top of page

What a Dietitian stocks up on (and other tips)

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

At this time we may all be feeling a bit anxious about the next few weeks which holds much unknown. I'll start by saying, food will be available, grocery store shelves will continue to be re-stocked, and when all else fails take out is only a click away even during a "shelter in place order".

Now I've only experienced Brooklyn, New York and I don't want to speak for everyone, but my family in Seattle, Colorado, New Jersey, and Florida hasn't experienced any food hardships yet either. With all that said, I do have my stock of food incase shit goes down. I usually don't like to keep excessive anything in my home, I just don't like clutter. My wife gave me a little wake up call when things started to get a little more serious and work from home orders were set - I have a kid, and a hungry kid is not going to ever bode well for a happy home. What did I stock up on? Mostly dry goods, food that I can store under our bed incase we need to pull from a reserve (space is tight in these NYC apartments). I also have a running stock of perishable foods like fresh fruit and vegetable. Once we're running low, I make sure to buy more. Frozen stuff I usually keep around anyway and make sure to use by it's freshest date and implement a first in first our strategy.

Now, I'm also biased because I'm truly thinking from a place of "nutritional survival" and less about keeping my favorite foods around. I could eat almost anything as long as I know it was going to benefit my health, so the next person may just think my food choices are boring. Ehh they kind of are, but again, survival. Really it's not that bad.

I want to be able to make a variety of things with what I have on hand: soups, roasted meals, enjoyable snack combinations, smoothies, chili, oatmeal. I also want make sure I'm hitting on most nutritional requirements like protein needs, iron needs, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, etc. A stock of twinkies, pop tarts, and jerky won't cut it.

Ryan's Survival Foods:

Dry Goods:

  • Dry oats

  • Peanut butter

  • Shelled pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

  • Dry roasted edamame

  • Jerky

  • Canned fish: tuna, salmon

  • Beans: black beans, lentils (canned or dry)

  • Rice: white or brown

  • Chicken broth/bone broth

  • Tomato sauce/crushed tomato

  • Ground coffee Spices: salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, red pepper flake

Frozen Foods:

  • Frozen fruit: black berries, raspberries, strawberries

  • Frozen vegetable: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, shelled edamame

  • Frozen fish/meat: salmon, cod, beef/bison

Fresh foods to keep on hand:

  • Fresh vegetable: carrots and potato (white or sweet)

  • Fresh fruit: clementines, apples

Additional items:

In dire times I would be careful to say you'll be able to get everything your body needs from above especially as time goes on. I would play it safe and keep a stock of items around that can be easy hits on your overall well being for coverage vs necessity.

  • Multivitamin: Thorne, Rainbow Lite, Blue Bonnet

  • Protein bars: RXBAR, Quest Bar, Rise Bar

  • Protein powder: Thorne, Blue Bonnet, Isopure

  • Stasher bags:

Cooking techniques to master:

This is also an excellent time to practice three simple cooking techniques if you haven't mastered them already. This won't be helpful only in a quarantine, but they are life skills as well. Cooking methods can be broken down into dry-heat (fry/sauté/grill/roast) , moist-heat (steaming/poaching), and a combination of dry and moist heat (braising/stewing). From these methods I'm referring to the three techniques below.

  • Roasting: the all purpose approach to cooking either large or small, full or partial meals

  • Searing/Pan frying: great for eggs, giving texture to food, cooking thin pieces of meat, reheating items

  • Stewing (or use a slow cooker/Instapot): want to set it and forget it? cooking down large pieces of tough meat and create flavor dishes you can portion out for multiple meals

*remember that whenever preparing and storing food it is important to adhere to food safety guidelines

A few food combinations:

  • Overnight Oats: oats, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds + water

  • Peanut Butter bites: oats, peanut butter, chopped dried apricots

  • Smoothie: oats, peanut butter, sun flower seeds, frozen black berries + water

  • Smoothie: frozen raspberries, frozen spinach, sunflower seeds, edamame + water

  • Lentil and Tuna Salad: lentils, canned tuna, diced carrots + salt, pepper, oregano

  • Black Bean Soup: can black beans, crushed tomato, chicken broth + salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper flake

  • Simple soup: chicken broth, rice, shelled edamame + salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper flake

  • Three Bean Salad: black beans, lentils, shelled edamame + salt, pepper, red pepper flake

  • Roasted Meals: frozen salmon filet with carrot and potato medallions > roast 28 minutes at 375 degrees

  • Chili: rice, can beans, ground beef/bison, crushed tomato, chicken stock + water and all spices

  • Stir Fry: frozen broccoli and spinach, cod, lentils + salt, pepper, red pepper flake

What's on your list? Are there any food combinations with the items above that we could easily make?

You got this,