Common Food Staples, Fresh Produce, and Whole Foods Meal Planning Suggestion

My suggestion for Whole Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping:
I try to get items I will need for one whole week's worth of recipes. What I do is line up about five recipes (taking into account leftovers) and then get those items for the week. If I forget an item, I just make sure to get that item that day. Since I am using Jeanetteshealthyliving.com as my main recipe source for this whole foods challenge, I am writing down all the recipes I want to try that she has made, and then get my food list ready. This makes it so easy.

I wanted to list food staples here that you may find helpful to have in your pantry for your whole foods meal planning.

These are seasonings I recommend the most:
Onion powder
Garlic Powder
curry powder
sea salt
black pepper
cilantro (dried)
parsley (dried)
celery salt
chili powder
lemon pepper

Canned Goods
(I am eliminating most canned goods because of my efforts to do whole foods, but I highly recommend canned goods for food storage purposes. There are still canned items I need to use sometimes such as coconut milk since I don't have patience to work with coconuts. I also recommend canned pineapple, and other canned fruits that may be seasonal. Also, tomato paste/sauce, and diced tomatoes are good to have on hand in case you don't have fresh tomatoes.

Packaged beans, rice, oatmeal and legumes
dried garbonzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, and other favorite types of beans you may use. Brown short grain rice, Oatmeal, lentils, quinoa and millet.

I don't eat much meat at all, but when I do (maybe 3 x a week), I like to turn to my freezer. I recommend salmon, shrimp, organic ground turkey and chicken.
I have made every effort to eliminate all red meat from my diet.


I also recommend keeping a big bag of potatoes on hand.

Vegetable and Chicken Stock/broth
I go through this like crazy because I use it in so many soups I make. I recommend getting a case of it at Costco or any store that carries things in big bulks.

Non Dairy Items

Soymilk, almond milk (you can actually buy these in cartons that do not need to be refrigerated until openend.

Fresh Produce/Perishables
I go to the grocery often because I like to buy the most freshest produce as possible. This time of year, as summer approaches, I like to go to Farmer's Markets to get fresh garden produce and more seasonal things.
Veggies I use the most include:
Dandelion leaves
cilantro and other fresh herbs like basil and mint
mung beans
sweet potatoe

Berries in season

Going All Natural :)

When people think of doing a whole foods diet, they sometimes forget that even things like toothpaste or their deodorant may have artificial ingrediants and colorings in it. We often don't think to look at the ingrediants found in toothpaste or even shampoos/conditioners, but what you see, is a whole lot of questionable things. I don't use any deodorant with aluminum in it, but instead use this very one instead, which is all natural. You can pick this up at a healthfood store or even off amazon. Toothpaste has preservatives, naturally, to prevent it from going rancid. The most frequent one you will see is sodium lauryl sulfate. But, did you know that not all preservatives have to be bad. Natural and safe preservatives include, lemon and vinager, salt, ascorbic acid (vitamin C),tocopherol (vitamin E)and even alcohol. If you squeeze fresh lemon juice over avocado or fruit salad, it prevents them from turning brown in the fridge. Citrus fruits tend to keep in the fridge unlike apples and bananas.

Bad sythentic preservatives/additives include: TBHQ, EDTA, Sodium lauryl sulfate, titatium dioxide, BHA, sodium nitrate, sodium benzonate, red 40, yellow 6 (and many other artifical flavorings and colors), msg, and partially hygrogenated oils.
Uh, I am sure there are much more, but I have un-familiarized myself with them yet. Did you know that before the invention of synthetic preservatives, people used only natural preservatives in their foods such as those above. If you go to a healthfood store, you can find all natural toothpaste, that even is flouride free. Dentists recommend flouride for healthy teeth, but I question that. This toothpaste is flouride free and has many natural things in it. I have ordered mine from amazon because I couldn't find toothpaste that was this natural in the healthfood store.
To learn more about natural preservatives you want instead, go to this article.

Stay Away From Hydrogenated Oils

We have a lot of peanut butter floating around our parts. The other day, hubby nearly almost ate a big spoonful of skippy peanut butter. I looked at the bottle's ingrediants and nearly gasped. What do you think I saw, my friends?? If you are not familiar with the two words I am about to type here, educate yourself now!
HYDROGENATED OILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Along with the cheap, made for profit, high fructose corn syrup, this oil is bad. Yes, it is very bad, and it's most likely found in your peanut butter, unless you made it from scratch or purchased it at a healthfood store. Husband had the spoon of PB two inches away when I stopped him. Of course this led to a fight, but as I showed him an all natural peanut butter that was made from organic peanuts and contained two ingrediants only, peanuts and honey, he immediately began to calm himself, especially after he ate a spoonful of this wholesome stuff instead. :) Oh, what would dear husband do without me!!!
So, look for this oil which is found in many items including even packaged granola bars and some cereals. This oil is an additive just like msg is.When you eliminate all processed and pre-prepared foods, you don't need to worry about these preservatives and additives. That is why I encourage you to do the whole foods diet, to eliminate any exposure to these chemicals.

Breakfast Idea

So I am a regular oatmeal eater for breakfast, but recently I found out that cooked short grain organic brown rice, and quinoa work great served in the morning. Here is how I prepare mine.

You can prepare rice in a rice cooker the night before or the morning you plan to eat it. I highly recommend short grain brown rice for its fluffy nature. I serve my hot rice with either almond or soymilk, chopped berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, a squeeze of agave (see my January 30th post to learn about agave) and a pinch of cinnamon. You can also substitute quinoa or even millet for brown rice.

I have learned that rice is a great diaretic food. It is one of the most easy to digest foods. Rice is very cleansing and nurishing to the body, when eaten as a whole grain. I hope you all incorporate this humble grain into your breakfast.

Corn Chowder With Turkey Bacon (non GMO corn)

This is a dairy free soup that I wanted to share as I continue with my whole foods challenge. This soup is rich and filling, and you would never believe there it is dairy free.

Corn Chowder With Turkey Bacon

2 c. of frozen corn
2 large potatoes, chopped
1 c. of chopped onion
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 slices of turkey bacon, sliced into peices. (I used organic, uncured turkey bacon, free of nitrates and preservatives).
4 c. of organic chicken broth
1 c. of plain organic soymilk
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. of water for cooking
In a deep pot, pour in 1/2 c. of water and toss in carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Cook with lid on pot, until tender. Add broth, seasonings, bacon, and corn. Allow to simmer for about 20 min. Add the soymilk last and allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes. Serve hot.
I served this meal with some steamed beets, and it was a meal sure to make you feel great. Update: As of 5/19, I have eliminated corn from my diet after discovering my intolerance to it).


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)