Grocery shopping can be an intimidating task if unprepared! It's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the choices you’re faced with when deciding what foods to fill your kitchen with. Along with planning out your meals for the week, good nutrition starts with smart choices in the grocery store. With a little assistance, you all will be experts at grocery shopping in no time!
It’s imperative to compose a thought out grocery list of your planned out meals and snacks for the upcoming week(s). This helps eliminate the urge to splurge and buy that chocolate glazed donut that looks so tempting as you walk by the bakery.
At first, it can be very difficult to make the perfect grocery list and be aware of what all your healthy options are. As a starting point, below is a ‘master’ grocery list I’ve comprised, providing multiple options of healthy protein sources, dairy, carbs, spices/dressings, and fats. Also, looking up healthy recipes online to try in the upcoming weeks should be done while comprising your list. By having a thought out grocery list, not only will it prevent impulse buys, it will save you valuable time!
Before heading out, strategically plan your grocery-shopping trip. Start in the meat and poultry section, then hit produce, and finally dairy and starch. Avoid most of the middle aisles of the store, which usually contain frozen foods, processed cookies and crackers and cereals, and alcohol. Yes, some items you’ll need to buy live in there, such as oatmeal and whole wheat bread, but make a beeline for those things without getting distracted by the other not-so-good-for-you items!
In addition to a slew of new foods, buy yourself a soft-sided lunch cooler, an ice pack and some containers that will fit inside the cooler.
Simple tips to keep in mind on your next outing to the store:
· Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
· Shop the perimeters of the store as much as possible.
· Choose foods with few ingredients. Avoid foods with artificial ingredients or that contain a long list of ingredients.
· Go organic! All organic produce is grown without any fertilizers, chemical pesticides and/or herbicides & is the healthiest route.
· Check the food label for sugar content, anything over 15 grams of sugar per serving should be avoided.
· The more color the better! A way to boost your health and lose weight faster is to eat a spectrum of colors in your veggies. When buying veggies for the week, aim to get a variety of colors like greens, oranges, purples, yellows, and reds.
Now, it’s time to go shopping!! By using the options below as a guide when making your list and remembering the tips that go along with grocery shopping will make it so much easier to carry out healthy eating habits.
Meats and poultry
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Lean ground beef
Lean ground turkey
Lean ground chicken
Top sirloin steak
Lean beef filets
Greek yogurt, 2% or fat free
Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
Rice Milk (Unsweetened)
Coconut Milk (in the carton, not can)
Organic Skim Milk
Low-fat cheese sticks or string cheese
Low or Fat Free cottage cheese
Vegetarian Protein options
Whole Soybeans (edamame)
Beans and Lentils
Hi Fiber Cereals
Low Fat Granola
Old Fashion Oatmeal
Steal Cut Oat
Sprouted Grain Bread
Ezekiel English Muffins
Oranges or nectarines
Berries (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry)
Green leafy lettuce
Spices, Dressings, and Condiments
Cholula Hot Sauce
Ketchup, 100% natural
Mustard (yellow, Dijon or spicy)
Mrs. Dash spices
Balsamic or red wine vinegar
Low-sodium soy sauce
Non-Fat Butter Spray
Pumpkin pie spice
Crystalized lemon, lime, orange