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I am a creature of habit. I like to keep it simple when it comes to food. I am a plain Jane who prefers vanilla. The rest of my busy life with work, family and the inevitable unknown seems so unpredictable. I like to know my kitchen is always stocked with what works for me. I generally buy the same things at the grocery store, including the following five items which I always buy. And here’s why.

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Photo Credit: Parents for Health

Almonds: I am nuts for nuts! I keep them in my car as a snack on the go. The crunch of the almonds keeps my craving for chips at bay. Almonds also provide a healthy dose of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, B2, phosphorus and omega 3 fatty acids. So, grab a handful.

>> Read more: Glossary of Foods: Almond Milk

Coconut milk: I have a protein shake every day. I have eliminated dairy from my diet, but I can still have creamy smoothness in my shake by using coconut milk. Also, the unique fatty acids in coconut milk may improve immune function, reduce risk of heart disease, improve skin and hair health, as well as aid in weight loss. Any little bit helps!

Ezekiel bread: I love to get the cinnamon raisin kind and make French toast or spread on a bit of nut butter. This gluten-free bread packs a protein punch while providing vital amino acids and dietary fiber. Since it contains a low glycemic index, Ezekiel bread is a fantastic way to maximize your carbs.

Eggs: Ah, eggs, how I love thee. Let me count the ways: hard-boiled, scrambled, or in an omelet. You are good for the eyes. You provide six grams of protein and nine essential amino acids, with vitamin D as well. Thanks for keeping my hair and nails healthy with your well-rounded nutritional composition.

>> Read more: 10 Ways to Reinvent Your Breakfast Eggs

Apples: An apple a day keeps things going my way. The doctor is inevitable at some point, but an organic apple just before my workout always does the trick, giving me some healthy carb energy. Apples have concentrated antioxidant content, and daily consumption can help ward off conditions such as Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, cancers, diabetes, high cholesterol, gallstones, hemorrhoids, cataracts and liver disease. Whew! Good reasons to eat one a day!

Some people get bored with the same old, same old. But I like to stick with what works for me: healthy options that are always on hand in my kitchen!