Local, organic, grass-fed, free-range, no-spray, no gmo, bulk or packaged, white or brown...plus all the marketing for Superfoods and the dizzying array of coconut products on the shelves. It's so easy to rack up the bill buying “impulse” items, then get home and realize that you didn't actually buy much food to make meals but instead have some tasty packaged snacks. That's alright, but ultimately does not satiate the hunger for balanced meals.
Eating well should not take up all your time, or be expensive.
The key is timing.
I want to share with you my shopping list and some easy meal prep ideas to get you started. The idea is not to follow this to a T but to use it as a starting point and adapt this guide to work for you. We are not all alike (thankfully) and our tastes, preferences, time, nutritional needs, and budget varies. My goal is to inspire and guide you to create a program that works for you, so that a trip to the grocery store and making dinner all week can be a fun and delicious experience.... not stressful.
I'm on a tight budget so I try to maximize the nutritional value of basic staples by soaking and sprouting seeds and grains and cooking with broth instead of water. Plan ahead by soaking and sprouting a day or two before using it in a meal. I tend to soak things overnight, then let rest in a colander or strainer out of water to sprout the whole next day. Soaking and sprouting is a rhythmic process and very forgivable. Let it work for your schedule. Not only does soaking and sprouting make the grain or legume more digestible, it becomes sweet and creamy as the starches are converted to sugars.
beets w/ greens
something new: celery root, turmeric root, black radishes (anything that catches your eye)
a few seasonal fruits
raw extra virgin coconut oil
extra virgin olive oil
tallow from bone broth
cultured butter from grass-fed cows
an occasional avocado
almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts
ume plum vinegar
apple cider vinegar
eggs (local, free-range)
beef stew meat (grass-fed)
bacon (pastured, no nitrate or nitrite)
ground lamb (pastured)
bones (knuckle and long marrow)
lentils (red, green, brown..)
yogurt (whole milk, organic. I like Strauss Creamery.)
frozen berries (organic blueberries are great)
Love Your Liver Spring Cleanse “RawSlaw”
Grate in a bowl:
1 Whole red beet
a knob of ginger
1 green apple
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Kidney Support Stew
Ham hock+Adzuki bean+Seaweed Crock. Adzuki bean and seaweed are especially nourishing to the kidneys, which are the organs that need the most support in the Winter months. They regulate and filter the waters of our system. Which in turn, nourish and honor our emotional body. Salt is very important for kidney and adrenal health and in Chinese medicine, kidneys are seen as the root or foundation of the body.
- Soak 1 C adzuki beans for 12-24 hrs. (can substitute lentils, black beans, or any small dark bean)
- Drain and transfer to crock pot. Add roughly chopped onions and garlic and burdock root.
- Add a quart or two of bone broth (can water down if needed)
- Add smoked ham hock.
- Add 2 generous pinches of seaweed (wakame, kombu)
Serve with sauerkraut, miso paste, and a sprinkle of ume plum vinegar.
Fermented Millet Cakes
- Soak 2 cups millet in water with 1T sea salt for 2-3 days, or until the water becomes foamy and there is a sweet fermented smell.
- Drain the water and simmer millet in a 1:2 grain to water ratio until it becomes a sticky porridge.
- Stir in a healthy splash of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, some crushed chili flakes, and ¼ C nutritional yeast.
- Immediately pour into a bread pan and chill in fridge.
If you have ever had polenta, it's similar, but more creamy. Like polenta, it gels into whatever mould you pour it into. When completely chilled, slice cakes like bread and fry in oil until crispy on both sides. I prefer the taste of coconut oil.
Time Saver Tips
- make extra veggies for breakfast then add pre-cooked grain and bone broth=Lunch
- fill a 8 oz mason jar with frozen berries, add whole yogurt, and wham! You've got a snack for later. The frozen berries with keep the yogurt cold as they defrost. Or, give it a quick blend for a smoothie.
- Leave a bag of roasted and sprouted almonds in your bag for emergency snack.
- bone broth+miso paste+kraut=energizing yet grounding snack or light meal
- One Pan Breakfast: put dark greens, onions, garlic, and burdock in pan with a little bone broth, when almost done, make a “nest” in the middle of the veggies and crack 2 eggs in the nest. Cover and steam eggs on low until done.
- Alternate between making a sprouted grain or roasted root veggie for a quick addition to a meal. And for optimum blood sugar balance, serve with plenty of butter, oil, or avocado. (Fat slows the glucose for more sustained energy)
- Keep serving-size liver in the freezer for a quick protein addition. Grate it into meatloaf, burgers, or sautée in butter with onions and garlic. A squeeze of lemon will help the “minerally” flavor.
- Perpetual Bone Broth Method (my recommendation) http://nourishedkitchen.com/perpetual-soup-the-easiest-bone-broth-youll-make/ for all the bone broth you'll need!
- water with acv and/or lemon juice
- herbal tea: licorice is great for blood sugar regulation, or mint/tulsi aromatic blend for digestion and centering.
- have a small glass of cider, wine, or beer once in a while. Enjoy this fermented craft ale!
- Turmeric Circulation Tea: honey, lemon, cayenne, fresh turmeric root and ginger.
Tired of plain ol' rice? Spice it up by tossing in a few cardamon pods, cloves, sea salt, and turmeric powder. Don't forget what a perfect opportunity to boost the nutrition and taste by cooking the rice in at least half bone broth.
So, as you can see, you will need a constant supply of bone broth for many of your meals. Bone broth is amazing nutritive food that provides important easily assimilated minerals and amino acids, collagen and gelatin for healthy bones and joints and is very anti-inflammatory and provides great kidney and adrenal support. It strengthen the immune system to keep you healthy all year long. It's calming, grounding, energizing and mouth-watering delicious. After a while your body will ask for more and start to crave this nutritious healing broth. Aim to consume about a quart a broth per day. Read more about bone broth HERE and HERE.