Food Storage. My mom is a firm believer. Being a part of the LDS culture, it is a principle that my family has always practiced. I think that it is a great think to have on hand in event of a crisis, but a crisis doesn't have to just mean a natural disaster. What about the crisis where you have been eating SO well all week, and suddenly it's dinner time and you realize that you don't have any more fresh produce, or anything planned for dinner at all for that matter. This is where most people just turn to fast food, or they will make whatever sounds good at the moment disregarding all nutritional value. This situation can be avoided.
Last night I came home from spin to my bare cupboard, seriously I think I had like five items on my food shelf. A steamable pacakge of Uncle Ben's Brown Rice, a can of fat free vegetarian re-fried beans, my ginormous container of oatmeal, some peanut butter, and some Special K Protein plus cereal. I considered having oatmeal for dinner, which would make the second time I'd eaten it that day, but I really felt like I needed some veggies in me. That is when I remembered I had a frozen bag of stir-fry veggies in the freezer. I grabbed my brown rice, mixed up a quick Teriyaki sauce, threw in some corn and black beans that i had opened previously in the week, and voila...vegetable stir-fry just like that.Fast, easy, and super nutritious.
Here is a list of foods you should always have on hand that can save the day, nutritionally, that is.
- Canned Beans: Black, Kidney, Pinto, White, Garbanzo...whatever you'd like. They are great to throw in pasta's, salads, wraps, and soups. They are high in fiber and protein and low in fat. A definite winner.
- Canned Fruits and Veggies: You will have to decide which ones you will eat here because the consistency does get changed when fruits and veggies are canned. There are some winners though; green beans, corn, peas, beets, tomatoes, pineapple, mandarin oranges, peaches, pears, etc. These can be great as side dishes, in soups, on salads, on oatmeal, whatever your heart desires. It is really important with fruit that you are careful to avoid the fruits canned in heavy syrup. You aren't doing any favors by loading that fruit up with sugar and calories.
-Bottled/Canned tomato or pasta sauces
-Frozen veggies: a quick and easy addition to a meal.
-Frozen fruit/berries: great for protein shakes
-Brown rice and whole grain pastas: If you have these on hand it's quick to find something to complete the meal.
-Low fat soups and broths: pre-canned soup can be a huge time saver when you are in a crunch and need a quick meal. Aim for low sodium versions, and do without the creamy fattening choices.
-Frozen meat: Chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef and pork can make your quick, thrown together meal filling and good for you!
Stock up on these goods that last, and you'll never have an excuse not to eat healthy at home. Get creative!