"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Healthy Shopping List: 5 Tips

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Healthy Shopping List: 

"Healthy eating begins in the kitchen, whether it's in a home, restaurant, dining hall, or other venue. To get the most out of the recipes you prepare, keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients from the Healthy Eating Pyramid." (Harvard Nutrition Source, May 2011)

I am often asked by my clients for tips on healthy shopping and what to stock up on.  If you get the basics right you can make healthy eating really easy.  I have a basic shopping list which I can send through to you if you request it (just fill out a form on the Contact-Us page); however I thought I would share the following 5 tips with you as they are nice and simple and landed in my inbox this morning!

5 Tips for stocking a healthy kitchen  

The Harvard Nutrition Source recommended the following 5 easy to implement tips:

"1. Produce. Choose locally grown vegetables and fruits whenever you can. Keep on hand garlic, onions, dark salad greens like spinach and romaine, carrots, and apples. When you shop, select produce that looks good, or what's on sale."

My note: When you choose locally grown vegetable and fruit, it is usually fresher, because it doesn't have as far to travel it is usually picked later and undergoes less storage and less handling.  Therefore it is often cheaper too. The fresher the fruit and vegetables the more enzymes and nutrients present!

"2. Grains. Trade in white rice for the bounty of great whole grains: barley, cracked wheat (bulgur), oat berries, quinoa, brown rice, and a host of others. Try whole wheat pasta or one of the whole wheat blends now on the market."

My note: Whole grains provide fibre for a healthy digestive tract and are also lower in glycaemic load so will help you to manage your blood sugar, your energy levels and your weight!

"3. Protein. Rely on healthy protein such as fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, and a variety of beans and nuts. And move away from the traditional mealtime paradigm of a large portion of meat at the center of your plate. Instead, build a healthy plate: half the plate vegetables and fruits, one quarter of the plate with healthy proteins, and one quarter of the plate with whole grains."

My note: Beans and lentils and pulses and nuts and seeds are a much more affordable and often more versatile way of getting extra protein into your diet.  Vegetable proteins are also kinder on your heart and digestive tract that many animal proteins.  If you do eat meat or animal protein, limit the portion to the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand and try to follow the guidelines above for the "healthy plate".

"4. Fats and oils. Use liquid vegetable oils whenever possible for sautéing vegetables, stir-frying fish or chicken, and as the base of salad dressings. Good choices include canola, sunflower, corn, soybean, peanut, and olive oil. A dash of a specialty oil, like extra-virgin olive oil, walnut or pistachio oil, sesame oil, or truffle oil, can make steamed vegetables come alive. Mashed avocado, rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, makes a fabulous topping for sandwiches."

My note: Here I would probably recommend that you cook with oils like coconut oil, as other oils will be destroyed or denatured much quicker through cooking. Use other plant or vegetable oils raw drizzled over your food or as salad dressings.

"5. Other essentials. Learn what chefs have known for a long time: A small amount of a high-quality ingredient goes a long way toward boosting flavor. Stock your kitchen with good-quality tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, fresh and dried herbs, dried cherries or cranberries, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and a variety of unsalted nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachios)."

My note:  I always have fresh ginger, garlic and lemon on hand and good quality vegetable stock.  Low salt and wheat free soya sauces like tamari can also add flavour to steamed vegetables or stir fries.

Ref: 5 Tips for Stocking a Healthy Kitchen:  The Nutrition Source at Harvard School of Public Health e- newsletter, May 2011. 

I would recommend signing up for their newsletter as some great articles come through. This was an example of one I received this week (May 2011) with some great healthy shopping tips.  They tend to provide great little recipes and extra resources to accompany their literature.

Recent Posts


four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication Add new tag Lisa's Diary ability to respond organic vegetables memory is sugar bad weight motivation quizz relationship with food fresh start seasonal quick and tasty recipes health pioneers sexy salad low cholesterol support your body heart foundation tick explained ask my doctor dangers of multitasking while you eat go for 2 and 5 overindulge lunch assertiveness healthy cooking demonstration comfort pig happiness workshop benefits of strength training, why you should strength train Egg allergy fatigue simple 7 day detox plan the power to choose detox happiness course breast cancer awareness are grains healthy fussy eaters sugar and adhd how to get more of exercise mood sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas energy fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia hunger and stress cholesterol lowering diet life lessons image comfort eating foods in season, seasonal recipes natural toothpaste immune boosting tips fun quick recipes strength how to say no stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress alzheimers keep focused muffins maintain a healthy weight, underweight health with 10 % effort heart disease cooking class in brisbane food intolerances leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut how to check your breasts wrong type of exercise, exercise and results great second hand books music salad health for busy people healthy fast food, healthy take away healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options nutritious cooking Lactose intolerance mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo trans fats real food Nutritional Therapist recipies focus Sensational have fun in the kitchen gift soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity relax taking a break prostate cancer feels good breakfast love, loneliness nutritionist how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results reasons to eat foods in season health one step at a time which is better for you butter or margarine ways to improve prostate health low calorie diet sexy salads to know and not do is not yet to know time management and healthy living fresh celebrate life healthy shopping calorie controlled diet how to love exercise diet diary is chocolate bad for me should I eat organic veggies success and you diet diary of a nutritionist quick eating solutions addicted to chocolate skipping meals sugar and add how to avoid injury during exercise nutritious best exercise immune system nutritionists diet diary dancing benefits to keeping a diet diary have more energy dance 7 steps to detox fruit and vegetable shortage recipe Happiness 10 % principle what is movember sensitivity to milk weightloss brain health Alan Pease high cholesterol drugfree alternatives indigestion do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources control Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah low calorie meal plan 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart homocysteine what is healthy food christmas nutrition performance comfort foods soft drink and behavior problems anxiety benefits of sleeping make stress work for you new year's resolutions how to be happy childrens lunch boxes Nina Simone the tummy beast natural alternatives to drugs libido food sensitivities delicious life choices food allergies health healthy shopping list weight loss empty your mind muscle wasting Cancer nutritionist in brisbane fruit what is a good breakfast blood pressure love food improve your memory recipes for allergies healthy cooking party soft drink and behaviour problems obesity reducing coffee I don't get hungry taking responsibility are frozen veggies any good skip meals I've Got Life gluten intolerance Laughter and stress getting fit pop-eye and spinach allergies corporate wellness healthy cooking parties life cooking with allergies avoiding a choice herbal toothpaste making time to relax breast cancer prevention increasing energy