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Saturday, March 21, 2020

What's in your cupboard?

What do dietitians really eat? No, I mean really. 

We eat food. Just like you. So what's in our cupboards? Probably the exact same things you have. Here are some peeks inside my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.

pantry shelf full of packaged candy, potato chips, crackers, cookies, and snack bars
The Woo Hoo Shelf
All the sweet and salty snacks I can shove onto one shelf
pantry shelves with canned soup, canned tomatoes, salsa, boxes of rice, boxes of noodles, and Pepsi Max bottles
Canned goods, boxed foods, and Pepsi Max

refrigerator with fresh vegetables, salad, eggs, butter, condiments, and an excess of cheese
All the cheese one drawer can fit. 

freezer drawer with gluten free bread, gluten free donuts, gluten free waffles, gluten free pizza
Gluten free quick snacks

freezer drawer full of a variety of frozen fruits and vegetables and frozen meat
Frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, meat

Right now, my kitchen is more full than usual. I have a compromised immune system related to multiple autoimmune disorders and scar tissue both inside and outside my lungs, making a COVID-19 infection more dangerous than the average, healthy, 30-something. I am at the end of week 3 of self-isolation, without an end in sight yet. My cupboard is about the only place to have fun now.

Pandemics aside, what are key items a dietitian thinks are important to always have available in her kitchen? Here are my suggestions for "must have" food items to keep on hand. As always, name brand doesn't matter. I tend to lean towards generic or what's on sale. Quantities are up to you - I like to buy things in quantities of three. Don't ask questions.


Canned Foods

  • No salt added canned diced tomatoes
  • Salsa 
    • I adore black bean and corn salsa for the sweet and savory flavor
  • Tuna
  • Pasta sauce
  • Low sodium broth or stock 
    • Chicken broth mostly but I also have beef and vegetable broths too
  • No salt added beans
    • Any variety works - my personal favorites are black beans and pinto beans
  • Soup

Boxed Foods
  • Gluten free pasta
    • I've been using Barilla GF noodles because they were very cheap using Subscribe & Save on Amazon. If you've never checked out Amazon Pantry or Amazon Subscribe & Save, I encourage you to do so. Lots of coupons and great deals available.
  • Brown rice
  • Gluten free crackers
  • Cheerios (or other cereal)

Snacky Snacks (the "Woo Hoo" shelf)
  • Cookies or packaged sweet snacks
    • Normally, I limit myself to one box at a time, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and I just signed up for 18 boxes of gluten free cookies on Amazon Subscribe and Save. 
  • Chips (or crisps depending where you live)
    • For some reason, I like tortilla chips, but you can choose your own adventure
  • Bars
    • I like to toss these in my purse, and I buy whatever is on sale at the time I'm shopping
  • Something sweet (usually candy or frosting) to treat low blood sugar

Beverages
  • Diet Pepsi
    • Pepsi is superior to Coke in every way possible, so I have an abundance of Pepsi Max (black label Pepsi). Pepsi Max has no carbohydrates and is calorie/carbohydrate free (in the US). One bottle has 97 mg caffeine - about the equivalent of a weak cup of coffee, so I put it in a coffee cup and call it cold brew. 
  • Water flavor/water enhancers
    • You don't need added vitamins or "energy" for your water. Just something to make it taste less....watery.

Refrigerated
  • Bag of spinach or salad blend
  • Bell pepper(s)
  • Onion
  • Eggs - yep, real eggs
  • Butter or margarine (your choice)
  • Cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. 

Frozen
  • Frozen vegetables (peppers, onion, corn, broccoli, veggie mixes)
    • When fresh is out of season or more expensive, I substitute frozen veggies. Serves the same purpose, just take a little longer to cook. It's also nice to have the convenience of pre-chopped frozen veggies available for when I don't feel like pre-prepping my food.
  • Gluten free bread
  • Meat
    • I don't go through a whole lot of meat, so I buy 3 packages of beef, chicken, and turkey when they're on sale and pop them in the freezer. Only take about 24 hours to thaw in the fridge.
  • Gluten free pizza (or other quick cook item)


These are what I consider the "staple" items - the things you can throw together easily to make a quick meal and don't require a whole lot of though for snacks. Of course, my favorite part is the Woo Hoo Shelf. Everyone has a Woo Hoo Shelf stocked with their own favorite treats. In times of emergency, always keep your Woo Hoo shelf full. 


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