The Basics & Weekly Shopping List

In my experience, if you truly want to change your eating habits, you can’t go at it from the wrong place. By wrong place, I mean jumping into some super strict diet that focuses on eliminating rather than ADDING foods.

But you do need to have some criteria by which you evaluate the foods that you eat. I’m constantly updating my criteria, but I’ve found that if I focus on the following, the rest of the pieces fall neatly into place.

THE BASICS:

  1. Eat more whole foods. Meaning, eat nearly EVERYTHING in it’s most natural, unprocessed form – which will ultimately help you incorporate more fruits & veggies into your diet. Today, fresh fruits and vegetables make up most of the ingredients in the recipes I cook, and I have very few pre-packaged foods (i.e. bags and boxes) in my cart.
  2. Cook at home whenever possible. You just do not know what you’re getting when you eat out.
  3. Eat seasonally, and in courses. The key to healthy eating is to not fall into boring routines. A variety of colors, flavors, textures, and multiple courses keep things fun, rather than restricting yourself to the same ‘ole salads & standbys

THE SPECIFICS:

I’m not big on “rules,” but the first step to changing my diet was to truly evaluate EVERY purchase based on the following:

  1. Eat less meat. I no longer purchase red meat and rely on chicken, fresh turkey, seafood, and vegetarian options
  2. Eat less sugar. I do not buy any food that contains more than 23G sugar or lists corn syrup as a top five ingredient. Surprisingly, this meant ditching fruit juices (including orange juice) altogether
  3. Eat whole grains. No white bread or white rice
  4. Eat a salad with most meals (and don’t overcomplicate it).
  5. Eat lots of brown eggs, nuts, yogurt, & fresh cheeses for protein

As a rule of thumb, lunch is often my heaviest meal of the day (rather than dinner).

MY GO-TO SHOPPING LIST:

While I switch up my menu quite frequently thanks to Pinterest recipes, now that I’ve hit my stride, my shopping list typically contains a lot of the same stuff.

Here’s a sample of a 1.5-2 week shopping list that feeds two:

PRODUCE:

  • 2-3 Cucumbers OR Endives (we eat a LOT of cucumbers!)
  • Baby Carrots
  • Roma or Grape Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Green OR Red Peppers
  • Spinach (for salads)
  • Turnips, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, or Brussel Sprouts (sides)
  • Blackberries OR raspberries
  • Apples, Clementines, OR Pears
  • 2-3 Grapefruits
  • Dried cranberries

GRAINS & BEANS:

  • 100% whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 100% whole wheat burger buns (for Veggie burgers)
  • Occasionally, Triscuits or whole wheat crackers
  • On weekends, fresh baked baguette
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown Rice, Risotto, or Basmati Rice
  • Lentils or Black Beans
  • Organic Granola
  • Wheetabix AND another cereal (typically Nature’s Path Ancient Grains)

DAIRY:

  • Free-range, organic brown eggs
  • Probiotic Plain Yogurt
  • Chobani Yogurts with Oats (for lunch)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Almond Milk
  • Feta Cheese Crumbles
  • Goat Cheese Spread
  • Cheddar Cheese OR another gourmet cheese (for Veggie burgers)

MAIN DISH (VEGGIE/MEAT):

  • Dr. Praegar’s Veggie Burgers
  • Free-range chicken
  • Ground turkey (occasionally)
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp, mussels, OR white fish
  • Tuna Fish

SNACKS & STAPLES:

  • Dijon
  • Tzatziki Dip (SO good with veggies or sandwiches!)
  • Hummus
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Cooking Wine
  • Breakfast Bars (when possible, organic version of Nutri-Grain bars with fruit filling & no corn syrup)
  • Occasionally, Fig Newtons (when possible, organic version with no corn syrup)
  • Herbal Tea
  • Coffee (black – no sugar, no creamer — definitely becomes an acquired taste!)

THE STUFF I GAVE UP:

There were my temptations before I just stopped buying them altogether. If I have this stuff at home, I’m a goner:

  • Chips (ALL chips) & Chip Dip
  • Juice & Soda (except for low-sodium V8 & frozen fruit Smoothies)
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Frozen Pizzas & Frozen Meals
  • Pillsbury Biscuits & Croissants
  • Cookies
  • Ice Cream
  • Canned Foods (Speghetti O’s)
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Lunch Meat (I didn’t entirely give this up, but I’m trying to avoid it)
  • Applesauce (too sugary!)
  • Slim Jims & String Cheese
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One Comment

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  1. I Love it and will be taking some of your advice from your shopping list !

    Like

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