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A Dietitian’s (Unusual) Staple Foods

I got a pickle

2016 is flying by—I can hardly believe there are only 4 months left! It’s been a year full of change, and surprisingly one change has been with the staple foods in my house. Normally when we say ‘staples’ we think of pasta, rice, milk, eggs, fruits & veggies, etc. Today, I’m sharing some of the new(ish) staples in my house, some of which may surprise you. They range from foods that are new to me, foods that shifted from occasional to regular purchases, and many foods that have come full circle (I ate them as a kid, they dropped out of my life and are making a comeback). Here are my top 9:

1) Butter:  Yup. I said it. After a lifelong of being instilled with ‘butter fear’, it’s game over in this household. Even though our dietary guidelines are outdated, science has shown us several times that saturated fat (especially in dairy) does not increase risk of heart disease. Plus, it’s delicious.

2) Pickles: Because why not? Crunchy, salty, yummy snacks that got me like whoa! Why have I held back on pickles for so many years? Given a bad name mainly due to their salt content, I go back to the argument of balance. Plus, I’d rather reach for some pickles as a snack over a bag of chips.

3) Whole Milk: Whole foods are where it’s at. Similar to butter, I’ve spent almost my entire life drinking skim milk. No longer.

4) Hummus: I’ve always loved hummus, and I can’t think of a better protein and fibre rich snack that incorporates the 2016 food of the year—pulses! Hummus is regular in my snacks and lunches.

5) Kale: All day, every day.  It may be trending down in popularity but not in my kitchen. Kale Caesar Salad – c’mon SO good. It’s one of my favourite go-to simple meals. Pair your kale with a Greek yogurt based dressing and chicken to round out the protein, and you’ve got yourself a delish meal.

6) Fresh Herbs: I’ve always been a fan but have started branching beyond my usual cilantro and basil to include fresh oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and mint. These have added an amazing boost of flavour to my cooking.

7) Kefir: I started including kefir in my smoothies last year and have continued to use it as a replacement for yogurt in my smoothies. I love the taste, consistency and health benefits.

8) Kombucha: Has transitioned from an intermittent drink to a regular in my repertoire. With so many different options on the market, kombucha is a great alternative to coffee on some days – still giving you a caffeine kick with the added benefits of fermentation.

9) Natural Flavoured Club Sodas: Luckily I do love drinking water, but lately I have been craving everything bubbly. Ever since I discovered naturally flavoured club sodas and sparkling waters, I can’t go without them. With no sugar and no artificial sweeteners, these have become a regular switch up for water.

I’m curious, what are your staple foods? Please share!

In Good Health,

Raman Khatar

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