Eating Deliberately: My 15 Staple Foods

by - March 24, 2017

In a time when we are bombarded with articles showcasing the latest fad diets, food trends and new super foods taking centre stage every five minutes - some of the original players can get lost. Regardless of the changing prices, conflicting info and exotic newcomers, I wanted to share these 15 foods that make it home with me every week and aren't going anywhere...

Living Deliberately
If you're not familiar with the term 'living deliberately' in a nutshell, it means living efficiently. It can be extended to any area of life but I became aware of it through watching The Minimalists documentary and their point was living deliberately as a result of getting rid of most of your possessions: We live with way too much stuff that we don't use for many reasons, fear of what might happen if we throw it away and then suddenly need it (Oh no!) the guilt of the money we spent on it not allowing us to throw it out, or our possessions representing our identity and comforting us. I am with them and believe that less is more - He who travels lightest, travels furthest etc and how practising detachment from material possessions can liberate you (rewatch Fight Club - it explores this topic superbly). It can also be applied to food:

Only buy and eat food which is the best for you! 

That way your meals become more nutritionally dense, your shopping list becomes simplified and your health becomes optimum.

The paleo diet is famous for omitting grains, carbs, sugar and pulses. But do you know why that is? It's not so much an exclusive diet - in the sense where the focus is on what you CAN'T eat like so many diets, giving 'diets' in general a bad rap, but more on what you CAN eat. Simply eating the most nutritional foods and therefore eating smarter, more efficiently and definitely more deliciously.  This is a celebration of these amazing foods. An exercise of gratitude and appreciation - thankful we have such easy access to them.

Here's what I've been buying week after week now (you may have noticed from my Instagram feed that it doesn't really deviate a lot from these staples!) Another thing to consider here is the common misconception that eating healthily is more expensive. This lot are not expensive and to demonstrate I've included the average cost of each. Swap convenience for preparation and reap the benefits both financially and physically. 

So without further ado, here are my 15 most celebrated foods that I want to declare my undying love for. 

The Desert Island List:

1. I love you, Eggs (£2.79 for 12 large free range)
The daily lunchbox staple. The weekend breakfast staple. The weeknight really fast dinner savour.

2. I love you, Avocados (£1 each on average)
The weekend breakfast pimper. The anytime snack savour. The comforting creamy luxury. The post-hangover rehydrator. The salad filler. The guacamole hero. Goes with everything. Notice this one's been cut round the belly and not lengthways! This gets it out easier, try it! I know right!

3. I love you, Frozen Berries (£2.50 a pack)
The cheaper than fresh berries answer. Add them to smoothies for a chilly berry blast. Defrost them over night for breakfasts. Add them to porridge to make everything purple. The least sugary of all the fruit and a hella vitamin C.

4. I love you, Sweet Potatoes (£1 a bag)
Where would I be without you? These guys get baked, mashed, wedged, fried, grated, hashed and eaten hot and cold weekly. Super comforting, easy, rewarding and delicious.

5.  I love you, Peppers (£1 for three)
Beautiful traffic light pepper packs. Green, yellow, red. These guys are such fun. I mostly eat them raw in my lunchbox everyday but roasted they're gorgeous too. Thanks peppers. You are fantastic.

6.  I love you, Mixed Greens (£1 a bag)
A tangle of hot, peppery salad leaves. Spinach, watercress and rocket LOVE to come home with me and get covered in oil and vinegar. They LOVE it! I love them. Lunchbox everyday.

7. I love you SO MUCH, Salmon (£4 for two fillets) 

Ah the salmon. I used to eat you more but then I came to the conclusion it was too expensive. Then I made a 'Things that make me happy' list to refer to when I was feeling down or needed a pick me up (it's a good thing to do actually, make a list of things that make you happy and do more of them, it's simple!) and 'eating salmon' was on that list. So I re-rationalised it and now I eat it about 3 or 4 times a week, guilt-free and love it! Currently eating salmon in bed while writing this, on a Friday night - yep, that's my idea of heaven these days! And the best part is the skin. OH MY GOD THE SKIN THOUGH. So fit. Crispy, fatty joy. Lol. Never thought I'd see that sentence!

8.  I love you, Flavoured Green Tea (£1.59 for 20)

The comforting, cleansing, warming, energising DON'T LEAVE THE BAG IN TOO LONG tea with many different faces. Pure with the bag left in = rank. Flavoured with the bag left out = delightful. For when your mouth is sick of coffee or in the evening. Absolutely loving Clipper because they are the cheapest organic unbleached delicious ones. I love Pukka too but they're more expensive. 

9.  I love you, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (£2.99 lasts ages)
I am an EVOO slut. I can't get enough. I pour it down my throat like it's water and I've been stranded in the Sahara for months. It goes on everything. Loads all over lunch, loads on steamed greens and my latest thing - drizzling it onto soft boiled eggs. This is extra effective if your egg has been overcooked as thee oil will give it some well needed extra moisture.

10.  I love you, Garlic (£1 for three)

My latest crazy with garlic is crushing it onto almost cooked veg. This is in opposition to the norm of crushing it straight into the oil/butter first and frying it off. I find by adding it later it retains more flavour and there's less chance of burning it straight off - because yes that does happen! 

11.  I love you, Broccoli (£0.50)
Broccoli is probably my favourite veg of all time. It's SO FIT. I love lightly steaming it then as mentioned above, crushing that garlic onto it, stiring it round and then hitting it with some salted organic butter or some olive oil. Yum. 

12.  I love you, Cucumber (£0.45)
I love having cucumber around all the time - for lunchboxes, for having a huge chunk of if I'm hungry before bed, for easy snacking. It's anti-inflammatory and delicious and refreshing and always welcome. 

13.  I love you, Butter (£1.80 a pack)
Ahh, I could write for hours declaring my love for butter. One of the best pieces of news to come out of the last five years has been how butter is actually good for you. Of course, it must be organic grass-fed butter (I go for Yeo Valley) and that's not hard to find. From shaking it into coffee to slathering onto veg to mashing into sweet potatoes to adding to soups and stews as a final touch to eating chunks off the block straight up, it's fantastic. 

14.  I love you, Lemons (£1 for 3)
As with the garlic, adding at the end is SO much more effective when it comes to locking in flavour and so many things can be made fitter with a squeeze of lemon. Especially things such as chilli con carne [Click here to read my Paleo Chilli Con Carne With a Touch of Dark Chocolate] stews, roast chicken, any sort of fish, steamed vegetables (alongside EVOO) and of course in hot water with or without ginger for a lush, cleansing drink. I recently got into the habit of preparing a lemon water for a bedside drink (I like to drink a litre of water first thing when I wake up) so if you've already prepped it with lemon, you're getting a banging start to the day! Try it! 

15.  I love you, Black Pepper (£2 a box, lasts ages)
Yeah I know it's not really a food but it's essential because recently I've given up loads of salt mostly because I don't like how it increases water retention which makes you look and feel more bloated than is necessary (and no bloating is ever necessary!) So black pepper, the coarsely ground loose stuff that comes in a box that you can pour into a little dish so that you can easily grab huge pinches of it, like a pro chef, to throw into dishes, is the way for me. I especially love it on mushrooms. 

So there we are, if you were wondering, they're my absolute favourite foods that I ensure I have at home all the time and anything else is a bonus!

 I'd love to know yours! Tweet me at @rawrhubarb or hit up my Facebook page here  or Instagram me here 

You May Also Like