gluten-free whole grain. If your new year’s resolution is to make healthier choices, oats will for sure help you accomplish that. Mix them with a liquid like almond milk, some fruit, and nut butter in a mason jar, put them in the fridge overnight, and POOF. Breakfast is ready and waiting for you in the morning.
Chia seeds - There is absolutely no excuse not to have a bag of these little powerhouses in your pantry. An excellent source of omega-3’s, fiber, iron and calcium, you can add chia seeds to smoothies, oats, yogurt, salads for a crunch, or even water. You can even make chia pudding by mixing the seeds with coconut milk - they’ll puff up in the milk within a few hours for a slightly sweet but super healthy snack.
Ground Flax Seeds - Similarly to chia seeds, flax seeds are also packed with omega 3’s, antioxidants and fiber. It’s nice to keep both kinds of seeds on hand as they have completely different textures and flax seeds have a slightly nutty taste. Buy the ground variety, as it’s much easier on your digestive system and blends more easily in smoothies or oats.
Tea - A huge part of health is hydration. Make a resolution to drink more water in 2018 for better digestion, a faster metabolism, clearer skin, and a body that performs at its highest level. Since plain water can get pretty boring (and how many cups of coffee is really good for one person in a day?) switch things up and make some tea instead. There are so many different varieties and they all have wonderful benefits.
Beans - Is there anything you can’t use beans for? When you’re short on time, a simple dinner of chicken, rice and beans, or refried beans in a quesadilla, or even soup with greens and beans can be the perfect meal. They’re an excellent source of protein and fiber, so adding them to your diet can reap major benefits with minimal effort. If you’re super frugal, grab the dried kind and soak them in water overnight before boiling to cook. A hearty but healthy chili with pinto and kidney beans plus some ground meat and veggies is a must for colder months.
Non-dairy milk - This one might be subjective, but non-dairy milk is perfect for…? Yep, you named it, smoothies. And everything else really, but you’re going to need to put that blender to good use so let’s make those smoothies as often as we can. Non-dairy milks like coconut, almond, or soy milk, are great for anyone allergic to dairy or lactose and they’re great for baking. The flavored versions (unsweetened!) can be a delicious addition to those smoothies, oats, or teas, as well.