THE NUTRITION STRIPPED WAY Food Philosophy
The Balancing Pillars of Living Whole and Eating Well
The Basics: How to . . . Juice with a Blender
Soak and Sprout: Grains, Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Make a Simple Salad Dressing
Cook Gluten-Free Grains
Poach the Perfect Egg
Cook Beans and Legumes
Toast Nuts and Seeds
Make Nut and Seed Butters
Make Nut, Seed, and Grain Milks
Make a Vegan Egg Replacement
Make Nut, Seed, and Grain Flours
Make Chia Jam
Make Cashew Cheese
Pop the Perfect Popcorn
Open a Fresh Young Peeled Coconut
THE RECIPES To Drink Juices and Nut Milks: The Essential Beverages Watermelon Herb
Nut Milk, Three Ways
Kale Lemon and Limeade
Mineralizing Cocoa Seed Milk
Tonics, Potions, and Elixirs: The Healers Energy in a Glass
Elderberry Lime Infusion
Beauty Papaya Potion
Morning Stories Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls: Instant Energy Boost Citrus Creamy Ginger Green Smoothie
Stripped Green Smoothie
Açaí Berry Bowl
Beetroot Pink Smoothie Bowl
Sweet Potato Julius
Mango and Turmeric Golden Lassi
Golden Ginger Honey Smoothie
Chocolate Coconut Chip Smoothie
Breakfast: A New Way to Fuel Your Morning Plantain Flatbread with Poached Egg and Honey Drizzle
Chamomile Tea Scones
Lemon Donuts with Strawberry Beetroot Glaze
Blackberry Sumac Sunflower Seed Muffins with Citrus Cream
Coconut Milk Yogurt
Buckwheat Stacks with Three Toppings
Super Seed Cereal
Buckwheat Bircher Muesli, Three Ways
Carrot Cake Quinoa Porridge
Oatmeal Porridge, Three Ways
Snacks and Starters Snacks: Small Bites to Keep You Energized Ultimate Energy Seed Truffles
The Best Chocolate Granola
Bhel Puri (Indian Street Food)
Lacinato Kale Chips, Three Ways
Avocado Toast, Six Ways
Turmeric Aebleskivers with Mango Jam
Artisan Seeded Bread
The Only Hummus You’ll Ever Need
The Best Guacamole Ever
Salads: Not Just a Bowl of Lettuce Leaves Basic Greens with Lemon-Sumac Dressing
Blood Orange and Grapefruit Salad with Cinnamon
Massaged Beet, Carrot, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Citrus-Tahini Dressing
Winter Citrus-Grain Salad
Melon, Fennel, and Asparagus Shaved Salad
Sliced Radish and Apple Salad
Moroccan Millet Salad
Soups: A Hug for Your Stomach Turmeric Lemon Broth with Corona Beans
Moroccan Tomato-Chickpea Stew with Walnut Gremolata
Ultimate Pho Bowl with Dumplings
Zinger Warming Soup
Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Salted Mushrooms
Evening Supper: Time to Unwind and Dine Zucchini Pizza Crust with Lemony Pea Pesto
Garden Beetroot Pizza with Sunflower Seed Pâté
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Lemon Raw-cotta
Beetroot Burgers with Maple Mustard
Gluten-Free Sesame Seed Buns
Avocado Club Sandwich with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms
Buddha’s Nourish Bowl
Carrot Gnocchi with Carrot Greens Pesto
Cheesy Noodles and Spring Peas
Coconut Curry Eggs
Peppery Tempeh with Polenta
Sides: Small Plates and the Supporting Cast Acorn Squash Rounds with Dill-Cashew Cream
Sweet Potato Wedges with Curry Ketchup
Carrot Yogurt with Curry Granola
Black Rice Risotto with Mushrooms
Southern-Style Skillet Corn Bread
Turmeric and Garlic Root Mash
Baked Sticky Fig BBQ Beans
Corn on the Cob with Tamarind-Date Chutney
Moroccan Marinated Zucchini Noodles
Raw Sweet Onion Flax Knäckebröd
Apricot Carrot Casserole (Porkkanalaatikko)
Desserts: The Grand Finale Raw Sundae with Cocoa-Date Syrup
Vanilla Matcha Cream Raw-eos
German Chocolate Cake Squares
Classic Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Raw Peach Tart with Coconut Whipped Cream
Puffed Rice Caramel Cookies
Salted Caramel Brownies
Lemon Cookie and Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Cream Sandwiches
Chocolate Fudge Paletas
PRACTICES AND PLANS TO NOURISH LIFELONG HABITS Rules to Cook By
FAVORITE INGREDIENTS AND PRODUCTS
UNIVERSAL CONVERSION CHART
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
—WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
The part can never be well unless the whole is well.
My philosophy about living whole and eating well extends far beyond that of eating or dieting and has everything to do with the entire framework of your lifestyle and well-being. It’s about cultivating balance, happiness, and inner strength; managing stress; nourishing relationships; engaging in supportive communities; and taking care of your physical body as well as your mental, emotional, spiritual body. We must, we must, start taking better care of ourselves and respecting our bodies and the vast potential that’s within us. Nourishing your cells with fuel from beautiful whole food is the catalyst.
Growing up, I knew food was good for us and loved eating, but beyond that I never realized the power that nutrition had on the way we felt. Until I had to. It wasn’t until I started experiencing horrible migraines in high school that traveled with me into college that I knew my lifestyle had an impact on the way I felt. Initially I went to a neurologist and began taking prescription medications, but although I no longer felt the migraine, I didn’t feel anything else either. The lethargy took me out of my element. I had trouble doing the things I normally enjoyed—like creating art and hanging out with friends. I’m talking about your basic functions of being human! For years, this was my life, kind of just “dealing” with this on and off because there was no other solution. Fast-forward a couple of college majors later, and I landed at my home base. The world of nutrition.
In high school and the early years of college, I used to consume “health” foods that weren’t the best for my body, mind, or spirit—they were heavily processed quick fixes, full of ingredients I could barely pronounce. These foods never made me feel well physically or look my best either; instead I had poor digestion, low energy during workouts, and dull skin and hair. I wasn’t feeling good, radiant, or balanced. I knew something had to give.
Another fast-forward to honing in on my research, studies, and academic experience, I found what worked for me and what didn’t. Using protocol and nutrition phases as I do now with my clients, I noticed a radical shift in my health within weeks of replacing foods I was sensitive to (dairy and gluten) and changing my lifestyle and healing my gut. I no longer felt bloated, my digestion issues resolved, my hair grew longer and stronger, my acne breakouts started to clear, I had immense energy, my athletic performance increased, and, best of all, my migraine headaches decreased dramatically. I know what it’s like to feel unhealthy, subpar, and unbalanced—and I never want to look back. If I have the ability to help you find your inner health, whether you feel like it’s buried in your core or just about to break the surface, then I’m here. I’m here because I want to help you. Nourishing your body with whole foods is the first step you can take to a healthier and happier life.
Our bodies are multidimensional, unique, and beautiful in their own ways—remember this the next time you read a blogger recommending a juice fast or a tabloid boasting about the latest diet trend a celebrity is following, or when a friend suggests that you eat x pounds of fruit a day or tells you that you can cure an illness overnight by eliminating everything “toxic.” It’s all too dogmatic and impractical, and quite frankly, it’s missing the biggest piece of the puzzle that is your uniqueness. We’re all incredibly different, and when it comes to nourishing your body, transforming your health, or finding your healthy and happy weight, it all depends on you. The only way you can ever find the magic sweet spot is adjusting your lifestyle so that it works for you, not against you, and helps reap the benefits you desire. My approach to healthful living is simple: going back to bare basics and stripping away all the confusion, the past ideals, societal pressures, and giving you the tools to do YOU . . . which is infinitely more amazing than you may think.
The recipes in this book are rooted in simplicity, but they also incorporate a little fun with a global fusion of flavors. You may see ingredients that are new to you and your kitchen. When cooking with global flavors I do my best to keep with that region’s traditional ingredient, but often you’ll see a play on a traditional dish that draws on ingredients from different regions: The Turmeric Aebleskivers with Mango Jam combine Indian flavors with a traditional Danish recipe. Chocolate and cinnamon, traditional in Mexican cuisine, are introduced to an American classic in Chocolate-Cinnamon-Walnut Chili. And Indian spice is fused with an American barbecue staple in Corn on the Cob with Tamarind-Date Chutney. Since many of my recipes use seasonal ingredients, always consider your region and what season you’re cooking in. For example, if a recipe calls for spring green peas and it’s winter, consider using asparagus, broccoli, or squash. In a nutshell, be flexible and go with the ebb and flow of the seasons.
I use a variety of kitchen tools and equipment, but don’t feel obligated to go shopping to pick up every single piece—I have a list of my tops. When I talk about blenders, I’m always referring to the high-speed kind; this is the class of blenders that will make your smoothies ridiculously smooth and will have enough power to make nut/seed butters. I even opt for a blender instead of a whisk or food processor when combining batters and doughs for ease of cleanup!
The Nutrition Stripped way of living encompasses more than just food and nutrition. Other pillars of this “whole” lifestyle that keep you living well include stress management, exercise, cultivating healthful and positive relationships with others, sleeping well, drinking water, attending to spiritual health, and engaging in work that makes you truly happy!
NUTRITION STRIPPED WAY
Whole foods. Whole living. Plant-centric. Nourishing. Optimizing. Simple. Delicious! As a dietitian nutritionist, I will show you how to strip away nutrition confusion layer by layer and get back to the bare basics of whole, nourishing foods and what it means to live well.
It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
I want to show you that eating nutritious foods and living a whole lifestyle can transform your well-being on all levels, nourishing your body from inside your cells so it radiates out. That’s some powerful stuff! I know what it feels like to be out of balance and miss lightness and pep in your step, but if I can manifest a healthful life, I know you can too. Plus, I did a lot of the hard work of figuring out tips and tricks so you don’t have to. The Nutrition Stripped food philosophy is rooted in these core nutrition principles:
1.GET BACK TO BASICS. Be a hunter, forager, and gatherer in the twenty-first century! Support local food, farmers, and artisans. As much as possible, eat foods that are organic. Opt for real whole foods that you can trace back to the source.
2.CONSUME MORE PLANTS. Scientific research has clearly shown the many health benefits of eating a diet high in plant foods from the earth: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, pseudo-grains (including gluten-free grains like quinoa and buckwheat), legumes, and beans. We don’t need science to tell us how good eating plants makes us feel—try it for yourself and befriend these powerhouses of nutrition!
3.KNOW YOUR FARMER. If you consume animal proteins in your diet, make sure they have been humanely raised and have been fed their natural diets. You should be able to trace your food back to the source and know where the animal was raised and fed, and how it existed (e.g., grass fed, wild caught, pasture raised, free range, organic). The well-being of animals we consume matters. As Michael Pollan said best, “You are what you eat eats.”
4.WATCH FOR THE REAL DEAL. If you read a food ingredient listed on a package that you wouldn’t be able to find in your grandma’s pantry, just walk away and look for the real deal. Cook from home more often to re-create those premade foods yourself; they’ll taste much better. Better yet, eat foods without a food label and make a meal in your own kitchen from scratch.
5.PRACTICE MINDFULNESS. Nutrition isn’t all about counting calories, grams of fat, and fiber, nor is eating only for the purpose of sustenance. Food plays many roles in the social, mental, emotional, cultural, and physical aspects of our lives. We should respect those roles. We all, myself included, need to spend a little more time enjoying food and “freeing” our brains from the mathematics of food, diet fads, and nutritional dogmas.
6.BE FLEXIBLE. Granted, as much as we all would love to follow a program to a T with no mess-ups, guess what? This is not a diet. I repeat, this is not a diet! It’s a lifestyle, and life is full of external circumstances and changes; it ebbs and flows. We too need to respect and honor our ever-changing lifestyles and allow for some flexibility in what we eat and do. It’s okay to dine out and indulge every now and then. As long as the majority of your food intake nourishes you, make a little room for dining out with zero guilt.
THE BALANCING PILLARS OF LIVING WHOLE AND EATING WELL
Eating food should be just as enjoyable to your taste buds as it is nourishing to your cells.
The easiest way to start taking care of yourself and finding what works for you is to draw attention to the following areas in your lifestyle and see where you can improve, what areas are stronger than others, and how you can make tweaks to find that sweet spot you’ve been searching for.
1.SLEEP. Yeah, yeah, we all know it. Sleeping is important, especially for regulating hunger and stress, which can tamper with the hormones that play a role in maintaining a healthful weight. Aim for seven to nine hours.
Tip: Set your bedtime boundary and don’t compromise those eight hours!
2.BE PRESENT. Meditation is the ultimate tool. Take the time to create mental space using meditation, which allows your mind to refocus, reenergize, cultivate happiness, and ultimately be more productive. For me, it’s a daily practice I schedule in my morning routine and I immediately reap the benefits of feeling more connected.
Tip: If you’re a beginner, try guided meditations through audio or video guides and check out my favorite resources.
3.GET ORGANIZED. Finding organization in your life is helpful to managing your time and prioritizing your health, social life, career, and everything else that calls to us during the day. Try using productivity tools or apps that help you feel balanced, focused, and organized.
Tip: Start your day with a to-do list and prioritize those tasks that you must get done before anything else.
4.REALITY > SOCIAL MEDIA. I love social media—it’s brought Nutrition Stripped places I never dreamed of. But let’s face it, social media can be a huge distraction from what’s real and truly important at the end of the day. One minute you’re just checking Instagram, the next you’re opening a tab to Facebook, and then you’re reading tweets and pinning. The cycle is vicious. Set your boundaries and be intentional about the information you allow to soak into your mind and subconscious—surround yourself with positive, authentic, truthful, and inspiring content!
Tip: I give myself set hours to use social media and stick to them. As much as I love sharing, there has to be a balance.
5.ESTABLISH A MORNING ROUTINE. This is so important! It’s one of the first goals I set with my clients. Create a morning routine that allows you to start your day as centered as possible, whether that’s meditating, taking a walk outside, having your morning coffee or Turmeric Milk, or reading. Too often we immediately start looking at social media and putting “junk” in our minds; start by doing activities that refuel you on all levels. It’ll change the dynamic for your entire day.
Tip: Set your alarm earlier. Even if you’re not a morning person, waking up fifteen to thirty minutes earlier can give you a bit more breathing room to clear your mind and start the day off on a good note.
6.EAT GREENS! Simple as that. Many of us fall shy of how many greens we should be eating per day; my recommendation is at least three servings of leafy greens in addition to other vegetables, up to eight servings a day. Try to consciously add more greens to your diet whenever you can. A simple way is to add greens to smoothies, stews, soups, salads, sandwiches, or juices.
Tip: The easiest way to instantly add more greens to your diet is by starting your morning off with my Stripped Green Smoothie, which has about four servings of vegetables per glass.
7.EAT BALANCED. Many of my female clients who have been on restrictive diets crave sugar and carbohydrates simply because they’re not eating them at all, depriving themselves of energy and not making up for it with proteins or healthful fats. Getting in a great balance of macronutrients throughout your day and week and ideally at each meal is vital to keep you feeling invincible.
Tip: Start with a plate or bowl full of greens or vegetables, and then add a protein (either from plants or a humanely raised animal), healthful fats, and a fiber-rich carbohydrate for balance.
8.MOVE AND SWEAT. My favorite forms of exercise are HIIT-style training, power walking, barre, restorative yoga, boxing, and so on; but moving your body is far more than working out consistently—it’s also about moving throughout your day. Many of us have lost the element of routine walking and movement. Continual movement is good for our lymphatic system, which is stimulated by movement and is important for clearing the body of unwanted metabolites and waste as well as keeping our circulation healthy.
Tip: If you’re sitting all day at work, make it a point to walk to the farthest restroom to take a break, walk outside for ten minutes, or even do a quick set of jumping jacks, wall squats, wall push-ups, or planks when you can.
9.LOVE. Whether it’s going on a romantic date with your love, going out on the town with your friends, reading a book at your favorite coffee shop, making a phone date with home (Hi Mom!), hosting a girls’ night, or keeping it low-key and hanging solo, you will nourish your health, heart, and overall well-being.
Tip: Find personal one-on-one time with a friend or loved one, and leave the phones behind. We often take for granted the power of human interaction and simple conversations.
10.ENJOY FRESH AIR AND NATURE. There’s nothing better for your health than grounding to nature, breathing in fresh air, and feeling warm sunshine. Try taking a walk outside at a local park, hiking, gardening, playing with your dog, or riding a bike. Just get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine (a.k.a. vitamin D!).
Tip: Make the time to spend at least thirty minutes outside every day. If you work indoors for long periods of time, set your alarm/calendar to go off every two hours to remind you to take a quick walk outside.
11.SPEND TIME WITH ANIMALS. Research has clearly shown that individuals with pets often experience greater happiness, connectedness, and well-being, which is why animals are used so often in rehabilitation programs, in therapy, and for service.
Tip: If bringing a pet into your family isn’t possible, try volunteering at a local animal shelter or donating to your favorite animal charity. It’ll make your heart happy and the animals will enjoy it as well.
12.CLEAR YOUR SPACE, CLEAR YOUR MIND. I operate off this motto especially because I work from home. If my studio space or home is a disaster, my mind is cluttered and completely distracted. Keeping a clear space also eases the flow between tasks and allows you to move with efficiency. On a spiritual level, I also view it as respect for your special and sacred place.
Tip: Take ten minutes before you start engaging in work to clean your space, tidy your desk, or clean house. Really, who can’t spare ten minutes in order to better serve?
13.CHALLENGE YOURSELF. Be willing to do something that pushes you outside your comfort zone. I often make this a monthly goal and sometimes a daily goal, but either way I continually embrace those things that completely frighten me because it helps me grow. An example from my life: quitting all of my formal jobs to start my own business and . . . writing a cookbook! Both were completely terrifying, yet the best time of my life thus far.
Tip: At those uncomfortable moments, ask yourself, How can I challenge myself in this moment? Am I staying comfortable out of fear? Jump in and get started!
14.GIVE BACK. Giving back doesn’t have to mean volunteering every week or month. It can take the form of extending common courtesies that some of us forget when we think we’re too busy: opening a door for someone, picking up the tab for the person in line after you at the coffee shop, being kind to your neighbor, lending a hand to a friend who needs you, donating your time to a local shelter, and so on.
Tip: Sometimes all it takes is asking. Ask a friend or loved one if she needs help, and more often than not, she’ll have something for you to do!
15.DO. What good are goals if we don’t make any forward movements to accomplish them? Set goals, but also set them with the intention to complete them. Make goals that are not only realistic but also challenging.
Tip: Visualize your goal, how you feel living in that achievement, what it looks like, your lifestyle, surroundings, and so forth. Then write down your approach to solidify your vision, plan and prioritize, and take action!
16.GIVE GOOD ENERGY. I’m a big believer in the energy you put out in the world; your attitude, service, words, and actions can directly impact other areas of your life. A simple act of kindness or practicing gratitude and humility can be where it all starts.
Tip: Ever heard the saying “Check your energy at the door”? This is a simple mantra you can use to keep your positive and good energy in check. Sometimes our stress takes over, and before we know it, we’ve missed out on potentially amazing interactions because of our energy and distractions.
17.LOVE THYSELF. That’s right. We can be brutal and critical when it comes to how we speak to ourselves. Loving yourself for who you are at your most authentic self is the first step in sharing your passions with the world and loving others. How would you speak to your six-year-old self? Do that!
Tip: Try out these positive mantras to keep your self-talk in a positive light: “I am beautiful.” “I am confident.” “I am strong.” “I am healthy.” “I am love.” “I am joy.”
18.MANAGE STRESS. Stress can have a deleterious effect on reaching your health goals. I know when I’m not taking the time to manage my stress and take breaks from work, because I begin to burn out, which then takes a toll on my body and mind. I can’t stress this enough, but take the time and make it a priority every day to do something that helps you calm your mind.
Tip: To start out, schedule your stress-managing time as you would any other appointment: “meditation date with the meditation pillow at seven a.m. before work.” Do something you freaking love first thing in the morning!
19.INDULGE IN ALONE TIME. It’s human nature to socialize and to find comfort in community by bonding with other people, yet don’t forget to take time just for you. You deserve it! It’ll make it that much easier to keep your focus, energy, and body “fueled” and ready to give back to others when needed.
Tip: Whether it’s taking a personal day off work to just read or go to the spa, or the simple act of “doing nothing” for thirty minutes a day, take some time for yourself to do whatever keeps you in your best form.
20.TRAVEL. Life’s too short not to take notice of the other cultures in our world and completely dive in and live it! Even if you’re unable to physically travel, it’s nice to take time to research and learn about other cultures and the food, practices, and beauty in other parts of the world.
Tip: Have fun and make a travel to-do list. Even if travel isn’t in your near future, you can still learn about other cultures by reading, watching documentaries, sifting through photography, or creating a Pinterest board to manifest your travel dreams! I have one that includes visiting Thailand, India, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, Greece, Australia, London, New Zealand, Germany—and the list goes on!
Stocking your pantry with nourishing foods is essential to eating well, which is the first step in optimizing your well-being. It’s an amazing feeling to open up a pantry full of your favorite whole foods just waiting to be used in your next meal or snack, and it’s great to be well stocked at all times just in case inspiration strikes to make a homemade nut butter, trail mix, truffles, soup, a batch of cookies, or anything else. Stocking your pantry and knowing what to include is truly the foundation of a healthful and happy kitchen. Ideally, I recommend purchasing produce from local markets and directly from farmers. Fresh, seasonal food is the most nutritious, but I understand not everyone has this access—even I don’t in Nashville year-round. In that case, choose among the best options at the grocery store, and focus on organic and non-GMO foods. Otherwise, befriend your farmers and support local homegrown food.
TOP TEN GROCERY SHOPPING TIPS
1.Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where most fresh fruits and vegetables are found!
2.Shop farmers’ markets and local farms for produce and proteins.
3.Shop wholesale retailers for discounted organic bulk items.
4.If purchasing something in a box, bag, or wrapper, be able to pronounce the names of the ingredients.
5.Buy in bulk for affordability and store in jars at home to keep products fresh.
6.Shop with reusable grocery bags.
7.Be a label detective, checking the ingredient list first instead of the numbers/nutrition label.
8.Avoid chemicals, artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives as much as possible.
9.Just because a package states “healthy,” “natural,” or “low fat” on the front of the box doesn’t mean it’s healthful. The ingredients list will always tell you the truth.
10.Aim to fill your grocery cart with 80 percent foods coming from the perimeter and 20 percent coming from the middle of the store (e.g., condiments, teas, spices, frozen foods).
WHEN PURCHASING . . .
Fruits and Vegetables
•Fresh is best!
•Frozen is next best. Choose frozen fruits and vegetables that contain no additives, such as sugar, spices, seasonings, and sauces, all of which can add unhealthful processed fats, sodium, and refined sugars.
•Choose organic when possible. Shop by using the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) “Dirty Dozen” list as a guideline. (Go to www.ewg.org.)
•The nose knows! Gauge how ripe fruits and vegetables are by smelling and touching.
•Dark leafy greens should be crisp and sturdy in texture.
•Fruit shouldn’t have wrinkled skin; it should feel heavy for its size.
Carbohydrates (Grains, Legumes, etc.)
•Choose whole-food carbohydrates (e.g., sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa).
•Choose high-fiber options when available (at least 3 to 4 grams fiber per serving).
•Choose products that have minimal ingredients.
•Avoid added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and trans fat.
•Be mindful of sodium content, always choosing no-salt-added or low- or reduced-sodium varieties.
•Avoid the “whites” (e.g., white bread, pasta, rice, crackers, tortillas). Opt instead for higher-fiber counterparts.
•Befriend gluten-free grains/carbohydrates (e.g., quinoa, millet, amaranth, oatmeal), which tend to be higher in protein and minerals.
REVIVING WILTED PRODUCE
Vegetables naturally lose moisture once they’ve been picked, especially after having been stored in the refrigerator. To help revive vegetables and make them crunchy and firm again, fill a large bowl with ice water, add the vegetables (slice to increase water absorption), and let soak for 15 minutes. Gently dry well before using or storing again.
Canned Foods and Frozen Products
•Check the sodium content. Choose no-added-salt or reduced-sodium varieties.
•Avoid canned vegetables and fruits with the exception of tomatoes and beans. Choose organic and cans that are free of bisphenol A (BPA).
•Seek out BPA-free cans overall.
•Be mindful of canned animal poteins. Search for organic and wild caught.
•Because frozen vegetables and fruits may contain added sugar, syrups, or flavorings, opt for brands that contain only said vegetable or fruit. For example, if you’re buying frozen strawberries, the ingredients list should read “strawberries.”
Bananas: Allow fresh bananas to get very ripe, then peel and place on a baking sheet in the freezer. Allow them to freeze completely (this keeps them from sticking together), remove from the baking sheet, and store in an airtight glass container. Use in smoothies, desserts, and more.
Other fruits: Strawberries, blueberries, tart cherries, blackberries, mulberries, mango, pineapple, young coconut meat, açaí, bananas, chopped apple, chopped pear.
Zucchini: Wash, chop, and freeze fresh zucchini in an airtight glass container. Use in smoothies, stews, soups, stir-fries, and more.
Other vegetables: Peas, corn, mixed vegetables, spinach, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, pearl onions, fava beans.
Grains: Artisan Seeded Bread, Raw Tart Shell.
GROCERY SHOPPING LIST
Growing your own produce is not only economical, it also provides the best guarantee of freshness. Many of us, of course, are not able to do that, so to make healthful eating affordable, see “Twenty Ways to Eat Healthfully on a Budget”. Be sure to check yearly with the EWG about which foods should be purchased organic.
Baby mixed greens
Any mixed vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, no seasonings/sauces
Any mixed fruits or individual fruits, no added sauces or syrups
Chicken, free-range, antibiotic-free
Fish, including salmon, tilapia, and tuna, wild-caught and fresh if you live in coastal regions or flash-frozen (frozen at sea)
Seafood, including shrimp and scallops, wild-caught and fresh if you live in coastal regions or flash-frozen (frozen at sea)
Beans (e.g., black, navy, lima, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney)
Split green peas
Coconut milk, canned organic, light
Hemp seed milk
Organic grass-fed butter or vegan butter
Organic cheese, goat/sheep milk
Organic plain yogurt: coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk, goat milk
Mustard: Dijon, spicy, yellow
Apple cider vinegar, raw
Fermented veggies: kimchi, sauerkraut
Oils: coconut oil, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil
Hot sauce, low-sodium
Nama shoyu (lower-sodium soy sauce)
Soy sauce (low-sodium)
Pure maple syrup
Herbs/Spices (fresh or dried)
Turmeric, curry powders
Sea salt, black pepper
Red pepper flakes, chili powder
Rice: brown, wild, basmati
Pasta: rice, quinoa, whole wheat
Bread, high-fiber, gluten-free
Crackers, high-fiber, gluten-free
High-quality cocoa powder
Dark chocolate (80% cacao or higher)
Goji berries, dried
Shredded coconut, unsweetened
Flours: almond, coconut, brown rice, peanut
Regardless of whether you eat animal proteins, everyone can benefit from nutrient-dense plant-based protein and easily incorporate these into their diets on a daily or weekly basis. All nuts and seeds in the following chart are raw unless otherwise specified.
TWENTY WAYS TO EAT HEALTHFULLY ON A BUDGET
1.BEFRIEND BEANS. Beans, lentils, legumes, pulses—whatever you may call them—are all fantastic ingredients to bulk up any meal in terms of volume, calories, and nutrition without costing you much. Dry pulses are great to purchase in bulk, and they store well in airtight glass containers or mason jars.
2.PRIORITIZE ORGANICS. Stick to the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list for the top foods that should be purchased organic. This will help you cut down on the overall amount of organic produce you have to buy.
3.BULK UP. Buy in bulk as often as possible. At first, you may think you’re spending a lot of money on bulk specialty items, but when you break down the cost per serving, you’re actually saving money in the long term. For example, I always buy spirulina, chia seeds, and hemp seeds in bulk. This can also be applied to your beans, grains, and other produce items.
4.SHOP SMART. Frequent wholesale stores and your local farmers’ markets, buy a CSA (community-supported agriculture) share, or rent a plot at a community garden.
5.GARDEN. If you can’t buy it, try to grow it! Gardens, whether personal or communal, are a great way to have local, seasonal, and healthful food right at your fingertips. It also is a great teaching/learning experience for everyone in the family.
6.SHOP ACCORDING TO THE SEASON. Remember the season! Trying to get strawberries in the dead of winter is quite expensive compared with purchasing them when they’re perfectly ripe and local to your region in the summer.
7.EMBRACE FROZEN. Don’t neglect the frozen aisle of your grocery stores (and no, I don’t mean that you should stock up on highly processed frozen entrées). Look for frozen veggies and fruits with no added ingredients. If you’re shopping for frozen raspberries, the only ingredient should be raspberries.
8.BATCH COOK! I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it forever: Cooking in bulk or large batches will not only save you a tremendous amount of time for the week ahead, but it can also help you use all your bulk-purchased items to prepare meals for later by freezing. See Batch Cooking for more inspiration!
9.SKIP THE “SUPERFOODS.” “Superfoods,” such as maca, goji berries, lucuma, spirulina, and medicinal mushrooms, are all the rage now, and I use them quite often, but all whole foods are “super” foods in my book!
10.LOVE NUTS AND SEEDS. Start cooking with nuts and seeds. Not only are they calorie dense but they’re also nutrient dense for a very small amount. I often buy nuts and seeds in bulk not only because I’m constantly using them in recipes, but also because they’re so easy to sprinkle onto salads, or use to make nut milks, desserts, and more.
11.STICK WITH HOMEMADE. Whenever possible, make your own version of the store-bought, including The Only Hummus You’ll Ever Need, jams, soups, nut milk and nut butters, ice creams, smoothies, juices, and so on. You’re often paying for the convenience and brand rather than the actual ingredients. Did I mention homemade foods are much healthier? Well, they are, and when you make your own food from scratch with quality ingredients that you’ve shopped for, you’ll foster a connection with food that you otherwise wouldn’t have when buying prepared foods.
12.PREPARE YOUR OWN FROZEN MEALS. Cooking large batches of beans and lentils, then freezing them in mason jars, can help you save time and stay within budget. Other ideas include cooking rice, roasted vegetables, or proteins of your choice and freezing them in glass containers.
13.SHARE WITH FRIENDS. Share the costs of healthful eating by buying in bulk or purchasing a CSA membership together.
14.BE THE LAST ONE. Purposefully try to catch the tail end of farmers’ markets. Most often farmers are willing to negotiate a bit more because they’d rather sell their produce to someone than take it back home!
15.MAKE A LIST. Prioritize the foods and items you need by making a list before you leave the house. This helps cut down on impulse buys and keeps you on track with the meals you’ve planned!
16.CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY. It’s smart to clear the house of foods and goods that don’t necessarily mesh with your goals and lifestyle but can be donated. It’s also a great way to take inventory of what you do have to prioritize for your next grocery trip.
17.MAKE YOUR OWN JAMS AND SPECIAL CONDIMENTS. Using frozen or leftover fresh fruit is a great way to make your own canned jams for several months ahead (see Make Chia Jam). You’re not wasting any fruit by discarding!
18.BE SMART ABOUT STORAGE. Storing your bulk items in airtight glass containers like mason jars helps to keep your grains, nuts, seeds, and beans optimally fresh. Arrange the items in your refrigerator in a way that ensures good air circulation. I find it useful to store all my greens in large BPA-free plastic bags or bins to keep them fresh rather than keeping them in store-bought packages or wrappers.
19.USE LEFTOVERS. Many of us end up with leftovers from cooking. Instead of wasting them or throwing them away, utilize the leftovers as ingredients in a quick stir-fry or salad bowl.
20.FLOUR POWER. Make your own flours! When you purchase grains, nuts, and seeds in bulk, you can process them in a high-speed blender or grinder to make your own flour. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks to keep it optimally fresh.
THE BASICS: HOW TO . . .
These are essential skills everyone should have to live a whole-food lifestyle. Master them and make alterations as needed; they will form the foundation for your cooking going forward.
Juice with a Blender • Soak and Sprout: Grains, Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes • Make a Simple Salad Dressing • Massage Kale • Cook Gluten-Free Grains • Poach the Perfect Egg • Cook Beans and Legumes • Toast Nuts and Seeds • Make Nut and Seed Butters • Make Nut, Seed, and Grain Milks • Make a Vegan Egg Replacement • Make Nut, Seed, and Grain Flours • Make Chia Jam • Make Cashew Cheese • Pop the Perfect Popcorn • Open a Fresh Young Peeled Coconut