One of my facebook friends, Vanessa, commented on my omelet yesterday morning and said she’d love to see my shopping list. So I decided to grab my receipt and share what i got. 🙂
First, I must confess. My eating has been so off the last 2 weeks since my vacation. I often skipped meals or opted for a can of soup because I was too lazy to cook – and the main reason cooking would be challenging is because we were low on groceries. Betty Crocker I am not. I cook easy, fast, simple meals. If it can’t be simple, I won’t bother cooking it. This girl has very little patience.
We rarely eat out, but this past week I resorted to restaurants simply because I didn’t want to cook and I didn’t want to shop. (I keep telling you how lazy I am. Eventually you will start believing me! If I can do this anyone can!)
THIS, my friend, is how to NOT live! Steve and I both felt horrible, unhealthy and fat. AND we missed the taste of fresh food, healthy food. Our bodies are smart – once it gets the good stuff, it craves it. We couldn’t WAIT to go grocery shopping and get back to normal healthy eating habits. So THIS was my weekend!! My weekend to get back in control, get organized and plan for a week of clean eating and healthy living!
Before I went to the store, I cooked up some brunch (I made an eggbeater omelet with broccoli, grilled onions and goat cheese). I was stuffed! Now I was ready for my day of healthy preparations! But, before I begin, let me share with you a few simple shopping tips to help you on your diet (or just healthy eating) before you even take the groceries home.
7 Healthy Shopping Tips
Tip #1: NEVER go to the store HUNGRY! Eeeeeverything will look amazing if you go in that store hungry! The only way to hink with your brain, and not your tummy is to go to the store nice and full. Your waistline AND bank account will thank you. That’s why I told you I ate that omelet. I promise, nothing makes me more stupid than being hungry.
Tip #2: Be realistic. Don’t buy celery and stuff you know you won’t eat just because it looks healthy. Buy foods you enjoy and WILL eat. You’ll be less wasteful and a more satisfied dieter. Consider your upcoming schedule. If you are busy, shop for stuff that is simple, quick and easy to throw together. Save your complicated fancy recipes for another shopping trip.
Tip #3: Avoid Fat Free items. Normally fat-free items have more sugar. Since fat slows down digestion (which helps us stay fuller longer), going fat free can actually make you feel hungrier. Don’t avoid fat, just eat it sparingly. Beware of healthy appearing titles. Many times they are not as healthy as they want you to believe.
Tip #4: Don’t Rush. Shopping healthy requires time. You need to read labels and use your noggin to make good choices. Following a shopping list can help a lot, but when you are starting a diet plan, it’s imperative you have the time to really study food and make the best choices. If you don’t have the time to shop smart, get the bare necessities only, and go back when you have more time to shop right. The more educated you become, the faster you’ll get in and out.
Tip #5: If You Can’t Control Yourself Around It, Don’t Buy It. Even if it’s pretty healthy, if you can’t control yourself around that food, you don’t need it in your house. For example, Steve loves Peanuts. They are not bad for you (in low quantities). However, if Steve has a handful of nuts, he has the whole container. As a result, this is one item we rarely purchase.
Tip #6: Be prepared for emergencies. While I believe whole food is ALWAYS the best choice, keep a stock in a few low-cal frozen meals like Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones or Healthy Choice, as well as some high-protein bars like Designer Whey, Detour or Zone Bar (which are all around 200 calories and have 10gms or so of protin). So, in the event you are in a mind and rushed for time, you have something to eat that is much healthier than fast food or not eating anything at all.
Tip #7: Shop around the outside of the store 1st. Only venture in the aisles to find specific must-have items – never browse. Most of the stuff on the aisles are processed foods, toppings and extras we don’t need. I listed all my groceries that were in the refrigerated, produce & dairy sections in green and the inside aisles in red. Black is 0-calorie items.
My Grocery Shopping Receipt
Sometimes your shopping list and shopping receipt can be two totally different things. So, I’m sharing with you my grocery receipt.
- Cabbage (to make Roasted Cabbage)
- Green & Red Peppers
- Romaine Lettuce
- Spring Mix
- Cole Slaw Mix (I use it for sides, toppings & salads)
- Orange Juice
- Edamame (I love this as a salty snack with soy sauce)
- Pastrami (for my Low-Cal Rueben Quesadillas)
- Sauerkraut (for the Quesadillas)
- Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
- Coffee Mate Hazelnut & Almond Joy Creamer (my treat)
- Frozen vegetables (only snow peas & spinach. I have plenty at home)
- Steam Veggies (for emergency quick meals)
- 5 Lean Cuisines & Healthy Choices (aiming for 18-25gms of protein and around 300 calories)
- Flat Out Healthy Grain Wrap (for the Quesadillas)
- Fruit & Cream Oatmeal (we also have whole oats at home)
- Bear Naked Granola (toppings for my Greek Yogurt Bowl)
- Pineapple slices (for kabobs, salads & stirfry)
- Low-Sugar Craisins (for salads)
- Honey Roasted Almond Accents (salads)
- Mio Lemonade (to spice up water)
- Dasani Pinacolada/Coconut (never tried it)
- LaCroix Cran-Rasp sparkling water
- Secret Deodorant, paper plates, plastic forks, etc (but you probably don’t want to know that kind of stuff! ha!)
Steve shops for meat and bulk items at Sams. Here was what he brought home:
- Ground Turkey (for my Mexican Meatloaf)
- Mango (I put in my Greek Yogurt)
- Brussel Sprouts (We grill them with curry)
- Pretzel thins
- Almonds & Pistachios
Of course I already had some groceries, so don’t trip if you don’t see eggs, etc – I still have a pretty full pantry and I do have 2 refrigerators that are not even close to empty. 🙂 I always stay stocked on condiments and, more importantly, seasonings.
- Lemon Juice
- Lime Juice
- Alessi Balsamic Vinegar
- BADIA Complete Seasoning (can’t live without this!)
- Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning (awesome stuff!)
- Hot Sauce (I love them all)
- Olive Oil
Off the top of my head, I will probably cook the following this week:
- Filet Mignon and Quinoa (which we had last night after I shopped)
- Grilled chicken kabobs with green pepper, onion, tomato & pineapple over brown rice quinoa mix
- Chicken & vegetables with PB2 peanut sauce from Diabetic Living magazine this month (no, I’m not diabetic, but they have great ideas for eating low-cal, healthy, low-glycemic meals)
- One or two of my sensational low-cal salads
- Grilled salmon & asparagus (for Steve)
- Mexican Meatloaf (going to try it with cooked Quinoa instead of bread!)
- Pulled BBQ chicken and low-cal cole slaw wrap
- Rueben Quesadillas
- And probably a lot of grilled meat with veggies.
Grocery Shopping is great, but to be super successful with your diet, you have to actually cook. ha! So, once I got home from the grocery store, the cooking began.
Last night we cooked:
- 10 filleted chicken breasts (making 20 filets) with lime and Grill Mates Mojito Lime Seasoning
- Blackened Salmon
- Filet Mignon (we probably have steak once every 3-4 weeks)
- Turkey Quinoa meatloaf
- Low-cal Italian Turkey Meatballs
Now, all I have to do is throw sides with everything and we’ve got plenty of lunches, snacks and dinners ready to rock!
Makes 4 servings
1 small head napa cabbage (about 12-16 leaves)
2 small carrots (I used the pre-schredded mix)
2 green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Visit theKitchn.com for more info and recipes.
It starts at the grocery store, but that’s not where it ends. I know a lot of people who buy healthy food that ends up rotting in bottom of the refrigerator. So, you not only need to shop healthy, you need to buy stuff you know you will actually cook – not stuff you hope you will eat. Good intentions won’t help you lose weight. Follow through will. And once you cook up your food, it still doesn’t stop there. You need to make sure you have all the tupperware you need so it goes where you go. Plastic forks, spoons, lunch bag – you name it, if it helps you stick to your diet, it’s worth being properly stocked.
With that said, cooking is definitely the hardest part of the process. It takes time, but it is SO worth it. This why we set aside time to cook for the week – and Sundays are those days for us. It’s our chance to cook up all our meat for the week, and box up our meals so we stay on track, no matter what craziness comes our way.
Since many people ask me what we make, I thought I’d share our shopping list, as well as what we made for this week.
My Shopping List:
Ground Lean Turkey
Lean Cuisines (for emergency)
Egg Whites/Egg Beaters
Granola (for sprinkling o yogurt)
Light Balsamic Dressing
Kosher Dill Pickles
100 Calorie Popcorn
130 Calorie Packs of Pistachios
Sugar Free Creamer
Greek Yogurt Snack Packs
Low-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese Sticks
Anderson Pretzel Stix
4 Gallons of Water
Once I get my groceries, then I prepare the meat. My focus is to have a meat and one vegetable for each meal. I save my higher-carb items (like sweet potato) for lunches, and stick to leafy greens with a meat at night.
Meat for the Week
Grilled Filleted Fajita Lime Chicken
Large Grilled Salmon with Ginger and Wasabi
Grilled Tilapia with Lemon & Mojo Mama Blacked Dry MOJO
Roasted Curry Chicken & Vegetables
Breadless Low-Calorie Turkey Meatloaf
Curry Chicken Salad
As always, I played in the kitchen and created meals based on what I was in the mood for. I rarely follow recipes, and I almost never measure anything, unless I am following a recipe. So, bare with me as I try to recall what I did, in hopes it at least gets you on the right track. 🙂
Cook Healthy to Eat Healthy
Roasted Curry Chicken
Chicken Breast (I cooked 8-10)
1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
2 Onions Sliced Thick
2 Sweet Potato (peeled and diced in 2″ chunks)
3 Bell Peppers Sliced Thick
2 Cans Water Chestnuts
A Butt-Load of Curry Powder 🙂
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper to add zip
Sprinkle Stevia to sweeten (to taste)
Salt to taste
Put in a roaster or crock pot. After the food is done, I add more stevia, curry and salt until I get the taste I want, which is a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. If it’s too sweet, you may need more salt to balance it.
After the chicken was all done and absorbed the yummy flavors of the curry and vegetables, I took out 3 breasts and chopped them up in cubes for a curry chicken salad. Here is what I put in it.
Curry Chicken Salad
Mix it all up and pop it in the fridge to chill. Cut a cucumber in half, longways, and scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon until it makes a nice boat. Serve the chicken salad on the cucumber boat. Serve with wheat thins if you are serving guests. Dieters skip the chips and just enjoy it as is.
When it comes to meal planning, one of the biggest obstacles for dieters is breakfast. Some people are just not hungry that early in the day. Others have a sensitive stomach and can’t stomach just any kind of food in the morning. And, most of us are just so darn busy, rushing to get out the door, we don’t make time for the most important meal of the day. So, here are a few things you can try!
10 Breakfast items that are always on my Shopping List:
- Lavish Oatmeal
- Egg Beaters
- Chobani greek yogurt
- Thomas’ whole wheat bagel thins
- La Tortilla low-carb wraps
- Trop 50 orange juice
- Back to Nature cranberry pecan granola
- Designer Whey vanilla protein (available at Publix)
- Jimmy Dean D’Lights breakfast meals
- Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter
- and of course, a bunch of fresh produce!!
15 Healthy & Simple Breakfast Ideas
Since planning is key to success with any diet, here are some breakfast ideas to help give you more ideas on food to fuel you through the day. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
- Egg Beaters, ham and cheese on a toasted Thomas’ whole wheat bagel thin.
- Chobani greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of Back to Nature cranberry pecan granola
- Toasted 1/2 a Thomas’ whole grain bagel (or whole bagel thin) with natural Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter and honey
- La Tortilla low-carb wrap, low-fat veggie cream cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, ham, cheese and sprouts.
- Easy Lavish Oatmeal comes in a pouch that doubles as a measuring cup, perfect for rushed mornings.
- Your choice of plain whole oats (oatmeal) with milk, real butter, fresh or dried fruit and chopped nuts
- Egg Beaters, leftover grilled asparagus, and melted cheese on a toasted Thomas’ whole wheat bagel thin.
- Jimmy Dean D’Lights turkey sausage breakfast bowl (230 calories) or sausage, egg white cheese bagel (260 cal) are great in a rush.
- Egg beaters, leftover spinach, tomato and low-fat feta cheese on toasted Thomas’ whole wheat bagel thin.
- Protein shake, like Designer Whey vanilla protein, Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter , milk (or soy milk) and whole oats (like Coaches Oats) for crunch. Or, Designer Whey vanilla protein, Trop 50 orange juice, banana and yogurt is great for fruit smoothie lovers.
- Egg Beater Casserole. Layer thin 100-calorie bread or bagel thins, Egg Beaters and your favorite toppings like leftover chopped meat, onions, tomatoes, spinach, and low-fat cheese. Great for cooking in advance!
- La Tortilla low-carb wrap wrap with sliced bananas and Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter – quick, easy and yummy! Add sprouts for a fun crunch!
- Breakfast burrito with Egg Beaters, leftover chicken, onion, cheese and fresh salsa on a La Tortilla low-carb wrap
- Thomas’ whole wheat bagel thin, plain cream cheese spread, sliced smoked salmon (available at Sam’s Club), lemon juice and capers. (Steve’s favorite breakfast)
- Always have Designer Whey protein bars on hand for emergency mornings when you run out of time. My favorite is their triple chocolate crunch!
Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be complicated or big – but it needs to be a smart choice. The better you eat in the morning, the better you will feel throughout the day.