Spring is finally here! So I’m rolling up my sleeves to start cleaning out my kitchen and pantry. Here are 10 foods and ingredients that I ALWAYS have on hand:
1. Brown rice. It contains three times more fibre than white rice, plus it’s a whole grain. Other whole grains in my pantry are quinoa and whole wheat couscous.
2. Cinnamon. I’m a big fan of different spices. Cinnamon adds a wonderful hint of flavour to baked squash and French toast.
3. Healthy oils and margarine. In my pantry, I have different oils – Becel® oil for stir-frying and olive oil for grilling veggies. In my fridge, I have soft non-hydrogenated margarine (Becel® is my family’s favourite) – it’s great for cooking and baking.
4. Red lentils. They don’t need soaking and cook quicker than most other dried legumes.
5. Nuts. Filled with good fats, nuts are so versatile and yummy on their own as a snack. Dry roasted, unsalted almonds, peanuts and walnuts are all great choices.
6. Low-fat milk. To help me get enough calcium and vitamin D, I try to cook with low-fat milk whenever I can – in soups, lattes and even risotto.
7. Low-fat Greek yogurt. I make my own smoothies and love that it’s packed with extra protein.
8. Omega-3 enriched eggs. I’m willing to pay a bit more for the extra nutrition – vitamin D, omega-3 fat and lutein.
9. Tofu. I’ve been eating tofu since I was three years old. It’s my go-to protein on vegetarian nights.
10. Veggies and fruit. Here’s just a list of the 20 veggies and fruit that I have in my kitchen this week: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, pears, grapes, cantaloupe, broccoli, bok choy, butternut squash, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, snap peas, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, kale, mushrooms and zucchini!
It’s April Fool’s Day, but don’t be fooled by these common myths!
MYTH: Detox diets are a good way to cleanse your body.
FACT: There’s no solid scientific evidence to show that you need a detox diet. In fact, your liver, kidneys and intestines already do that job for you. Detox cleanses can cause serious problems such as diarrhea, cramps and dehydration. Plus detox diets tend to be quite low in protein, which is a nutrient we all need to build and repair our muscles.
MYTH: Margarine isn’t a healthy choice.
FACT: Soft, non-hydrogenated margarine is made from healthy unsaturated fats such as canola and sunflower oils. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that we consume a small amount (30-45 mL or 2-3 tbsp) of unsaturated fats every day. This includes soft, non-hydrogenated margarines. For the best choice, read product labels and look for a soft margarine, like Becel®, that is low in saturated fat and contains no trans fat.
MYTH: Sea salt is better for you than table salt.
FACT: Sea salt and table salt both have about the same amount of sodium. Eating too much sodium may lead to health problems such as hypertension. The main differences between sea salt and table salt are in the taste, texture and how the salt is made. Table salt is mined from dried-up ancient salt lakes. Some table salts have added iodine which is important for the normal functioning of the thyroid. Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater, and has a distinctive texture and taste depending on where it’s been sourced. Whichever salt you prefer, aim to use less.