A well-stocked kitchen allows you to throw together a fast, flavorful meal after a long day. Load your shelves with these delicious, nutritious foods, stay away from sugar and alcohol, attend your our Pilates sessions 3 times per week and we promise that your energy levels with go up while the centimeters around your waistline will go down!

Olive Oil – Health Benefits And How to Use It

olive oilApart from its beneficial fatty acids, it contains vitamins E and K and is loaded with powerful antioxidants helping to fight serious diseases.  Olive oil fights inflammation and helps prevent the cholesterol in our blood from becoming oxidized, both crucial for a healthy heart.

Virgin and extra-virgin oils are best used uncooked or cooked at low to medium temperatures. Drizzle it over salad or mix it into salad dressing. Use in marinades or sauces for meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables. Drizzle over cooked pasta or vegetables. Make a tasty, heart-healthy dip by mixing cooked white beans, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor; season to taste with your favorite herbs.

Quinoa – Health Benefits And How to Use It

Full of protein, full of flavor, gluten free and adaptable to almost any cuisine, quinoa has taken over as the grain of choice for health conscious people. The red is a different variety and takes a little longer to cook than the golden. Not only does it pack 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per 1-cup-cooked serving, it’s also one of the few plant foods considered to be a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body can’t naturally produce. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E. Great to know for our vegetarian customers!

You can use quinoa in savory dishes like salads, stir fries, stuffing but also in sweet dishes like energy bars, breakfast and smoothies. Check this link for some great recipes ideas.

Fresh Vegetables – Health Benefits And How to Use Them

At each meal, half of your plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables, because these nutrient-rich foods may lower your risk for certain health conditions, such as obesity and heart disease. A diversity of fresh vegetable support the normal functioning of the different body systems. They do so by providing our cells with vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential oils and phytonutrients. While eating any vegetables can be beneficial, eating raw vegetables has some additional advantages over cooked vegetables.

Use the vegetables available in season for soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles, most recipes call for a certain amount of vegetables. It will enhance the flavor, nutritional value, and your daily vegetable tally. When thinking of a “salad” be creative and mix anything you like, add avocado and a source of protein. Check one of our beloved recipes here.

Free Range Eggs – Health Benefits And How to Use Them

Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.

There is an endless list of recipes requiring eggs. The list can start with the humble boiled egg to the most complex frittata ; and for a simple yet tasty recipe check Maggie Beer’s recipe of boiled eggs and dukkah.

Chia Seeds – Health Benefits And How to Use Them

Despite their small size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke. Eating once ounce of chia seeds each day would provide 18 percent of daily calcium needs, 27 percent of phosphorus, 30 percent of manganese, and smaller amounts of potassium and copper.
Raw, they can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. They can also be eaten cooked, added to baked goods like bread and muffins. In vegan baking, they can replace eggs. To use them as an egg substitute in baking, try mixing 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, then let them sit for a few minutes. A gel will form that can be used instead of eggs in baking. And if you are a meat lover you will enjoy this recipe. using the chai gel in yet a different way.

Fresh Herbs – Health Benefits And How to Use Them

Fresh herbs contain lots of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. They promote heart health, and protect against cancer and arthritis with their anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, they are cheap, easy to use, and easy to hide in a variety of foods because they are so small. Even if you are using a tablespoon here, a tablespoon there, you will be making a difference in a your family’s health.  Over the course of the week(s) the amounts will add up.

I love my herbs from the garden and I can use them in every dish from salads to sandwiches and pizza, from soups and sauces or simply for decoration. If you would like to grow your own is simple and can get some inspiration from Gardenista.

Spices – Health Benefits And How to Use Them

Seasoning dishes is not a short cut to a speedy metabolism, but research has shown that incorporating specific compounds from spices can help increase your calorie-burning and fat-loss potential. Cayenne pepper: pack a punch of flavor by seasoning fish with a cayenne spice blend. You can also add it to roasted nuts for a spicy protein-packed snack, or spice up your love life by making cayenne and cocoa-dusted dark chocolates. Ginger: infuse boiling water with fresh ginger, or simply add ginger powder to hot water to rev up your metabolism. You can also grate fresh ginger into a stir-fry, or add ginger powder to marinades. Turmeric: Add turmeric powder to a soup, rice dish, or frittata. Also toss it with roasted vegetable, or blend fresh turmeric root into a smoothie. Cinnamon: sprinkle on fruits, on your quinoa breakfast or Greek yogurt for a healthy, sweet treat.