Stocking a Healthy Pantry

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We all need a little help when it comes to mastering the basics of nutrition. I'm glad to have Julie Lerner Grayson as a friend. Julie's a health professional (a licensed nutritionist and holistichealth counselor) who doesn't try to load her clients down with tons of supplements and non-edible food. Her business Whole Body Nutrition aims to help people find their balance in life. Here are some on her EASY tips for shaping up the grocery list.

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Nuts & Seeds: Try almonds, pine nuts (she says to keep them in the freezer), walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflowers.
Protein: Her advice is to treat protein as a condiment not the main dish and to purchase the highest quality you can afford (i.e. organic if you can swing it). Canned fish should be packed in water not oil.
Beans: A great source of amino acids, fiber, iron ,etc. Her favs are adzuki, black-eyed peas, lentils and garbanzo beans.
Oils: Mix it up.Olive oil (extra virgin please) is for low heats. For high heat, try canola. Nut seeds (almond oil, pumpkin oil, etc.) are great on top of steamed greens, but don't heat these and keep them refrigerated.
Condiments: Add flavor and richness. Try tamari, brown rice syrup, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and garlic.
Leafy Greens: Load up on an assortment from bitter (watercress and arugula), deep dark (kale and Swiss chard), and leafy (bokchoy and broccoli).
Dairy: Don't be afraid to experiment. Try sheep and goat products as well as nut and soy formulas to find what works best for your family.
Eggs: A staple--easy to digest.
Grains: Stick to whole grains like amaranth, barley, brown rice and quinoa.
Fresh Herbs: Summer is a great time to sample from your farmer's market: basil, mint, cilantro, etc.
Spices: Adding spices, such as ginger (great for digestion and the immune system)and paprika can "transform a meal into something extraordinary."

Here's Julie's "Quick Hummus Recipe":
1 can organic garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon tahini
1 clove garlic
dash of cumin
dash of sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice

Toss in blender or food processor and enjoy with fresh veggies!

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