Nutrition Updates to my Kitchen under Quarantine

In these times of quarantine, keeping healthy is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Let’s dive into the kitchen – what pantry staples are you reaching for? Here are my personal nutrition updates.

In my apartment, I’ve added 3 new-to-me items that I’ve picked out to bolster nutrition. These are easy to add to existing routines. Each item is nutritionally dense, providing key vitamins and minerals that might be overlooked from more traditional foods. It’s been about a month of having these 3 pieces and I’ve liked each of them so much that they are going to continue in my routine!

Chai Seeds

I’ve been adding these to my morning post-run protein smoothie! These pack a punch as a significant source of fiber. Fiber is an often overlooked part of a nutritional profile, and often missing from the typical American diet. Chia seeds are predominantly insoluble fiber, which pushes food through the digestive track, keeping your whole system happy. Think of it like a good flush of your system, clearing it all out.

I found my Chia seeds at Kroger – they can be found at nearly any grocery store. One tablespoon is a serving, providing you with 80 calories and 5g of fiber (19% of your daily value). These also have a small amount of calcium and Iron with very low total fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium. My bag from Kroger cost me $4.49 and contains 23 servings, making it a worthwhile purchase in my mind.

Here’s my morning protein smoothie recipe (proportions are important!):

1 tablespoon chia seeds
4 ounces, Coconut water (source of magnesium, potassium, and sodium – the trifecta of important things for muscles post-run)
1 serving (5 ounces) Plain Siggi’s Icelandic skyr (source of high protein that is extremely clean – no fat or added extras – one of my absolute favorite foods!)
Finished smoothie! Perfect post-run

Nutritional Yeast

This one might seem unique to those who are new to this product. But one look at the nutrition label and you’ll see it is an incredible source for all those vitamins and minerals that you don’t often see. It contains the following (percentages of daily value): 310% Thiamin, 240% Riboflavin, 110% Niacin, 150% Vitamin B6, 90% Folate, 130% Vitamin B12. As if that’s not enough – there’s also a small amount of fiber, some Potassium, Zinc, and 3g of Protein. One serving is just 1 tablespoon, serving up 20 calories with no fat at all.

For only 3 dollars, I found this bag at Trader Joes. It contains 23 servings, making it another worthwhile purchase. It can also be found at Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, etc.

Now what exactly is it? The ingredients label simply starts with ‘Inactive Nutritional Yeast’. The taste can be described as slightly cheesy, slightly nutty, and not much flavor at all. Google told me some people like putting this on everything from pasta to popcorn. I’ve been incorporating it into my daily staple of rice and beans.

That’s right – rice and beans is my staple. I do tend to eat it on a daily basis without tire, combined with any variety of vegetables I have on hand. With quite a bit of garlic, I find it makes a strong base for my lunches. It’s easy to meal prep on Sundays for the week, it’s nutritionally dense, and allows me to feel fully fueled for the day.

Staple lunch:Rice & Beans with Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli, Melon

Hemp Seeds

These taste like a light nutty flavor! I’ve been adding Hemp Seeds to my morning oatmeal ever since reading their nutritional profile. These small seeds provide an incredibly on-point ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Basically, it’s the good ratio kind of fat. The kinds that aren’t found in the other frozen meals and treats that I’ve been indulging in under quarantine. And so I’ve added them in the morning, where I could use a healthy start to my day.

One tablespoon of these Hemp Seeds provide 20% daily value of Iron, 8% of Potassium, 15g of Total Fat (remember it’s the good ratio kind), and 10 grams of Protein. Coming in at 180 grams, I find it a tasty addition.

I found these at my local Trader Joes for $5.49. While the bag only contains 8 servings, I’ve liked the taste so much that I really don’t mind.

Morning Oatmeal with Hemp Seeds and Cinnamon

Have you tried any of these three items? I’m also looking for additional ideas for how to consume each of them – have a favorite recipe?Let me know in the comments below!

I even added Chia Seeds to these Blueberry, lemon muffins!

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