My Pantry Staples

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I have spent a good portion of the year developing MY pantry staples, determined by what I actually eat. I mostly refill my pantry from the bulk foods section of my local health food stores. I refill the spice containers with spices bought from my local Indian Store as well as the bulk food section of my local health food store.

M y Pantry

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Left to right: Quinoa, Milled Flaxseed, Israeli Couscous, Rolled Oats, Semolina, Chia Seeds

Once I run out of Milled Flaxseed I will replace it with Hemp Hearts. I prefer to get my Omegas from nuts and fish oil pills. I put the milled Flaxseed in my smoothies, plus it does take away from the great taste just a little.

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Top From left to right: Red Lentils, Chick peas, Popcorn, Kidney Beans, Wheat Farina, Wasabi Peas
Bottom From left to right: Brown Rice Rotini, Egg Noodles, Brown Basmati Rice, Brown Rice, Brown Rice Spaghetti, Brown Rice Angel Hair Pasta

You may have noticed that I now have a brown rice arsenal! I enjoy pasta and brown rice is often a perfect side dish, so I keep it all stocked. I am in love with brown rice pasta as a healthy tasty alternative that just soaks up sauce.

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Canisters: All purpose flour, brown sugar, rock sugar, tea. Lazy susans: spices, sauces, vinagrettes, Coconut oil, Olive oil. Bottom: Spices

There really isn’t anything more important in my kitchen than my spice arsenal. There is no better way to compliment your meats, vegetables, soups, stews, etc than with spice. Like I stated above, I buy a spice from the grocery store and once that container is empty, I replace it with spices from my local indian grocery or health food store. I find that those spices have more intense flavor and the containers provided at the grocery store last forever. Plus I do not have to buy separate expensive spice jars, nope, I recycle and reuse. About a month ago I did a spice overhaul in which I wrote down my most used spices and got rid of the expired ones. If I need a spice that I rarely use, I just go buy a tablespoon or two in the bulk foods section and use it up, so that no spice in my pantry expires. Let me know if you want a full listing of my spices and how I use them.

Not pictured are my stash of nuts, and cans. The cans include tomato paste, whole tomatoes, curry sauce, garbanzo beans, black beans and vegetable broth. The current nuts are sunflower seeds and almonds.

I am so happy with my pantry now, it truly supports healthy habits. There is no candy stash, no sugary cereal stash, no juice stash, no cans of soup, no cans of fruit, etc. It took over half of a year, but I now have a pantry that supports healthy eating habits. I am still working on my refrigerator staples, just when I think I have a good base, I change something, that may take all year.

Weekly Update: 06/11/13

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I did it again, I lost another pound, this brings me to 141! That means so far this year I have lost 14 lbs, and I did it in a sustainable way. Which means I have kept off the pounds, made great permanent changes, and I have solid plans to continue on this journey until I reach my 20 pound goal, and beyond.

This past week was great in the food department, I have another recipe to review, and I used papaya in my smoothies this week. I have never used an actual papaya before, just papaya juice, so that was an interesting change. I discovered that I do not really like papaya by itself, you live and you learn. I froze fresh beans for the first time last week, I plan to use them in salads and for bean curry, which I haven’t had in awhile. I mostly ate fish last week and chicken last week, with some cheesecake factory thrown in there while out of town. My sweets for last week included Fat Boy Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches and Apple Pie.

I also managed to get in my three runs last week, but no strength training. I will start the Zuzka Strength series next week, but in the mean time I plan to get at least 4 runs in this week and a ZWOW twice this week. I plan to try a new taco recipe this week as well. As you can see, I am taking this health thing a week at a time because it seems to be working for me.

Cacao Powder

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This week in the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge, Cacao powder was on the grocery list, and though I have seen this out there on the internet before, I didn’t really

Cacao Powder

know what it was, so I did some research. This ingredient is better know as Cocoa Powder in the States, which I have heard of. However, its not the sweetened Hershey’s or Nestles’sĀ Cocoa Powder that we use in hot drinks. Instead it is unsweetened Raw Cocoa Powder, which is actually harder to find in the Staes (Cacao Powder is actually easier to find). Same product, different names, and different processes in the States.

Cacao Powder is full of antioxidants and naturally has a chocolaty flavor. However, unlike most American made chocolate, this has a slightly bitter flavor, as it is not Milk chocolate, but instead directly from the seed, processed into powder through a heating and/or oil process. The Milk Chocolate we eat does not have nearly the same nutritional value, so no Milk Chocolate substitutions here. Adding it to smoothies should give a sweeter flavor and maybe just maybe can curb my veracious sweet tooth.