I don’t know about you, but grocery shopping has always been my favorite “chore.” I love visiting Sprouts at least once a week, and I’m not one of those people that buys the same thing every week (although I definitely have my fair share of weekly staples!). What I love most is discovering the newest snacks and reading labels (#proud). I’m suggesting 3 of the most underrated things that I have in my pantry at all times. Bonus: these three also aid in weight loss and looking fab!
If you’re still cooking with canola/peanut/soybean oil, please stop. If you’re using other oils like olive oil or coconut oil, you’re doing fabulous – olive oil is great, but you can only cook up to a certain temperature without it causing more harm than good; and coconut oil is awesome, but the nutty taste is a little hard to get used to with chicken, grilled veggies, etc. But one oil I have started using, and highly recommend for cooking at high temperatures is avocado oil. The biggest reason? It’s anti-inflammatory in nature, due to its high monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, as well as its high phytosterols and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohol content.
*Bonus: if you’re trying to have glowing skin, avocado oil is reportedly high in vitamin E.
*Bonus 2: it has one of the highest flash-points among all other contenders. This means that you can cook at high temperatures before smelling smoke and ingesting dangerous LOPs (aka nasty chemicals that cause all sorts of issues).
*Bonus 3: for the ladies, you can also use it on your hair for treatment - it's good for your scalp, as well as your locks for shine.
If you know me, you know that I have started almost every single morning over the last few years (even when I’m on vacation…) with 2 tablespoons of ACV, or apple cider vinegar. It’s gross, and definitely not the coffee aroma you probably love starting your day with, but it’s super beneficial and I highly recommend it for most people. I drink it straight up like a shot and gulp it down with water immediately after, otherwise it’s too harsh; but many people enjoy mixing 2 tsp with warm water and drinking it more slowly as a drink. Not all ACV is created equal – look for unfiltered ACV (my go-to brand is Bragg’s, pictured here).
Cliff notes benefits include:
*Alkalizes your body – you want your body to be in an alkaline state, which is where diseases are unable to survive. Unfortunately, the modern American diet is highly acidic (versus alkaline), so any help you can get with increasing your body’s pH, take it! I highly suggest you do a quick Google search on alkalinity if you are not familiar with it.
*Balances your gut flora – aka increasing the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria. Poor diet, irresponsible antibiotic use, and stress all contribute to gut issues (are you bloated? Do you digest poorly? Do you have issues going #2 in the bathroom?). More and more medical professionals are now pointing to the gut as the root of almost all issues. That’s a story for another time, but know that ACV will help balance out the ratio to your benefit.
*Helps digest your food – it basically kick starts your digestive enzymes and stomach acid to help effectively digest your food. What does effectively digest mean? Proper digestion includes activating these enzymes and HCL (stomach acid) to help break down your meal, as well as absorb the necessary nutrients. Drinking apple cider vinegar 15-20 minutes before a meal can do exactly this.
*On the outside? All of these can help with your skin to look glowing and fabulous! Bonus: ACV is also good for your scalp if you ever get dry, itchy, or flaky scalp.
Seriously guys, you can add these to anything. They’re tasteless, and give things an interesting, pudding-like texture. What’s so special about them? They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for many reasons, but mostly to balance out the omega-6 fatty acids that are so prevalent in our modern American diet these days. The higher the omega-3 content in a food, the better. Omegas work in ratios for optimal health, and if your omega-6 number is high, as it is for most people, inflammation occurs in the body, which leads to many issues (digestive, autoimmune, skin, you name it). Chia seeds support the omega-3 side, which will help to balance out the ratio in your favor. They’re also high in protein and fiber, which will help you digest and keep you fuller, longer. What the heck do you do with them? You can drink them plain with water (not too exciting), OR you can add them to your favorite foods. I love my chia pudding every morning (the trick is, you have to soak them overnight). I also add them to my smoothies. They’re really one of my favorite underrated superfoods.
Do you have these magic pantry items? I would love to hear your thoughts and how you use them. Let me know below!
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