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Stocking Your Smart Kitchen
With a well-stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry, you can't go wrong when preparing a meal or grabbing a healthy snack.

Many of the foods you'll need for your Smart Kitchen can be found in the grocery store, while others are available in your local health food store or co-op.

The Smart Fridge

Oils and Fats: High lignan flax oil, fish oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, roasted walnut oil, pine nut oil, high oleic safflower and sunflower oil, hemp seed oil, Camelina oil, non-GMO soy or sunflower lecithin, pastured butter, ghee.

SMART TIP: If you live in a northern, cold climate, oils can also be stored in a cool, dark place rather than the fridge.

Seeds, Nuts and Nut Butters: Flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, SaviSeeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, natural peanut, sesame, and pumpkin seed butters.

Protein Foods: Pastured eggs, non-GMO tofu and tempeh.

SMART TIP: If you can tolerate eggs, remember that fresh is best. Use yours within one week of purchase. Be sure to change the water in opened tofu daily.

Dairy Products: Organic full-fat ricotta, cottage cheese, mozzarella, string cheese, feta, goat, cheddar, parmesan, Swiss. Full-fat yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, cream. Dairy-free coconut yogurt.

Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, daikon radishes, radishes, chilies, jicama, leafy greens, kale, endive, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugula, lemongrass, leeks, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, sweet potatoes, squash (butternut, spaghetti, summer, zucchini), Swiss chard, tomatoes (roma, plum, cherry), turnips, watercress, yams, parsnips, beets, green beans, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, shallots, chives, scallions, spinach, peppers (orange, yellow, red, green), string beans, eggplant.

SMART TIP: Keep jicama sticks, red pepper slices, carrots and celery sticks fresh and crisp by storing in a covered glass jar with some water.

Fruits: Apples, avocados, berries (seasonal), oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, pears, plums, peaches, pineapple, nectarines, honeydew, cantaloupe, cherries, papaya, mango, limes, lemons, umeboshi plums, tangerines.

SMART TIP: Enhance avocado ripening by putting in a paper bag with half an apple.

Cooking Liquids: Chicken and beef bone broths, unsweetened cranberry juice.

Condiments: Fresh herbs and spices, Dijon mustard, horseradish, gluten-free Tamari, miso paste, Flora-Key probiotic sweetener.

Miscellaneous: Miracle or shirataki or white waterfall noodles made from the high fiber konjac glucomannan-a root of the Asian yam family.

The Smart Freezer

Protein Foods: Organic and pasture raised beef, poultry, bison, lamb, wild caught salmon, veal, turkey bacon.

Vegetables: Organic asparagus, kale, spinach, collards, peas, broccoli, okra, green beans, squash, mushrooms, lima beans.

Fruits: Unsweetened wild blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches.

The Smart Pantry

Oils: Coconut oil, olive oil, toasted sesame oil.

Canned Fish: Tuna, salmon, oysters, sardines, mackerel, anchovies.

Condiments: Non-irradiated and organic dried herbs and spices like dill, tarragon, Ceylonese cinnamon, ginger, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, dried mustard, cloves, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, chipotle powder, caraway seeds, curry, smoked paprika. Capers, sea salt, sun-dried tomatoes, apple cider vinegar.

Canned or Glass Enclosed Vegetables: Artichoke hearts, bamboo shoots, hearts of palm, water chestnuts. Coconut milk and coconut cream.

Beans: Dried black beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, cannellini beans.

Baking Needs: Aluminum-free baking powder, vanilla, anise, almond and lemon extracts. Protein Powders: Organic, non-denatured and unheated whey protein (from A2 milk), non- GMO pea and rice protein or fermented pea protein powder. Grain-like seeds: Quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat groats.

Sweeteners: Lakanto, stevia, xylitol, erythritol, d-ribose, glycine. Thickeners: Arrowroot, agar-agar.

Smart Kitchen Equipment

Smart Cookware Essentials
You may want to consider using heavy-duty, stainless steel, waterless cookware, which cooks food in a vacuum seal. When food cooks in its own juices, high flavor, tenderness, and high nutritional value are guaranteed. In fact, studies have shown that cooking in vacuum-sealed cookware rather than non-sealed cookware retains more vitamins and minerals and produces less fat.

stainless steel cookware

At the same time, less salt and less seasoning are required for high-quality taste. Look for waterless cookware made of the highest surgical grade stainless steel, (which does not leach into your foods and cooks foods at 180 degrees F-the temperature that kills worrisome germs, bacteria, and parasites, but not vitamins and minerals).

Enamel, Corning Ware, glass, and Pyrex are also acceptable. For those of you who are anemic, you might consider cooking with iron-based utensils because the extra iron picked up from cooking can actually be therapeutic. When a high acid-based food like spaghetti sauce, for example, is cooked in iron pots, it contains six times more iron than when it is made in ceramic cookware.

Choose nonstick, heavy-duty tin, or black steel for your baking needs.

Stay away from aluminum.
Aluminum-proof the kitchen as much as possible. Aluminum inhibits the body's utilization of key minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Some researchers believe that it can neutralize pepsin, an important digestive enzyme in the stomach. Replace all aluminum steamers, measuring cups, spoons, bread pans, and cookie sheets with stainless steel or Pyrex. You should avoid aluminum foil also. When cooking, opt for parchment paper (like Beyond Gourmet unbleached parchment paper), which the French have used for years in their "en papillote" dishes to seal in juices. This can be used for roasting veggies as well. For storing and freezing, you can first cover with wax paper then foil, which prevents the aluminum from leaching into foods. Curb the copper.

You would also be wise to replace all copper-lined cookware. This metal has an affinity for Vitamin C and can upset the sensitive zinc/copper balance in your system. Excess copper has been linked to depression, insomnia, anorexia nervosa, compulsive behavior, anxiety, hyperactivity, various skin disorders, and hair loss. Need I say more?

Other Smart Cookware Cookware

  • Stainless steel or healthy nonstick skillets and saucepans (various sizes). Choose nonstick brands that are PFOA (Teflon) free like Ozeri, GreenPan or GreenLife.
  • Stainless steel steamer
  • Dutch oven, six-quart slow cooker or Crock Pot ?Bakeware
  • Ramekins
  • Baking sheets
  • Oven-proof baking dishes
  • Casseroles
  • Pizza stone

Smart Water System
With pure, clean water becoming extinct and bottled water not always reliable, a home water filter is no longer a luxury but a necessity. I recommend the CWR Crown Ultra-Ceramic Water filter, the most effective water filtration system available. The filter is made of ultrafine ceramic with pores so small that they trap bacteria, parasites, and particles down to 0.8 microns in size. The filtering system provides a comprehensive, three-stage process.

In the first stage the tiny pores in the ceramic remove bacteria, parasites, and rust and dirt. The second filter state is composed of high-density matrix carbon that removes chlorine, pesticides and other chemicals like chloramines and trihalomethanes (THMs). In the third stage, a heavy metal-removing compound eliminates lead and copper.

Next month we'll continue the series on setting up you Smart Kitchen.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Visionary health expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. With millions of followers nationwide, she has the uncanny ability to pinpoint major health concerns and provide solutions years ahead of anybody else.

Highly respected as the grande dame of alternative health and award-winning author of 30 books, she single-handedly launched the weight loss/detox revolution in her New York Times bestseller The Fat Flush Plan. A Connecticut College and Teachers College, Columbia University graduate, Dr. Ann Louise was recognized as one of the top ten nutritionists in the country by Self magazine and was the recipient of the American Medical Writers Association award for excellence. She has been a popular columnist for First magazine since 2003.