Happy Almost Valentine’s Day.

The Workout Bud and I are not too into the mushy holiday. We both don’t care for the cheesiness of cards, although we do love candy. And he will use anything as an excuse to be able to eat more candy. Or cookies. Last night, we had a ‘Valentine’s Day’ date night of pizza and finished season 3 of Sherlock. We are so boring.

And because we are not Valentine’s Day folk, I will be spending Valentine’s Day with some of my favorite thugs! The past couple of years, we have gotten together for Valentine’s Day weekend because it just so happens to usually fall on President’s Day weekend, when everyone has off work!

This weekend, we are obviously doing wedding planning! Finding bridesmaids dresses, figuring out table settings, and doing other such girly things like watching chick flicks and painting our nails.

I have to run to Target today (always willingly, right) to pick up a few treats for the weekend, which got me thinking of what else I needed to purchase from the store (lemons, for one thing), which made me think through some of the staples I have in my kitchen at all times, which lead to decide I needed to write a blog post on my top 5 kitchen staples.

Whew.

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But, as I was thinking, I realized I probably have like 10 or 15 staples that I need at all times. So, I had to narrow it down to my top 5 MUST HAVE items. Those things that I couldn’t really go a couple days, let alone a week without.

The top 5 that made the cut:

COCONUT OIL

BANANAS

GREENS

EGGS

LEMONS

So, you may be asking, ‘Why those 5?’

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First up, COCONUT OIL. I discovered coconut oil shortly after I started ‘clean eating’ aka, not really eating gluten, dairy or tons of processed foods. I decided I couldn’t live without it during my first candida detox. Coconut oil is great for helping to kick candida because it contains capyril acid, which is an antifungal and helps kill off the candida cells – like break through the cell walls. Holla. It’s a great source of healthy, saturated fat, has a high smoke point which makes it wonderful for cooking, is easily digestible, and makes for a great moisturizer (I use it in the shower every.day.).

I use coconut oil pretty exclusively when I cook. I add it to my oatmeal, my coffee, my eggs, and even my cashew + hemp seed energy bites!

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Thanks to Gwen Stefani for teaching everyone how to spell BANANAS. B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Wouldn’t it have been terrible if I didn’t spell it correctly!? Hah. Anyway….bananas. Hands down, my favorite fruit. They are sweet and delicious, although low on the glycemic index, coming in with only 14-15 grams of sugar. Plus, bananas are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6.

I keep these guys around for snacking – I love them pre | post workout. I freeze them for smoothies, use them for paleo waffles and even put them on my eggs.

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GREEN THINGS. Leafy greens to be exact. My refrigerator (and freezer) is ALWAYS stocked with either spinach, kale (I prefer dino kale), swiss chard or collard greens. All the greens mentioned are packed with vitamin A, C, magnesium and fiber. And what I love most about greens is their versatility.

I use leafy greens in my smoothies, soups and of course, salads.

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EGGS. I’ve mentioned before how I used to dislike eggsIt was a phase and I am so glad I am over it. I seriously cannot live without eggs these days. If I ever have to go on an elimination diet again where I have to give up eggs, it won’t be a happy time.

And I’m a snob too, that has grown to love fresh eggs much more than the eggs from the grocery store. There is a bar next to The Workout Bud’s apartment. They have a farm and sell eggs at the bar. Fresh eggs for like 2 bucks a carton. Yes. please. Now, my fridge is always stocked.

Eggs are full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein. It’s basically the best food item ever. Maybe not ever, but it’s right up there. I make alot of eggs. I bake them in an avocado, scramble them, put them on my pad thai, on top of waffles,  or in kitchen sink skillets.

breakfasttacosAnd LEMONS. I use lemon pretty exclusively in my hot water every morning. Occasionally, I’ll squeeze a little lemon over a salad, use it to make a dressing, or add it to a juice. But, in every day use, it goes in my morning hot water. Warm lemon water is great at helping to flush out toxics and it aids in digestion. It’s become part of my morning ritual to have a cup of warm lemon water. Best part of the day.

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Now, just wait. You get one more. Mostly because I completely forgot about it, but it’s seriously always in my pantry. UNFILTERED, RAW, ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR aka. ACV. My favorite way to use ACV – pre-meal as a digestive enzyme. It helps stimulate digestive juices to break down food. It’s also full of probiotics if you get the unfiltered kind with ‘The Mother.’ It is pretty acidic, so it’s always recommended to dilute it with 1-2 TBSP of water…which I do sometimes, but the taste is so bad, that I usually just pour some in a shot glass, add a little bit of water, take it, then chase it with a lot of water.

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Now it’s your turn. Tell me your top 5 must have kitchen staples!

– Jen.

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