Being Prepared: 6 Essential Ingredients

Preparation Is Key. 

If you are not prepared to live healthy, then, by default, you will live unhealthy.

Real FoodIt is often much easier to simply stop on your way home to just grab some take-out or stop at the store for something easy to heat and eat.  Often when we find ourselves taking the easy way out, we are left unsatisfied, undernourished, and regretting our decision.

By keeping the right ingredients on hand, you will find it much easier to be prepared to make quick, healthy and satisfying dishes.  Here are a list of my favorite ingredients to keep on hand and why:

Unrefined Coconut Oil: A key ingredient for cooking as it has a flash point of 350 degrees, higher than its well known cousin, olive oil.  Unrefined coconut oil also has shown benefits for lowering cholesterol, assisting in weight loss, beautifying your skin, and fights against infections or viruses.

Raw Nuts and Seeds: Great source of fats which provide satiety, that feeling of not being starving (I know I hate being on a "diet" and feeling like my insides are about to eat each other).  Great source of easily digestible protein, necessary for proper recovery of your muscles.  Awesome source of Vitamin E, necessary for healthy brain function.  And, versatile to make pates, desserts, and to add into entree dishes.

Spinach: Great to have on hand for quick salads.  Add anything else to this to spruce it up.  You can also use this to put in your green smoothies, putting you one step closer to your goals.

Spices:  Find your favorites and always keep on hand.  Oregano and thyme are great for an Italian flavor.  Cinnamon is fantastic on a fruit salad.  Find what works for you and always keep them on hand!eat_real_food

Frozen Fruit: Amazing if you want to let thaw for a fruit salad.  Great to add into your green smoothies and is something we can enjoy year round. Buy it organic and save money!

Proper Naturally Raised Meats: Meat is optional, not required for your day to day diet, however, it's not a bad idea to keep the right kind of meats on hand.  Key words to look for: wild-caught, grass-fed, pastured, cage-free.  These properly raised meats will have less unhealthy fats and higher levels of CLA and Omega-3s.

Keep these items on hand and you will be better prepared to keep yourself on your successful path, not only for you but also for your family.  On the flip side: keep the foods which will derail you from your goals out of the house.  Then, when you are looking in the pantry or the fridge, it's easier to avoid the temptation if it's no where in your house.