Alright guys, you’ve trained for this. Focus. It’s overwhelming and things are constantly competing for your attention but, whatever you do, stay in the game. What am I talking about? Grocery shopping. The daunting task that sits on your to-do list for what seems like years. You know you have to do it. Places like Whole Foods are overwhelming enough to make you drop $50 in about 5 minutes. Thankfully, I have some tips for you today. What brands to look out for, what I buy on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, and what stores I love!
Unlike a lot of other people, I love grocery shopping. Call me crazy, but I could spend hours looking at labels and packaging. That leads me to my first tip.
1. Make sure you carve out enough time for your shopping trip.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m in a rush, I am way more likely to buy things I don’t need to be buying. 30-45 minutes should be the prefect amount of time to get the items on your list.
2. If you are going to do a meal plan for the week, do it before your trip.
This will avoid any unnecessary, spur of the moment purchases. (Just because those cookies claim to be “organic” doesn’t mean you need them in your shopping cart.) Tone It Up has a great chart where you can even write down your morning/evening workouts, snacks, and meals throughout the day. This may seem tedious but when I write it down, 9 times out of 10, I stick to it.
3. Make friends with your produce section.
Anyone else hear their mother’s voice saying, “Eat your veggies!”. I promise you, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it used to be. This is by far my favorite and most-visited section of any grocery store. You want to transform your life style and eating habits, eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want. My diet is pretty strict but fruits and veggies are fair game, I eat as many as I want. And guess what? My body loves me for it! (Thanks to all the hidden vitamins and minerals.) I have more energy, less cravings and better workouts! In my opinion, it’s a win-win situation. Shop what is on sale and in season, this will save you the big bucks in the long run.
You’ve heard this tip a million times, but here we go…
4. Never shop hungry.
This could be your worst enemy. Not only are you not in the best mood, but you will be completely vulnerable to all the tempting products that are begging to go home with you. Eat a snack before you head out or be sipping on an iced tea or water while you shop, it will definitely help you stray away from anything tempting.
5. Learn the Label
I never thought that I would be the girl scanning the nutritional facts on a grocery product, but alas, I am now. It is very important to take a good look at what you are eating. Many products claim to be “all-natural” or “organic”, but I won’t believe it until I see it. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the label. My main rule of thumb is, if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t want it in my body. It’s as simple as that. I always keep an eye on the calories per serving, sugar, and fat. I live a pretty active lifestyle so this gives me some room in my caloric, fat, and sugar intake. I consume roughly 1,500 calories, 50-60 grams of fat and no more than 40 grams of sugar. For some of you, this may seem unreasonable but trust me, it becomes much easier to stick to these guidelines after some time.
6. Say No to GMOs
GMO stands for “genetically modified organism” and yes, they are putting these organisms in our food. I love eating yummy food but I enjoy it much more when I know that it hasn’t been altered by pesticides, extra flavorings, and GMOs. Many products today are labeled GMO-free, (see product below) this makes for pain free shopping. I realize that it is nearly impossible for all of your groceries to be GMO-free. My advice here is, do what you can. After a few product swaps, you will taste the difference, I promise you.
As far as my favorite stores are concerned, I love Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. They both have reasonable prices and excellent produce selections. I always take a look at the Sprouts weekly ad before I head out. They always have really great deals on produce and supplements.
Lastly, I want to share with you guys some of my favorite products to stock up on.
Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Keep an eye out for this company, Garden of Eatin’. I’m a huge fan of their blue corn tortilla chips. They are non-GMO and gluten free! Perfect for salsa, hummus, guacamole or whenever that crunchy craving comes along!
Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Blue Diamond has always been my go-to dairy substitute brand. I have been drinking their unsweetened vanilla almond milk for years. If you can’t have lactose like me, finding a dairy-free milk is crucial. I’m also a big fan of their coconut almond milk, it’s great for smoothies.
Mamma Chia Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack
These things are the bomb.com! While they are not the most affordable option in the grocery store, they are a nice treat every once and a while. Around $2.50 each, these little pouches and are filled with protein and omega 3’s. Throw one of these in your bag when you are craving something sweet mid-day.
Wild Friends All-Natural Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter
Speaking of sweet things, this nut butter is life changing. (But really.) With only 5 ingredients, this butter gets my seal of approval. When shopping for nut butters, look out for brands that make their butter with palm oil. Palm oil is extremely high in saturated fat. I love Wild Friends as a whole because none of their products contain palm oil, only natural ingredients. Did I mention how amazing this stuff is? It’s a great, healthy Nutella substitute.
PC: @katie.reeder via #Belovedlife