The Wife Mentor sent me these pantry stocking ideas...
Carefully stocking your cupboard shelves and fridge can make it possible to pull together a meal at a moment's notice. The key is finding convenience items that save a few cooking steps and are still healthy. Take a look at these healthy pantry and refrigerator basics to get you started. Then, make yourself a master list and keep it in a handy spot to check off what's needed when you shop.
Apple Cider Vinegar (organic)--This is the only vinegar that does not interfere with digestion. Regular vinegar retards digestion, so it is better to use lemon juice or organic cider vinegar that is unfiltered, still containing the "Mother". This vinegar stimulates HCI in the stomach for protein digestion and is said to normalize the acid/alkaline balance. Let your body be the judge on how vinegar feels in your stomach.
Beans- (kidney, pinto, garbanzo, navy, black, etc.) Best from scratch and buy them by the 25 pound bulk bag to save money, but organic canned beans will do in a pinch. You can get them whole or refried. Look for ones that do not contain any lard. Keep 2-3 cans on hand at all times for quick meals.
Bottled Sauces and Dressings--Get preservative and sugar free. Read the labels carefully. If you don't want to make salad dressing from scratch, make sure to always have a bottle in the fridge and in your pantry. If you don't, it will be easy to make the excuse that you can't eat your salad because you don't have dressing! ; )
Broth-An absolute staple in the kitchen!! You can buy it already made and there are organic varieties on the market from Pacific Foods that are excellent. As long as you have broth or a natural bouillon handy, you will always be able to throw something together quickly. Soups can be made quickly and are very satisfying.
Cereals--Puffed whole grains, oatmeal or other grains not processed are the only ones to have on hand if you want to eat cereal. Don't buy the kind with concentrated sweeteners in them. They keep you addicted to sugar and fruit won't taste as good. Don't fall for the "all natural" or "organic" labels when it comes to cereal. Processed is processed no matter if it is organic or not.
Cheese and other dairy products (organic)--Again, you must buy organic here. At the turn of the last century girls began menstruating at the age of 15-17 and now they are starting at 9 and 10 years old??? Estrogen dominance is part of the problem and that comes from excessive hormones, chemicals in the air, plastics and pesticides. If you are going to eat dairy products, you gotta buy organic. If you are battling endometriosis or ovarian cysts, YOU MUST eat organic dairy and meats if you are choosing to include them in your eating plan.
Condiments--Mayonnaise (make sure it is sugar free), Dijon mustard, catsup sweetened with fruit juiceor others you like that are sugar free are okay to use in moderation.
Fruit--Buy organic and what is available to you in your area. In the winter months, use frozen fruit in smoothies or buy while in season and freeze for later. Keep a couple of lemons on hand for main dishes and salad dressings.
Ghee (clarified organic butter)--The cooking fat most highly regarded by Indian and French chefs. It has a good aroma and will not burn, smoke or develop toxic compounds when heated. Use olive oil or a 50:50 mixture of ghee and olive oil. Do not fry or sauté with "polyunsaturated" light oils such as safflower, sunflower or corn oils. They oxidize readily into damaging free-radicals at high temperatures. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can tear into your cells and start nasty chain reactions that can leave behind extensive damage, including alteration of your genetic code (DNA) and formation of cancer cells. Free radicals are widely considered to play a major role in degenerative disease.
Grains--Bulgur, millet, quinoa, oats and whatever else you have in your area of the world. There are many recipes using these grains and savory spices. Oatmeal is not just for the morning anymore!
Herbs and Spices--Load up on these as they will delight your taste buds and keep your meals from being boring. If you have a green thumb, grow them in your garden or on a window sill. Always have rosemary, thyme, savory, chili powder, crushed red pepper, marjoram, parsley, bay leaves, basil, oregano and whatever else delights your palate on hand. Check out the San Francisco Herb Co. for great deals on herbs and spices that are free from irradiation. You have to buy in bulk and the minimum order is $30, but you will save a bundle. They also sell dehydrated veggies, nuts, seeds and potpourri ingredients.
Lentils--Great for soups and very filling. If you are vegan, they are a staple.
Juice in a can or bottle--Anything in a bottle is dead and does not supply any enzymes and will not cleanse you. You might as well drink sugar and water. When you are thirsty, drink filtered water and that is it. Water is the only true thirst quencher. If you want juice, make fresh juice!
Meats--Your choice, but make sure they are clean (organic). You and your children do not need the other chemicals that chicken, beef, pork and turkey can contain. And the truth is, organic tastes much better anyway. If you think organic meat is too expensive, know that you don't need to eat that much of it anyway.
Nuts and Seeds--Make sure to soak them first in water (about 12 hours or more) to break down the enzyme inhibitors or sprout them. They taste great on salads.
Olive oil, only extra virgin will do--The first pressing is the best and the only one to use. Olive oil will keep your pipes clean and keep the weight off believe it or not! While there are virtually no EFAs in olive oil, it is rich in "mono-unsaturated" fatty acids and is not so easily oxidized. Use an "extra virgin, cold-pressed, first pressing" olive oil, preferably with a greenish color and some sediment on the bottom, which usually indicates less processing. Buy olive oil that is in a dark bottle.
Potatoes--Always have potatoes on hand. Keep all varieties in your pantry but only enough so that they will not go bad. NOTE: You may be sensitive to potatoes. If you are struggling with weight loss, remove them from your eating plan and see if that helps. You must find what works best for your unique body.
Onions--Ahh, the power of onions!!! Use them everyday.
Salt Sea, Himalayan, and Real Salt--It is a misconception that salt is bad for everyone. Using a moderate amount of a good salt is perfectly healthy and it is unhealthy to eliminate it from the diet. Use Himalayan, Celtic Sea Salt or Real Salt because they contain naturally occurring mixtures of salt and minerals.
Tomatoes--Fresh is always best, but having organic canned tomatoes is a must when you are caught in a pinch. Muir Glen has a whole line of organic tomatoes in a can that are lined with enamel.
Tortillas--Keep a couple of packages of organic corn, whole wheat and whole grain tortillas in your freezer for quick meals. You can make vegetable wraps, burritos and casseroles in a snap.
Tuna--Always have some white albacore tuna on hand for those that like the fishy stuff. Make sure it only contains tuna and water with no other chemicals. Trader Joe's has a good one. If you like sardines, keep a couple of cans of that around too.
Vegetables--The heart of your Living Well menu! Try everything and always begin your meals with something raw. Keep 2-3 lettuce heads and other salad fixins you love on hand at all times. When you are out of salad ingredients and raw vegetables, you must make a trip to the grocery store.
Whole Grain Pastas--Pasta and an organic sauce plus your salad is the quickest dinner around. You can throw this one together in 10 minutes plus the time it takes to boil water.
Whole Grain Breads--Made with sprouted grains and ZERO flour, this is one of the best breads you can get. Also, try their whole grain buns and other whole grain breads if you are including grains in your eating plan.
If you choose to include flour in your eating plan, have a bag of organic whole wheat pastry flour on hand. You can also use whole wheat flour, but it cannot be replaced in recipes as easily as ww pastry flour can. You will need it to make sauces and baked goods. There are no recipes for baked goods here, but if you bake, start substituting whole wheat pastry flour for white flour in your recipes. Use coconut oil instead of shortening. Replace all the chemical ingredients with wholesome, real foods that are safe and healthy.
Keep a can of non-aluminum double acting baking powder like Rumford Double Acting Baking Powder on hand. It is made of calcium acid phosphate, bicarbonate of soda, and corn starch.
Sucanat, honey or other sweeteners. They aggravate many a sweet tooth and they may bother yours too. You can have them on hand for others and/or for baking. Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice) can be used as a replacement for white sugar. When trying to lose weight, don't eat concentrated sweeteners. Enjoy the pure sweetness of fruit instead when you crave something sweet.