A lot of people ask me what they would find if they opened my pantry and fridge. For every day meals, I learnt long ago that preparation is the key to not ordering take away or stopping at the supermarket on my way home for some easy processed food. I have a pretty big list of things that you’ll always find in my kitchen so I’ll show you over 2 articles.
Here are my go to breakfast and snacks. They are nutritious, filling, the ingredients are easy to find, and they won’t break the bank. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for your own pantry.
1. Banana, oat bran and protein powder
I don’t use a lot of protein powder as I prefer to get my protein from food, however when I have a morning where I have back to back clients and don’t have time to stop, this is quick to put in a blender. Because bananas release their energy slowly and oat bran is high in fibre, it keeps me satisfied until lunchtime and my blood sugar stays constant. Sometimes I use berries instead of banana. You can use oats instead of oat bran if you like, I just find the blender doesn’t blend them finely enough for my liking.
2. Soaked chia seeds, almond milk, berries, nut butter, cinnamon
This is easy to prepare the night before. I soak the chia seeds in almond milk and put in the fridge overnight. The berries can defrost overnight and I put a heaped teaspoon of nut butter, usually almond butter in the morning. Like many seeds, chia seeds are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids that help raise your ‘good’ cholesterol and protect your heart. They are also a good source of fibre, antioxidants, iron and calcium. The only downside is that chia seeds can be a little bland - this is why I add some cinnamon. For a change, I sometimes swap the cinnamon for vanilla essence.
3. Eggs, avocado and grainy bread
When I have time to make breakfast in the morning I love to eat eggs. Choose your bread wisely, as many have little nutrient value because they’re so highly refined. Look for one with visible grains so you know you’re getting some value. I’m seriously bad at poaching eggs (if anyone can teach me i’d be grateful!) so I hard boil them and enjoy poached eggs when I go out to a cafe for breakfast.
Those who know me well know I have a big appetite for someone my size. Because I’m moving pretty much all day, I do get hungry! It means that I have to make sure my snacks don’t put me into an energy (calorie) surplus.
1. Raw veggies and cottage cheese
I can see some of you screwing up your nose at this one, but I actually really like cottage cheese. It’s a great source of protein and it's low in fat. Vegetables start to lose their nutrients when you cook them, especially boiling so raw is a great way to eat them. My favourites are carrots, cucumber and capsicum.
Hard boiled eggs are a really great snack if you haven’t already had them for breakfast. They are easily digestible and are a great source of lean protein and nutrients.
3. Berries and cacao with either nuts or desiccated coconut
I’m only human, and sometimes I need something naughty. This is still clean eating, as long as you ensure you buy unsweetened desiccated coconut. It’s definitely a higher calorie snack than the others on this list, so if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight, keep the regularity of this snack to a minimum or make sure you’re moving enough to burn it off. Cacao is an excellent source of magnesium and antioxidants. Unlike chocolate, it can actually lower your blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. I love the stuff! In fact I wrote a whole article on it’s benefits and why we should swapping regular chocolate. If you’d like to read it, check it out here.
If you're looking for some other clean treat recipes, here are some ideas:
Be sure to look out for part 2 of my pantry staples next month. If you have any questions about the quality of your breakfast or snacks, or would like some help with what to choose, please get in touch.