It has never been more important to care for ourselves and the planet. One foundational way to do this is through nutrition and by enjoying making healthy meals for ourselves and our families. We are the healthy types that have through the years had to go to 4 grocery stores and markets to find all that we need and love. This has gotten much better in the last years with the growing health departments in Icelandic grocery stores, our absolute favourite one being Nettó. We love the health department in Nettó so much we made a grocery basket in their online store with our kitchen stables for you to get inspired. Also here are a few tips to consider the next time you’re selecting groceries:
WHOLE FOODS: The best foods are those that do not require an ingredient list. We recommend you do most of your shopping around the entrance of the grocery store: this is most often where the whole foods are located (not always but often). A diet rich in whole, fresh foods is so important for your health. They also tend to have less of an environmental footprint, particularly when you choose locally grown items and/or organic ones. So scan the store for items grown in your area or/and organically grown. Also choose packaging wisely.
EAT THE RAINBOW: Most of us get stuck eating the same vegetables and fruits. But to get all the nutrition we need to consume a variety of fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, aiming for 8-12 servings per day (1 serving = 1/2 cup). Pigments that give fresh produce colour are full of different nutrient profiles. For example, spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens are high in B vitamins, purple-blue items like blueberries or purple cabbage are rich in antioxidants, and orange vegetables provide the body with precursors to vitamin A. All of these nutrients are integral to health.
CONSCIOUS PROTEIN: Consciously select your proteins: proteins include land and marine animal meats, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds. We recommend stocking up on beans and non animal protein and exploring ways to incorporate them in your meals (check out our recipes). Rotate your proteins daily, ensuring you regularly have meals that are fully plant-based and contain a protein like lentils, chickpeas, organic tempeh, or nut butter.
HEALTHY FATS: Healthy fats are our friends: eliminate poor quality fats like vegetable and canola oils (especially palm oil for the animals), and opt for a source of healthy fat a few times a day. Examples of one serving of good quality fats include: 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive, a small handful of raw nuts, 1/4 avocado, a generous sprinkling of raw seeds or 2 tbsp of nut butter.
DON´T AVOID CARBS. just choose the right ones. Opt for grains that are close to what they look like when grown in nature. Avoid grains that have been ground into flour and combined with other ingredients. Whole brown or wild rice, steel cut oats, quinoa, millet and buckwheat groats are all excellent options that support healthy fibre intake and gut health.
Nutrition is one aspect of our daily lives where we can exercise choice and vote with our wallets; by choosing wisely, we will not only optimise our health as individuals, but also that of Mother Earth.
Dagný & Eva