Top 10 Foods to Stash in Your Kitchen
As part of our online programs, we equip our athletes with our ‘Compeat Kitchen’ guide – designed to make eating and fuelling well achievable and practical. To celebrate with Australian Triathlete Magazine in talking all things nutrition this week, we thought we would give you a sneak peek into our pantry, and let you know the top 10 things we just couldn’t live without!
The Vitamin & Mineral Punch:
The original sports food has got to be fruit. Our house must be stocked with a good supply at all times. Otherwise, it is freak out time! Our fruit tray is most often stocked with bananas (essential – otherwise there is a one-year-old with a temper!) and apples. From there, we build it up with whatever is in season. Summer has seen us enjoy nectarines, grapes, passionfruit, mangoes and melons the most!
OK, I will admit it, I often go a little overboard with the veggies. Cooked right, these superfoods can add such a variety and colour to a meal that is hard to beat. Start to set the standard that a meal isn’t complete without colour. So, if you are looking down at a plate of beige and brown, it is time to incorporate some veggies or add them as a side dish. To be friendly to the budget, choose in season and don’t be afraid to go frozen if that suits your lifestyle best!
Quality Fats & Protein Boosters:
- Nuts & Seeds
Our favourites always on hand are pepitas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews and pine nuts. These beautiful bundles of healthy fat and protein are extremely versatile and a great way to boost the quality of your intake, and add a fullness factor that is hard to beat.
We use ours just plain as a handy snack, in bliss balls, to make home-made muesli, to add a bit more zing to salads and as a crunchy topper to yoghurt.
- A range of Dairy
OK, so I may have cheated here as this is not one food – but hey, it wouldn’t have fitted into my top 10 otherwise! Here we are talking all things milk, yoghurt and cheese. Whenever someone asks me what kind I recommend, I steer towards encouraging a range.
Enjoy a range of different cheeses – feta, ricotta and cheddar are staples in our house! Milk may usually be dairy based, but you may also like to include some coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk. Just remember that the nutrition profile of all of these is different, so make sure you mix it up! Yoghurts are an athlete’s friend. They are an optimal recovery snack – they are a great filling snack and the perfect addition to meals. We go for a higher protein; low added sugar, Greek yoghurt mostly, but also love the creaminess of coconut yoghurt on occasion.
- Nut Butter
The convenience food that not only tastes great but can also offer some impressive health benefits. Our pick for both health and flavour has got to be ‘Mayvers’. We use it as a topper on toast or crumpets for pre-training, on crispbreads as a quick snack, in marinades and as a dipper for apple and banana (I may or may not be obsessed with this).
The bonus tip: make overnight oats in the empty jars! The swirls of leftover peanut butter in the jars with the oats is amazing! It makes finishing the jar a little less painful 🙂
The Fuel Factory:
- Grain Sourdough
Ditch the processed white bread and go for a slower to digest, wholesome option as often as possible. Our favourite is grain or rye sourdough. Our pantry wouldn’t be complete without a loaf of grain sourdough ready to be topped with eggs in the morning, a satisfying lunch with salad or dipped in olive oil.
The bonus is that because of the long and slow fermentation; most find that is easier to digest, resulting in fewer gut issues.
- Quinoa & Brown Rice
The fillers that offer a little more than just being the accompaniment! These wholesome grains add essential vitamins, minerals and fibre to your meal, while also being an important source of carbohydrate to support your training load. We love including these in our salads, with our stir-fries and served with curries.
Hot tip: Cook some up at the start of the week as an easier and nourishing addition to your work lunches.
The winner of the versatility award for sure! Oats are ridiculously budget-friendly and offer a carbohydrate source that is slow to digest and full of fibre. Use them to make muesli, cook them up with your milk of choice to make a warming porridge or soak them overnight to create bircher. We also love adding them to our bliss balls or whizzing them up with our smoothies on those high training days.
For the Love of Food:
- Maple Syrup
This syrup is just delicious – simple as that! It also boasts being a natural sugar source from a tree, but really the only reason I need to include it in my pantry is the flavour! We add it to our baking, into smoothies, in our home-made muesli and drizzle it on to our porridge. Perfection!
Note: Just make sure you buy the real stuff and not the imitation ‘Maple Flavoured’ one!
- Dark Chocolate
Insert *freak out* here if our fridge runs empty on this item! Good quality dark chocolate is our love, and we encourage all our athletes to include foods they love in their daily eating. Being comfortable with having this type of food in the house is all about being present while eating it and enjoying every morsel that melts in the mouth.
We could rave on about the antioxidants, but hey – what is the point when the real gift is the love of food.
Text: Alicia Edge | Advanced Sports Dietitian and Accredited Practising Dietitian | Compeat Nutrition
Feature image: shutterstock.com
To celebrate all things nutrition for AHWW, we are offering our Australian Triathlete Magazine readers a handy 10% discount on all our services. Visit www.compeatnutrition.com for more info and simply type in AusTriMag10 at checkout (Valid from the 13th – 20th of February 2017).