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Healthy Eating in the Boondocks

By Stephen R. Farris

When it comes to healthy eating and getting the necessary nutrients and minerals our body needs, there's no better way to do so than by purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean cuts of meat like chicken, turkey and fish.

That also means cutting out processed foods -- those canned or packaged -- as much as possible. Sometimes, though, it may not be possible to do this. You might be limited on the number of trips you can make to the grocery store, due to living miles from the closest one or you live in a remote region, for instance, somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness or in the state of Montana. Both great places, by the way, with their spectacular scenery.

So if choosing fresh versus processed seems to be a bit complicated due to residential conditions, then let's take a look at some of the foods available that have a long shelf life and still contribute to your healthy eating lifestyle.

Beans

If you're a fan of the old western movies, remember when the guys would make a trip into town and load up with supplies? Most of the items were in bags, such as flour, sugar, coffee and beans. The first two we might not want to include into our healthy eating plans -- at least not very much. However, the coffee is a go, and beans (dry or in a can) will last a good while in our pantry. Canned beans have a shelf life of about 2-5 years and packaged beans (dry) can last up to 10 years if they are packaged right. When nothing else is available to eat, cook some beans. It's the most common meal item in all those westerns.

Nut Butters

Did you know that peanut butter, if stored at the correct room temperature, can last upwards to nine months on your pantry shelf? It's true. Plus, it's loaded with many of the key nutrients, protein, vitamins and minerals you need. Other nut butters include almonds and cashews, but both have shorter shelf lives.

Dried Fruits

Not only are dried fruits great to snack on, but they can last up to a year, especially if they have been vacuum sealed. 

These are just a few food items that can be stored for long periods of time in your pantry. If you do live near a town or metropolitan area, you should always consider choosing fresh over processed.  

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rockville, Md.

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