Grocery Shopping 101

I’m still under the weather today, but am hopeful that my cold will soon disappear.  This morning I woke up and was unsure of what to eat, since I had no fresh fruit or veggies on hand, nor did I have any yogurt, eggs, or milk for that matter.  Upon looking in the freezer, I found some whole grain waffles and frozen bananas.  To my surprise I was able have a scrumptious breakfast in no time.  I toasted a waffle and topped it with about a tablespoon of peanut butter.  While the waffle was toasting, I whipped up a batch of Banana Soft Serve.  (Notice it gets capitalized because it is just that special!)  Banana Soft Serve is simply frozen bananas processed in a food processor until smooth and creamy deliciousness results.  You may have to stop to scrape the banana from off the sides as it is being blended due to clumping.  But the result is divine; I highly recommend that you let some bananas ripen, peel and freeze them, and whip up some soft serve.  It was like having dessert for breakfast, but nutritious at the same time.  I then topped my peanut butter waffle with the soft serve and some ground cinnamon.

Earl Grey Tea and Waffle Sundae

Lunch today was leftover vegetable soup, crackers, and frozen grapes for some sweetness.

All Together Now

Yum, Yum, Eat 'Em Up

Frosty

When you find your grapes on the verge of going bad and you can’t eat them all, pop ’em in a Ziploc and store in the freezer for a sweet, cold treat.  I have tried using them in smoothies, but they do not produce a good consistency, so I prefer them as is.

I desperately needed to hit up the grocery store and finally accomplished that task this evening.  On my way from work I snacked on a Kashi Bar to hinder my uncontrollable purchases when going to the grocery  store hungry.

My Bar Matched My Skirt

I really despise grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, but it is cheaper than Winn Dixie near my house and I am trying to save a little moolah on my food.  It is too crowded and seems to take forever when I go, but I went anyway.  And an hour and a half later I arrived home to cook up some dinner.  I made some crispy oven baked chicken (actually wish it would have been crispier, but better luck next time) to put in a healthified “snack wrap.”  Many fast food places offer the crispy and grilled chicken wraps, so if ordering from one of those types of places I’d definitely go with the grilled.  But tonight I was in the mood for some crispy chicken.  I originally intended to put it on a salad, but wasn’t quite in the mood for a big salad–so a wrap it was.

While preheating the oven to 350*, I breaded three boneless, skinless chicken breast by dipping them 1st in whole wheat flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), 2nd in an egg wash bowl made of one egg, tad of water, salt and pepper, and 3rd in italian breadcrumbs.  I then baked them on a broiler pan sprayed with nonstick spray for 40 minutes.  Lastly, they were put under the broiler for a couple minutes to get the top crispy.

My whole wheat wrap is filled with half of a breaded chicken breast, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, half an avocado, and some honey mustard.

Wrap 'N Roll

I enjoyed some green bean fries on the side with salt, cajun seasoning, and ketchup.

This may make an appearance in my tummy later on.

Finally, I want to share some tips on my grocery shopping adventures.  Now this is not for those trying to shop healthily on a “budget” because I, myself, need some help with that.  This is only tips that I follow for making healthy food purchase.

*Do not go to the grocery hungry! As we all know, going to the grocery with a hungry stomach only leads to less money and your wallet and more (unhealthy) food than you intended to buy.  Eat a snack before heading out to shop or go after you’ve had a meal.  This will help to eliminate tempting, eye-catching, new, “low-fat” foods.

*Shop the perimeters to make up the bulk of your groceries. The perimeter of the store is where you can find healthy produce–fruits and veggies, lean meats, and healthy reduced fat dairy products.  Fill up your basket with mostly fruits and veggies.  Purchase fish, lean chicken, pork, or beef.  When purchasing cheeses, I usually look for a reduced fat variety.  If skim milk seems to watered down, then opt for low-fat.  (Vitamin D actually needs a small amount of fat for the body to absorb it anyway.)

*Go in the aisles for specifics, but do not go up and down every aisle. Tonight I went into the aisles for these things:  whole wheat spaghetti, quick-cooking oats or rolled oats, maple syrup, flavored tea, salsa, tomato and basil sauce, reduced sodium canned beans, canned white meat chicken, dark chocolate peanut butter (saw on another blog that Wal-Mart sold the PB & Co. brand; that’s the real reason I went to Wal-Mart) ;), whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat sandwich thins, pita chips, and pistachios because the husband loves ’em, oh and orzo pasta.  So there are healthy reasons to stray into the aisles.  And that leads to my next tip.

*Pay attention to the ingredient lists. If you cannot read the lists, it is probably filled with preservatives due to the amount of processing that needs to be done to make it actually taste good.  Avoid those foods at all costs.  They are not satiating and leave you wanting, craving more.

*Opt for whole grains. That is for pastas, rice, breads, etc.  Look at the ingredients that have whole wheat or whole grain listed first.  If it says “enriched” then the natural nutrients have been lost due to processing and some may have been unnaturally added back in along the way so steer clear of those.

*Avoid gimmicks. Do not believe that if you “eat three of these a day” you will lose all kind of weight.  Weight loss is simply calories consumed versus calories burned.  You can eat 2,000 calories of whatever food you want, but if your body does not burn those 2,000 calories then eventually it will add up.  To lose weight, eat fewer calories or even better participate in more physical activity to burn off what you consume.

That concludes my Grocery Shopping 101. Please be advised, I am not a nutritionist/dietician.  These are simply tips I have learned along my journey to living a more healthified life.

Question of the Night:  What tips do you follow for grocery shopping when trying to lead a healthy life?

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