Want a glimpse inside the fridges (see Donna’s) and pantries (like Crosby’s) of health pros and foodies we love? There’s no better way to get practical tips and tricks than by seeing what people are actually buying, using and stocking up on in mass!

McKel Hill’s journey with nutrition began, fittingly, when she stripped out all the “healthy” processed and packaged foods from her diet and began eating more real whole foods. Her sense of well-being skyrocketed and her life took a steep turn toward helping others find the simple magic in eating the same way.

With her masters in clinical nutrition, a holistic lifestyle blog with it’s very own digital tribe and a brand new cookbook, McKel is showing clients across the globe how to embrace a refreshingly balanced, real and whole way to live in health. We asked McKel to give us a glimpse inside her kitchen and she let us rifle through just about everything (mustard drawer included!)…

Always in my fridge:

Almond milk, which is a staple for a quick post-workout protein smoothie or to make my turmeric milk (a NS tribe fav from the blog and the cookbook!) to help fight inflammation. Nut and seed butters and batch-cooked food for the week ahead (roasted veggies, salad greens, fruit, etc.).

Recipe staples always on hand:

Coconut or almond milk, nut butter, in-season veggies and greens, spirulina, avocado, sweet potatoes and coconut oil. I can pretty much whip up anything with those!

Must-have munchies:

My homemade energy almond butter balls, lacinato kale chips from my cookbook, raw cashews, cucumbers and dark chocolate – not in that order or combination!

Fave condiments:

Mustard. At any given time you’ll find about six different types of mustard in my fridge… It’s the German in me.

Go-to proteins:

Organic tempeh or tofu, wild-caught smoked salmon, eggs, spirulina, nutritional yeast, pulses and nuts/seeds.

Fave veggie + what you make with it:

Lately since it’s fall and I’m craving more warming foods, I’d say sweet potatoes. They’re simple, affordable, filling and versatile, and loaded with fiber and potassium. I have a delicious range of soups in the cookbook that sweet potato goes so well in!

Must-have pantry staples:

Nuts/seeds (if they’re not raw I store them in the pantry), superfood powders like mama and lucuma, freeze-dried berries, protein powder, nutritional yeast, pulses and nori sheets.

Best bargain:

Pulses! Packed with protein, fiber and minerals, they’re so affordable and go with anything. Try adding them to your next salad.

Favorite splurge:

Kombucha. I love kombucha since it’s filled with probiotics (i.e. good guys our digestive system needs).

Craziest thing I buy:

My assortment of mustards! Jokes aside, I think spirulina is a unique one but it’s one of my favorite plant-based proteins. It’s incredibly nutrient dense, mineral rich and loaded with protein for its small volume.

Dairy or non-dairy faves:

I’m not a huge fan of dairy and my body can’t handle it (you can read my health story with migraines, skin issues, etc.), but I do love coconut milk kefir, almond milk and coconut milk.

Sweets and other indulgences:

I’m all about balance so these “indulgences” are just part of life: dark chocolate, red wine or a really good tequila, and pizza! I’d say 90% of the time I try to make these options on my own to give ’em a nutrient boost. I enjoy cooking, but I’m human and flexible when it comes to purely enjoying food for the sake of enjoyment (like going out for pizza!).

Best label-reading tip:

Skip the numbers and go straight for the ingredient list, which is the true label. If you can personally find those ingredients, the first 2-3 ingredients aren’t sugar, and you could make it in your own kitchen, then it’s a good pick.

Skip labels that read:

“Healthy!” or “all natural!” is basically like saying, “pick me, this is good marketing, I promise I’m healthy – not!”

My shopping bag is:

Always full of 95% whole foods the other often include impulse buys from the natural beauty section, magazines, lip balm, etc. that I completely don’t need at the moment!

Best shopping tips:

I’m all about efficiency when it comes to grocery shopping, I’d rather spend my time cooking or doing other hobbies so I go in with a plan and tackle! I don’t spend more than 20 minutes grocery shopping — in and out. It helps when you have a solid list and plan like I offer through the NS Society, which is all about helping you plan your meals for the week.

Favorite places to shop:

Farmers market, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, some online retailers. If we’re talking fashion and beauty, that’d be another post.

For last-minute entertaining:

Always grab several bottles of good wine and spirits to keep the party going, a platter abundant with fresh raw or roasted veg depending on the season, a quick pesto or hummus for dip, fresh fruit, nuts/seeds, white candles, a clean set of linen napkins, sage/incense and good music. This right here along with good company is everything you need to have an amazing stress-free evening!

Simple go-to recipe:

Quick protein shake – I do these multiple times a day since I’m really active and my body does well on higher protein and fat, especially if I’m in a crunch for time. 1 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter, 1 scoop plant based protein, cacao nibs, medicinal mushroom powder and a handful of spinach.

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