Must Have Ingredients in Your Holistic Pantry

If your anything like me, you are overwhelmed with incorporating new ingredients into your cooking. It took me years of practice to get the hang of it. Many cooking disasters later, I can safely say, I will never go back to white flour and fake food! True story, I don’t even have a bag of white flour in the back of the pantry. I made a pledge to my health years ago to make this a way of life and I can honestly say, the food tastes better and my family and I feel better!

What is Whole Cooking? Using Ingredients that are natural and unrefined with a real nutritional benefit! The food you eat should always have a nutritional benefit.  Almost all prepared foods, packaged foods and fast foods are loaded with preservatives, chemicals and toxins. Where do you find these foods? At most eating establishments and grocery stores. In other words, everywhere! But, eating whole is much greater than just cutting the processed and toxic foods out.   Its about healing, benefiting and energizing your body with food! It can even go as far as removing gluten, corn, soy and animal dairy out of your diet. Those are ingredients in our everyday American diet that we are all used to! Bread, milk, yummy cheeses, pasta, corn on the cob, pizza, crackers, cereal, doughnuts…you get the picture. Those don’t work for our system, they work against it and contribute to our toxic and hormonal burden we all face today as we age. If you already have a diagnosed auto-immune disease, then these foods should not be in your diet at all. All auto immune disease starts with a leaky gut, if not repaired then the disease progresses and more disease takes hold. It is possible and proven to put a hold and gain remission of auto immune disease with a proper diet.

Why is gluten and corn so bad for your health? Simple! They are gut irritants and cause inflammation. Inflammation from wheat is even a problem for individuals who aren’t sensitive to gluten! It’s hard to digest and that’s a problem on your long term health and immunity. Why? Because, your whole health depends on the health of your gut! All disease and illness start in your gut.

Why is animal dairy and soy so bad for your health? They effect our hormonal health. Our bodies, male and female are controlled by our hormones.   The massive amounts of antibiotics, misleading labeling, hormones and preservatives ADDED to milk and dairy products contribute to hormone dis-regulation in our systems. Why is that bad? When our hormones are out of balance we are as well. Hormones affect our emotions and our total health! Soy, once regarded as a health food is also on this list as a bad food because it also affects hormone health. Unfortunately, soy is in EVERYTHING!

So, where to start? I started by purging my pantry. Get rid of the white flour, most canned goods, prepared boxed foods, soup mixes etc and stock up on my list of pantry staples! These are all ingredients and products I use on a daily basis. These are the building blocks for most whole food recipes.

  1. Coconut Oil: This is a must and should trump all other oils in your pantry! You should be consuming up to two tablespoons of this amazing oil everyday. High in saturated fat, which help to increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL), at the same time also helps to convert LDL (bad cholesterol) .

Benefits include: Prevents heart disease and high blood pressure, proven alzheimer’s disease treatment, cures UTI and kidney infections, reduces inflammation and arthritis, cancer prevention, Immune system boost, antibacterial, improves digestion, Reduces symptoms of gallbladder disease, improves skin issues, prevents gum disease, improves type II diabetes, helps build muscle and lose body fat, Hair care, candida and yeast infections, improves hormone regulation. Make sure its cold pressed, raw and organic to gain the most benefits! I use this in pretty much all of my baking, my skin, hair masks, lip conditioner, tea…possibilities are endless! Throw out all processed oils…canola, vegetable, corn, grape seed…any and all highly processed oils.

  1. Manuka Honey: This is a major treat with a nutritional punch! I go through a container every couple of weeks. I use this sweet nectar in all my baking and have a teaspoon every morning in my warm water with lemon and apple cider vinegar. You should have 1-2 tablespoons per day. This is one of the most unique and beneficial honeys in the world! Not only is it historically known for its medicinal purposes but it tastes amazing as well.

Benefits include:   Healing Acne and Eczema, Low stomach acid related illnesses, Staph infections, Healing burns and wounds, tooth decay and gingivitis, IBS and IBD, reducing inflammation, Sore throat, improving immunity, Allergies and sinusitis, Improves sleep. Buyer beware when purchasing honey! Most grocery store versions are no different than sugar so choose your Manuka honey wisely. I buy mine off amazon or whole foods. This is not inexpensive but well worth the investment!

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: I just discovered this little gem about a year ago. The possibilities are endless with it! Detoxing your home, hair health, weight loss aid, detox for your body, great for clearing out your lymphatic system, reduce heartburn and aid in digestion, air fresher! I have a glass of warm water every morning with this gem and some Manuka honey…delicious and I love knowing its helping arm my body for a healthy day!
  1. Pink Himalayan sea salt: This is an unrefined, mineral based salt. In my opinion, a better option over refined table salt.
  1. Coconut and Almond Milk: There are multiple different kinds of nut milks available. Coconut milk has many benefits! Helps lose fat, provides electrolytes, prevents fatigue, improves digestion, relieves constipation, improves heart health. This brand is my personal taste preference and has less ingredients than others on the market. This brand also is Carrageenan free! Carrageenan is added to many organic foods usually as a thickening agent. This added ingredient is derived from a natural source but has been studied and proven to cause digestive disorders, inflammation and even linked to cancer.
  1. Pure Maple Syrup: Why would you want anything else on your pancakes?! Did you know how many benefits it offers? It contains numerous antioxidants, lower glycemic index, fights inflammation, protects skin health, and may help to protect against cancer. I use this as a sweetener in my baking goods. Pass the syrup please!
  1. Flaxseed Meal: I try to add this power house seed to as many meals as possible! Its high in fiber, low in carbs, improves skin and hair health, aids in weight loss, helps lower cholesterol, high in antioxidants, promotes healthy digestion, helps fight cancer, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and much much more.
  1. Almond and Coconut Flour: Main ingredients for baked goods in our house. In my opinion best flour choices for your health. Gluten and wheat free, high in fiber, high protein, high in antioxidants, will help control blood sugar levels, and they taste great!

Cooking should be fun and enjoyable! With the right tools your possibilities are endless and abundant with flavor and nutrition!!!

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