I remember when I first started eating healthy a few years ago, the thought of grocery shopping was overwhelming. I would spend what felt like HOURS in the aisles, checking labels and trying to look past all the “healthy” “low-fat” “100 calorie” marketing in order to make informed decisions about what I was putting into my body.
Now I pretty much have it down to a science. I mainly shop around the perimeter of the store, and only go into the aisles for my not-so-healthy choices (Coke Zero, gum, crackers) or if I need to pick up some Quaker Rolled Oats or almond butter.
Here’s what a typical grocery haul looks like for me:
- Steam in the bag broccoli & cauliflower
- Sweet poatoes (also steam in the bag)
- Yellow pepper
- Cucumbers for snacking/salads
- Romaine lettuce
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Brussels sprouts
- 99% lean ground turkey
- Rotisserie chicken (not pictured, but a great healthy protein option when you’re in a time pinch or don’t feel like cooking!)
- Basil & Tomato pasta sauce (Publix brand — I use this for spaghetti squash meals. Find any brand with whole ingredients)
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- Coke Zero
- Wasabi Peas
Other staples I have in my kitchen at all times:
- Black beans
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (I add this to my oatmeal in the a.m.)
- Almond butter
- Flavored teas (my absolute favorite right now is Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride!)
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (a healthier alternative to soy sauce)
- Popping kernels (great snack! add 2 tbsp. to brown paper bag and pop for two minutes)
- Rice cakes
When it comes to a typical meal, I try to fill up on vegetables first. The majority of my plate (about 1/2) is full of vegetables, 1/4 is protein and 1/4 is a complex carb. Obviously I’m a firm believer in BALANCE (hence the Goldfish, wasabi peas, Coke Zero, etc.) I eat healthy probably 80% of the time, but I don’t deprive myself from what I’m craving.
- Shop the perimeter first and fill up your cart with vegetables, fruits and proteins.
- Stay away from ingredients you can’t pronounce (for the most part).
- If you’re craving something, buy a small package of it. (That’s why I bought the individual boxes of Goldfish… Trust me. If I bought the huge box, I’d eat it).
- Prepare a grocery list beforehand to avoid purchasing a bunch of random things you don’t need.
Happy shopping, friends!