Welcome to My Kitchen Wednesday: Grateful Grocery Holiday Haul

Music Note Let’s go out to the kitchen…

Film That classic theatre intermission song is playing in my head, so let me take you out to what fills my tummy!

Per the request of Pretty Fitster Lynn’s comment on my very first Pretty Fit post – my intro – I’m sharing with you my photos of my pantry – as well as refrigerator, freezer, kitchen counter table and dining room table – to show you what I eat on the daily. Also, I’m adhering to Pretty Fitster Drina’s suggestions from my Wednesday Workout about healthy breakfast, along with on-the-go snacks and meals… Speaking of comments and suggestions, TODAY is the last day to enter in the Star Quest Bar Sample BOX Giveaway Star simply by posting what you want to see on our Pretty Fit app and blog!

Before I take y’all to my kitchen, I must inform you that my favorite foods are my own personal preference. While I don’t lead a completely gluten-free or vegan diet, I do advocate gluten-free and vegan products, as well as incorporate some gluten-free and vegan recipes into my menus. My main philosophy when it comes to eating – since I admittedly am a self-proclaimed foodie – is that I refuse to sacrifice/compromise or deprive myself of healthy, tasty food; it just a matter of eating in moderation and giving ourselves the occasional opportunity to splurge with those YOLOs (You Only Live Once).

Today, I stocked my kitcken with groceries that I picked up from my local Natural Grocers and Albertson’s. While I don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods nearby – since I don’t live in a substantially large market – I’m grateful to “Ate” Roxy for pointing out Natural Grocers, plus we have our local Farmer’s Market. I also am fortunate to have parents with green thumbs; thus, I can pick fruit and vegetables from their gardens! Perks about my Albertsons include the customer service rewards, including Rachael Ray incentives and Dallas Cowboys discounts when we sport our team gear on game day!

Sun Now without further ado… Welcome/Mabuhay/¡Biénvenidos!

Thank you for this bountiful bread that we break and share…

Whole Wheat Bread

Whole Wheat Bread = Heart-Healthy

Pantry Peek

First, take a tour of my little pantry…

Pasta & Pita

Grains

Since I don’t go gluten-free, I enjoy my grains. Oats are a staple source of my diet because I could create countless recipes from oatmeal (a couple of them appear below under healthy breakfast items), and the soluble fiber may help reduce heart Heart disease Broken Heart risk. I like wholesome grain products, including whole wheat breads and pastas – plus, when veggies and fruit are added to the mix, such as spinach-, zucchini-, carrot-, tomato- or sweet potato-based pasta, we reap even more flavor. Pita and flatbread provide foundations for easy pizza crusts when you sift and pour your desired toppings. Chips can be made out of anything under the sun nowadays, so I dip and dig on the ones that are made out of fruit and veggies.

Fruit & Veggies

Fruit/Veggies

One of my comfort cravings of all-time is chili Bowl , so I like to cook my own as time permits for a protein-punch and fiber-fulfillment. I like to add different types of beans and peppers plus tomato, spices and lean ground turkey to reduce fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium. However, if time is of the essence or I don’t have fresh ingredients on hand, I’ll turn to my supply of canned variations and jarred spices and seasoningsCan

Seasonings & Spices

Spice Rack

Natural Grocers, among other health food stores, offers fresh Almond Butter, which “Ate” Roxy introduced to me and got me hooked! Since it’s not as commonly commercialized as peanut butter, I had to make a special trip to Natural Grocers for it. Again, as it’s my choice, I do prefer Almond Butter vs. PB. Aside from the nutrients, I appreciate the taste and crunchy texture on toast. 

Almonds provide protein and fiber, healthy fats from monounsaturated fat, along with vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium  and phosphorus.

Spreads, Nuts & Dried Fruit

Snacks

As you also can see above, I love Nutella – another healthy fat source from the hazelnuts, and another tasty option with the skim milk and cocoa – which  could eat with just about anything: crepes, fruit, as long as I limit myself to up to a tablespoon at a time. Sometimes, I come across jars of other preserves, like this one with jalapeño and pineapple, as interesting flavor combinations. My fave snacks consist of nuts Male and fruit Female (like the Philippine pineapple from my native country?), which I sometimes combine into trail mix to tide me over on long work or workout days.

Low-Cal Indulgences

Indulgences

My other indulgences are tea, coffee Coffee and hot chocolate. For the sake of the holidays, I have ginger tea and peppermint cocoa. From my Man Day Monday, I mentioned how Dr. Oz pointed out that ginger tea helps with digestion. Peppermint also soothes the senses, which may relieve stress and other symptoms that may arise (i.e., allergies). Another find from Natural Grocers that I swear by are these gluten-free and vegan Hail Merry Choco Macaroons, which are available in other flavors. I’m a coconut-nut, so I reap the benefits of the extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) that contains healthy fat without the cholesterol.

EVCO

Coconut Oil

Speaking of coconut oil, I use it for pretty much anything, from healthy cooking to my own beauty regimen. It makes a great alternative in lieu of more fattening oils, and I use it to condition my color-treated hair and moisturize my skin.

Coconut Creamer

Coconut Coffee Creamers

“Ate” Roxy, who’s much more coconut-happy than I am, got me acquainted with coconut-based coffee creamers with all the taste and without the additives, so we can drink our healthy morning joe!

Freezer and Fridge

Healthy Frozen Food

Lean Frozen Products

Next, here are a few items that I keep stored in the freezer and refrigerator. When I’m busy working and don’t have enough time energy (which I like to reserve for exercise) to cook, I’ll pop one of these bad boy Lean Cuisines into the nooker. They still are delicious and nutritious, plus you could earn points by entering codes onto LC’s Delicious Rewards website. During off-season for certain fruit and veggie harvests, I’ll freeze my crops, so I still can eat them later.

Agua Coco y Jugo

Coconut Water & Juices

Of course, H2O is my #1 drink, as I was explicit about in my Thursday Tips post. Yet the coconut water and fruit juice in my fridge are chock full of nutrients. Coconut water is a tasty form of hydration that has electrolytes to replenish us after we train hard. My go-to juices  orange juice and any cocktail of cranberryblueberry and/or pomegranate  – not only quench my thirst but nourish me in other ways. OJ’s vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps combat allergies. Cranberry juice prevents urinary tract infection, the pomegranate is heart-healthy and contains antioxidants, plus think of these Bs in terms of blueberries: brain power, among other bonus benefits! (As a matter of fact, I served blueberry-pomegranate juice to my young nephew to aid in his brain development.)

Philly Neufchatel, Light Cool Whip, 0% Chobani

Neufchâtel Cheese, Light Whip, Greek Yogurt

These staples satisfy my hunger as treats to tide me over: Neufchâtel cheeseGreek yogurt and light whipped cream. Neufchâtel cheese is an alternative to cream cheese; it has flavor without being full of fat. Plain Greek yogurt has low-carb and high-protein content, and it is versatile enough to eat as a snack topped with berries, fruit or nuts, or to add in side dishes or entrées to replace fatty sour cream. Light whip can top desserts or be a fun dip for fruit and berries.

Refrigerated Goodies

Jellies, Candy & Coconut

Other little goodies that I keep stashed in one of the fridge compartments are those that I eat sparingly. As an Asian who does not frequent the Oriental markets enough, I enjoy these mini jelly cups that can be chilled or frozen. I also have coconut, chocolate or butterscotch morsels when I have a craving. During those sweet tooth aches, I’ll top them on yogurt or add them to trail mix.

Lettuce, Spinach, Raddish

Salad Greens

Again, when I lack time and energy to cut a head of lettuce, I’ll just use bagged salad greens! In fact, in the midst of being wiped out of energy from work and working out today, salads got me through my lunch and dinner!

Lime is Good!

When life gives you limes…

Lemons and limes are like nickels and dimes. We can’t have enough! These citrus fruits enhance flavor in salad, soups, cocktails, beer, pretty much anything we eat and drink!

Kitchen and Dining Room Tables

Now on to my kitchen and dining room tables for more fruit and prep for Thanksgiving arrangements…

THANKSgiving Fruit

THANKSgiving Kitchen Arrangement

 

Peaches

Peachy Keen

Apples

Apples in All Colors and Sizes

Cranberry Cream Pie

THANKSgiving Dessert in the Making

Finished Products

Finally, here are some of my recipes that have resulted from some of my favorite foods.

Smiling Omelet

The Edible Happy Egg!

Make breakfast a happy and healthy time!

Cocoa Pancakes & Fruit

Star Cocoa Oatmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Eyes and Nose plus Pineapple Mouth

Suit & Tie

Black Tie Suit Salsa

My own creations with veggies, full of flavor, fiber and protein!

Angel Amoré Chicken Cacciatore

Angel Hair Amoré Chicken Cacciatore

More Pasta & Veggies

Spinach-Tomato Rotini

Pasta & Veggies

Healthy Hearty Penne with Broccoli and Carrots

Pasta dishes can be enhanced with vegetable goodness and seasonings, plus lean poultry, like grilled chicken or ground turkey.

Wine and Dine

Red Wine

Red Wine: Good for the Heart and Soul

Last but not least, I recommend red wine  Liquor spirits for our health, as it contains antioxidants and is heart-healthy, when consumed in moderation. My bottles of choice are Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Not only are they good for pairing with meals, but also including in recipes, like sauces or marinades! UB40‘s Red Red Wine now lingers on the brain. Cheers!  Drink

✌ Peace Peace  Grin Joy Yes Sun Health ☼ Coins Wealth Present  & Heart Love ♥ Elaine Cool

Lamp One more note: As we ensure that we eat our greens, please check out Pretty Fit founder Dee‘s Cucumber Sandwich recipe, seems yummy to the tummy!  Yes

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