I’ve received a ton of emails from you all – all with the same question: what should you eat? It can be so stressful to know what healthy (and yummy) options there are out there that keep you from eating just raw carrots all day long.
So, today, I thought I’d take you on a shopping trip with me and show you EXACTLY what I bought at the grocery store this week. Grab your coupons and reusable shopping bags ‘cause we’re going grocery shopping!
Early Sunday morning, I hit up the grocery store. (Side note: Sunday morning is the best time to shop. It’s quiet, no one is there and you don’t have to wait in line.) I did my normal weekly grocery shopping.
Here’s a picture of my cart. Now, this is REALLY my shopping cart. Nothing omitted or taken out to look better. This is exactly what I bought.
Let’s break down my cart:
Fruit: Check out all that fruit! I literally have two full bags of apples, two bunches of bananas, cutie oranges, grapes and strawberries. (And, keep in mind, it’s just two adults and a toddler at my house.) We’ll easily eat all that fruit this week – and may even have to re-up towards the end of the week. The easiest way to eat good food is to keep it readily available in your house. Set a bowl of apples on the countertop. Put grapes at eye level in your fridge. Toss some in your purse, lunchbox or car. But most importantly – keep fresh fruit nearby. If it’s there, you’re much more likely to grab it for a snack and pass on the packaged snacks.
Frozen Veggies: I don’t usually have the time to cut, peel and cook fresh veggies at my house. So, we opt for the frozen veggies (the individual servings are great for one person.) I have frozen corn today (for my Southwest Omelets or side dish at dinner) and broccoli and cheese servings for one. Confession – I abhor broccoli. Gosh, even the smell. But, I do keep it around for the rest of my household. Even though these have some cheese on them, they’re only 45 calories and a nice side dish. Try the steamable bags. You just pop them in the microwave and in four minutes, steamed veggies. Just be careful to avoid the frozen veggies doused in sauces and creams. (Creamed Lima beans do not count as a vegetable.)
Yogurt: I love Greek yogurt. It’s filling, low calorie and carries a ton of protein (not to mention it’s ridiculously good.) We always have some in our fridge. But, be careful which one you choose. Some of those little tubs can carry up to 200 calories a serving. Ouch. I eat the Light and Fit Greek Yogurt (the Strawberry Cheesecake is my favorite.) These are one of my go-to snacks.
Almond Milk: I’m not a milk drinker, but I do put it in my cereal and oatmeal. I used to snub my nose at anyone that ate Almond Milk thinking they were all a little “new agey” and “trendy” for me….then I tried it. Guys, this stuff is good. I use the Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. It adds a little extra taste to my oatmeal (and it’s only 30 calories for a whole cup.) It’s also good in a bowl of cereal.
Cereal: Speaking of cereal, you can see that box of Special K Red Berries cereal. There are some mornings where I’m just craving something sweeter. On those mornings, I may reach for a bowl of cereal. It’s really yummy. But warning – it’s not super filling. So, if I eat cereal in the morning, I know I’ll be hungry well before lunchtime. But, the cereal is still better than a donut to satisfy that sweet tooth, so it’s a tradeoff I’ll take.
Breakfast Sandwich: On mornings when I’m really busy, sometimes I’ll have a Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich. It’s 220 calories and super easy (plus, it has bacon on it.)
Sliced Cheese: this cheese is 80 calories a slice (most normal, packaged sliced cheeses are.) When I use it for a sandwich, I usually use half a piece. It adds some flavor without adding a ton of calories.
Lunch Meat: I got a pound of smoked turkey breast and a pound of honey ham. I use the turkey on sandwiches and for a turkey/cheese rollup. I use the ham for my omelets and sandwiches.
Chicken Breast: A staple in any fitness-conscious refrigerator. I love to have grilled chicken breasts in the summer. But when it’s cold, I’ll throw them in the crock pot with some seasoning salt and let them cook. Then toss it on a salad, sandwich or just eat it plain. So good. Ideally, I like to make some Sunday night and keep them in the fridge for the week for lunches and dinner (that’s if my Sunday night goes as planned.)
Bread: Now, I’m not a huge proponent of eating a ton of bread. I know what it does to my body. But that being said, I am NOT willing to give up my bread and go carb-free – no one wants to see me without carbs. (Ask me sometime about the time I tried the Adkins Diet and its quick demise at the hands of all you-can-eat O’Charleys rolls…..) I do buy the Healthy Life bread. It’s 35 calories a slice. Now, it’s basically really thin, airy bread, but it does let me eat a sandwich without killing my calories (did you know some bread can run 120-200 calories a slice? Yikes!) The other bread purchase I make is kind of my splurge item. I buy the Health Life English Muffins. They are 90 calories per muffin. I sometimes use them for a ham, egg and cheese sandwich in the morning. It allows me to feel like I’m eating at McDonald’s but without all the calories.
Shredded Lettuce: I put this on my sandwiches (kinda obvious.) but, I’ll also use it as the base for a southwest salad for lunch or dinner.
What’s Not Mine: Now, I try not to keep too much in my house that isn’t healthy. If it’s in my house, it’s temptation. However, there are two things in my basket that are for my daughter (and that means I won’t eat them.) See those yummy, carby Hawaiian mini rolls? Those will go in a little, butterfly covered lunchbox and head to preschool. Those guys are carb and calorie heavy. Just say no. The other thing is the Mickey Mouse snack pack. It’s pretzels, cheese and carrots. Again, a lunchbox addition. And, I don’t mind keeping those in the house because they don’t tempt me at all.
Eggs: I do want to point out one key thing that is missing from my cart – eggs! My house seriously goes through two or three dozen eggs a week. But, my fridge just so happens to be stocked with some yummy, fresh eggs right now (thanks, Robin!) so I didn’t have to buy any today. But on a normal grocery trip, I grab a dozen eggs (or two.) I eat scrambled eggs or omelets at least once every day. You should, too. They’re filling, tasty and low calorie.
What You Don’t See: Cookies, chips or packaged food. There’s nothing marked “healthy or all natural.” I think real healthy food doesn’t have to claim to be. Basically anything that is on the shelf in the “middle aisles” isn’t going to be your best choice. You guys have probably heard the tip: stay to the outside of the grocery store. Really, skip the aisles. There is very little packaged, processed food that’s going to fit into your healthy eating. You may just want to avoid the cookie aisle altogether to keep those Chips Ahoys from just jumping into your cart.
Guys, I don’t sit around eating tofu and brussel sprouts all day. I don’t grill shrimp and leeks and eat fresh kale every night. My diet is far from that. But I do eat low-calorie, healthy foods that fit my diet.
So, next time you head to the grocery store, try to steer clear of the packaged foods and stick to fresh food. Making healthy choices at the grocery store makes it easier to make healthy choices in the kitchen.
And when you get home with all those bags full of yummy, healthy food, just remember, the real reason we’re lifting all these weights is to make it into the house with all groceries in one trip. 🙂