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Kitchen Must Haves

Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, on May 9th, 2011


You come home from a busy day, look in your pantry for something to make for dinner and decide to order a pizza instead. A well stocked kitchen is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself on the path to healthy eating.

One of the biggest obstacles my clients face is lack of time to prepare a healthy meal. I tell them, “If you have the time to swing by the burger joint on the way home, you have time to make a healthy meal.” It does take some planning ahead, and like anything worth doing, it takes practice. But with a kitchen full of quick, healthy, versatile foods, you can throw dinner together in a snap.

I always encourage people to eat fresh first. Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat but let’s face it, sometimes your child’s lacrosse game takes precedence over your trip to the grocery store so you are stuck with what’s in the house. Here are my Kitchen Must Haves that will help take the guess work out of meal time.

  • Canned tomato products, including diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa and pasta sauce. Watch out for added sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup as these are common hiding spots.

  • An assortment of whole wheat and brown rice pasta.

  • Frozen or canned meat such as tuna, chicken, salmon and shrimp.

  • Potatoes, onions and garlic.

  • Beans and lentils, including canned and dried. My favorites are garbanzos, black and cannelli beans

  • Frozen vegetables. They can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. Spinach, broccoli, green beans and artichoke hearts are all very versatile.

  • Frozen or canned fruit. Look for canned fruit in its own juice. No added sugar or fake sugar needed.

  • Nuts, including almonds, walnuts and pistachios.

  • Flavored vinegars and olive oils.

Rinsing canned foods well can reduce the sodium content by about 30 %. Need a little inspiration? How about combining quinoa, black beans, and spinach together with some salsa. Makes great leftovers for lunch too. Another idea? Stir fry some frozen shrimp and add to pasta and artichoke hearts. Toss with a garlic olive oil and done. It may not look like something out of “Bon Appétit” but it is quick and nutritious and there is no need to tip a delivery person.


Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it t

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