Planning Your Grocery List

Liz Dennison-8050

Hello friends! Happy Friday!

Too often one of the things that keeps people from making healthy changes to their diet is that it will be too hard and they just don’t know how. Well, I understand it can be intimidating to start anything new and I wanted to share some grocery shopping tips so you can eat healthier now!

  • Planning is key. You don’t have to plan the entire week or every meal, but you must plan your grocery list. I would also recommend planning at least a couple meals.
  • Your list should primarily direct you around the outskirts of the store: produce, seafood, meat, dairy & non-dairy milk, special condiments/sauces, etc.
  • Based on this, depending how many meals/days you plan to prepare for, you’ll first fill your cart up with lots of veggies and some fruits. I generally like to make sure I have avocados on hand because they are such a good source of fat. Yes, you need fat to improve your health. It stabilizes your blood sugar among other wonderful things. I also think of fresh veggies to snack on (celery, carrots, peppers) and other veggies that I can quickly sauté (kale, chard) and others that will be good for cooking in the oven (like root veggies). If I’m making a salad, I generally will also get romaine hearts. Regarding fruits, I go for what’s on sale and in season, except for apples. I love apples most all of the time with sunflower seed butter.
    • I know some people get concerned about carbs and they won’t have energy without carbs, but veggies and fruits are your carbs – this is where you should get the bulk of your carb intake because you are assured to get a variety of key vitamins and minerals. I like to shop the sales because not only will you save a buck, but most of the time, the sale items are what’s in season.
  • Choose what protein you’d like to have for the week. If you know you’re short on time, crockpot recipes are life savers so choose a meat you can put in the crockpot. You can throw in a ton of veggies in for a chili or stew and in this way, using the crockpot can be a great way to start your healthy eating goals. Fish is also generally very simple to prepare and quick. Check out what wild caught seafood is one sale and add it to your cart.
  • Next, nut milk is generally a staple that we keep on hand. I prefer almond milk but you have to make sure to check the sugar content (I prefer no sugar added vanilla) and also look at the ingredient list. Carrageenan is often in almond milk and is an additive that can cause digestive issues and lead to an inflammatory response. Next, butter is also a staple. You have to have fat to absorb many of the nutrients in your veggies so I use a generous amount when I cook any of my veggies. Hello, let’s be honest, I love chocolate chip cookies too so I’m definitely using it for them as well!
  • In this general area of the store, I also look for refrigerated sauerkraut which is great for your gut health. You might also want to look for hummus to pair with some of those delicious veggies in put in your cart earlier! Continuing on, you might grab some goat cheese or olives from the olive bar, etc.
  • Finally, you can make your way quickly down the aisles, but you likely really only need to travel down a few.
    • If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, may sure to buy organic as you don’t want pesticides to have been sprayed on your soon to be delicious beverage. Did you know that coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed food items? Shocking right!
    • Next, I like to have coconut aminos and sometimes coconut vinegar on hand as well as basics like ketchup and mustard. Recently, we have been getting mayonnaise as well by Primal Kitchen (in the refrigerated section). So good! If you’d like to go towards a Mexican themed dish, I’d recommend adding salsa to the list.
    • You might also want a nut or seed butter or some nuts and jerky for snacks. I also like to hit up the bulk section for some gluten free flour like almond and coconut flour, coconut flakes, etc. I mentioned I love cookies right. The baking aisle is a must for chocolate chips as you can imagine!
    • I will also make sure to have some frozen veggies on hand which also make meals super simple to throw together. I like to have chopped sweet potatoes, cauliflower, green beans and sometimes butternut squash.

There you have it. We have reached the end of our virtual shopping experience. My next tip is to make sure you go home and either wash the veggies that day or the day after! It makes the process of putting together a meal so much quicker when the veggies are already washed. Plus, when you’re tired and cranky from work (what, as if!), the unwashed celery nor the apple still in the bag stand a chance to the chocolate or chips that you can quickly unwrap. Wait, we didn’t go down those aisles – you don’t even have those on hand anymore!! 🙂

Fun fact: I write my grocery list in order of how I go throughout the grocery store. I feel like it’s so much quicker! I’m sure not everyone does this but I’d love to know if you have any fun or quirky habits that are unique to you when planning or grocery shopping.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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