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Building a wholefoods pantry

Vibrant health and glowing skin begins in the kitchen. When you have beautiful nourishing ingredients on hand you reach and create the right food rather than being tempted by quick fix, fast food options that really don’t offer much to our bodies in nutrition, fuel or flavour.

One of the best things you can do for you and your loved ones to achieve abundant health is to build a whole foods pantry. When I say this and when you see my ideas on what ingredients are great to include, I want to make sure you keep one thing in particular in mind…Take baby steps.

Don’t expect to change everything overnight. When you’ve had years with the same ingredients in your diet and you action change the best thing you can do is take it just one step at a time. Do this so you can learn, create and most importantly have fun with refreshing and evolving your health. Once you do that, the ingredients, habits and results are most likely to stay for the long term. And that is the ticket to longevity, health, happiness and finding your glow.

The first step is identifying what needs to make its way out of your diet and life. Think highly refined and processed foods (packaged biscuits, cakes, pastries, chips, lollies, soft drinks, bottled sauces and marinades and other such suspects in the pantry) as a start. And where they were, it’s time to make way for some new ingredients. You will be amazed at how removing these alone will declutter your diet and begin the process of building you into your best.

Next is the time to create! I like to approach the integration of new ingredients with ‘play’ in mind. That way good health never feels like a chore, and nor should it because it will enhance your life. So, the step you take once the clutter is out is to introduce one new wholefood ingredient to your pantry each week or fortnight. In that time find three ways you love to use the ingredient in different meals, with other nourishing ingredients to accompany and wonderful diversity in flavours. By doing this you build confidence. Feeling empowered by your health is honestly the greatest sensation.

Now keeping those smalls steps in mind, make a promise to yourself that you will action these changes with a really positive attitude and commit to health for the long term. Clear the clutter; introduce health, happiness and new ingredients and ideas to your life. Here come some ideas for how you can build your new, glowing clean pantry.

Grains + Pseudograins:

Quinoa
Buckwheat grain and noodles
Amaranth
Brown and basmati Rice
Oats
Pearl barley
Raw nuts and seeds:

Cashews
Almonds
Brazil
Walnuts
Sunflower
Pepita
Sesame
Chia
Coconut
Assortment of organic dried fruits:

Apricots
Incaberries
Dates
Currants
Goji berries,
Cherries
Pulses:

Lentils
Chickpeas
kidney beans
Spelt/mung/blackbean pasta
Superfood powders:

Raw cacao
Maca
Spirulina
Camu
Lucuma
Acai
Sweeteners:

Raw organic honey
Maple syrup
Coconut sugar
Stevia drops
Coconut nectar
Vanilla bean paste or extract
Oils:

Coconut
Almond
grapeseed
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Sesame
Macadamia
Vinegar:

Apple cider
Balsamic vinegar
Spreads:

Tahini
Almond, cashew, peanut and macadamia butters
Tinned fish:

Sardines
Sustainable salmon
Crackers : mostly home made, but you’ll find great quality options at health food stores

Buckwheat thins
Oat crackers
Seed snaps
Organic teas

Rosehip
Rose
Peppermint
Dandelion
Chamomile
Seasonings:

Celtic, Himalayan and sea salt
Tamari
Pepper
Veges, herbs and spices:

Chilli, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, basil, oregano I cannot live without!

Tinned organic tomatoes

Sweet potato

Onions and garlic

When all of these lovely ingredients are at your fingertips, you can make the right choices for your health and that includes a treat too. My nourishing Raw Chocolate Bark with Mint and Coconut is just the ticket. Combining coconut oil, raw cacao powder, maple syrup or honey, vanilla, mint leaves and shredded coconut, it’s rich in nutrition and gives you the ultimate clean, whole foods pick me up for energy and mood.

RAW CHOCOLATE WITH MINT AND COCONUT

Makes 1 block of chocolate 20x20cm

2/3 cup coconut oil

¾ cup cacao

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 cup mint leaves, shredded or left whole

Pinch Sea salt

1/4 cup Coconut flakes

Line a 20x20cm cake tin or loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Place coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove and melt.

Whisk in raw cacao, sea salt and maple syrup.

Pour into lined tin and sprinkle coconut and mint leaves.

Place in freezer to set for 1 hour.