Authentic Wellness July Newsletter

Stocking a Plentiful Pantry 

Keeping a full and clean pantry is a staple in my kitchen and helps make cooking seem like less of a hassle.  Whether you're making a simple weeknight meal, or having an elaborate dinner party its great to have some basic staples on hand at all times.  I like to shop in the bulk section of the grocery store for pantry staples, then store them in clear glass containers.  This helps keep them fresh, organized and always lets me know what supplies I'm working with.  Here are a list of my pantry staples and reasons why I love them so much!

Nuts/Seeds and Nut Butters
I like to keep a variety of nuts and seeds for snacking, topping salads, and adding to recipes.  Nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, fiber, Vitamin E and are such an easy and versatile snack to have on hand.  Nut butters are also a great snack to spread on toast, fruit, or use in smoothies. I keep my pantry packed with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews, peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter. 

High Quality Oils
High quality oils are another essential pantry staple.  They can be used in cooking, baking, making raw deserts, for dressing salads and making simple sauces.  My favorite oils are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, avocado oil and ghee.  Olive oil is best used to make sauces and dressings or cooking at low heat.  Avocado oil and ghee are great for cooking at higher heat because they have a much higher smoking point and won't break down and loose their nutritional value as quickly as oils with a low smoking point will.  I like to use coconut oil in some baking, coconut butter in my smoothies and MCT oil in my morning bulletproof coffee recipe.

Rice and Beans
Dry goods such as rice, beans, quinoa and lentils are great to have stocked in your pantry because they can make a quick and easy meal on their own or can be used in several recipes.  I like to have both dried beans and organic canned beans so I have the option to make either depending on how much time I have.  They hold well in glass containers and you can have a nice variety depending on your taste.

Smoothie Bowl Toppings
I love to have a variety of superfoods and toppings to use in or on smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or in a homemade trail mix.  Some of my favorites to have on hand are coconut flakes, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, cocoa nibs, bee pollen and Purely Elizabeth granola.  All of these toppings help to easily boost the nutritional value in your meal or snack.

Vital Proteins and Calm Magnesium Supplement
I don't take many supplements at all as I try to get most of my nutrition from the food in my diet.  However, I do really like both Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Calm Magnesium supplement.  Collagen peptides are a great source of protein and they help support healthy skin, hair, nails, bone and joint health, muscle recovery and digestion.  The powder is flavorless and dissolves easily in both hot and cold liquids.  I usually add a few scoops to my smoothie or my morning coffee for a protein boost.  To learn more check out their website here.  The other supplement I like to take is Calm Magnesium Supplement, and I take it before bed to help me relax and drift off into a restful sleep.  To learn more about Calm check out the Natural Vitality website here

Miscellaneous Items
A few additional items that are great to keep on hand are Braggs liquid aminos (for sauces, stir frys and as a gluten-free substitute for soy sauce), Nutritional Yeast (great sprinkled on salads, popcorn, or used in casseroles), Tahini (for homemade hummus and sauces), a box of chicken broth and canned tomatoes for soups and sauces, Rx bars or Perfect Bars as a healthy on the go protein bar, or high quality dark chocolate for when that chocolate craving strikes!

July & August Wellness Events 

I have two exciting health and wellness events coming up over the next few weeks if you're interested in attending.  This Saturday, July 15th I'm helping out with the Fibre Athletics Fitness & Feast event in Chicago.  Its a 4 mile run up the lakeshore followed by some fitness challenges and a BBQ brunch.  To find out more info and to register go here.  I also have one more spot open for my Marin Wellbeing Retreat this August 10th-14th in Marin County, CA.  Check out my website for more details, or shoot me a message if you're interested in attending!    

Recipe of the Month

I love to use one of my favorite pantry staples (nuts!) to make quick and easy homemade nut milks.  Cashew milk is one of the easiest to make, all you need is a high speed blender and a few simple ingredients.  I love to use cashew milk in my chia seed pudding, oatmeal, lattes, smoothies or just simply pour it over a bowl of granola.  This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and will last for about a week in your fridge.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup cashews
4 cups filtered water
2 medjool dates  
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt  

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water and let them soak for a few hours (4-5hrs or overnight) 
2. Drain the cashews then toss them in the blender
3. Add the 4 cups of water, dates, vanilla, cinnamon and salt into a high speed blender and blend until smooth (about 1-2 minutes)
3. Pour the cashew milk in a glass jar and store in the fridge until ready to use