Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery shopping is hard! It’s so important in our daily lives and most of the time we go in a store without any idea of what we need. This guide teaches you how to shop and make a grocery shopping list and the items you should be buying!

So today I want to talk about one of the most important things in all of our lives: GROCERY SHOPPING. 

Grocery Shopping Tips

There are a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to grocery shopping, and most of us think that we know what we should be doing. But the truth is most of us go to the store while we are hungry, without a shopping list, and just grab whatever we ‘think’ we will cook during the week. If you do this, a lot of food will go to waste and you’ll likely have many different items but nothing to make a solid meal for a few days or even a week.

To start off, lets talk about a grocery list. Who uses those ancient things anymore? I remember my mom writing down everything that she needed to get at the store and getting to the store and realizing that she forgot her list. It was pointless. I like to use the notes section on my Iphone. With everyone having a smartphone today and bringing it everywhere they go, it is a foolproof way to always keep your grocery list with you! You should also NEVER go to the store for food when you’re hungry. You’ll wind up buying those cupcakes or chips that are calling your stomach’s name the entire time you’re in the store. Then you’ll eat the entire thing on your ride home.

I often hear that fresh fruit and vegetables are too expensive. My clients have told me this time and time again. Check your location newspaper for sales and get the fruit and vegetables that are on sale! Planning your meals ahead of time for the week will help you know what you actually need from the store. The new thing of Walmart pickup and Target pickup can really help with grocery shopping for things you actually need for the week or use!

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This was my last week’s grocery shopping for the week. If you look closely, you can see that I have spinach, squash, bananas, string cheese, romaine lettuce, cutie oranges, shredded carrots, blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, dressing, and yogurt. Obviously, I already had purchased my meat and milk for the week before I went shopping. But what I want to show you is what types of food you should be purchasing when you go into a store.

In order to understand what I am saying and how you should grocery shop, I want you to picture your grocery store. I use Rouse’s, but I know that not everywhere has a Rouse’s. So let’s take a moment here to picture your grocery store. Are you picturing it? When you first walk in, what is right in front of you? Is it the fruit and vegetable section? That is the first thing that I see when I go to my store and it takes up 1/4 of the store. There is good reason behind that! You should have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in your cart when you leave. Majority of the grocery stores that I have been in have the fruits and vegetables in the very front.

Now there is always the thing of cost because the majority of us are on a budget. I can’t go to the store and spend $500 on groceries every week. So if your local ad doesn’t show any fruit and vegetables on sale, go to the frozen section and buy frozen fruit and vegetables. This is not only cost effective, but it also allows you to keep it longer without worrying about the food expiring.

So the next section of the grocery store that I usually get to is the cheese section. You should be choosing low fat  cheese. It’s simple to spot. It will say made with skim milk on it. That is the cheese you want! If you want to save more money you can purchase the blocked cheese and shred or cut it for whatever dish you are making.

Now the next section for me would be frozen fish/seafood/meat section. You should be choosing lean cuts of meat. This means chicken breast, shrimp, fish, 90/10 ground meat, or red meat with little to no fat on it.

From here, you have the bread aisle and rice. You should be choosing whole wheat bread, brown rice,  and whole wheat tortillas. At this point, you shouldn’t have much left of the store to go through.  Here is the best trick to staying away from the food that is bad for you – AVOID the middle isles with the candy, chips, and snacks. If you like to use canned foods, try to get the lower sodium cans of food. The only cans of food that I usually get are tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. From there, you should have the frozen section. Here you can find frozen fruit and vegetables!

The last section of the store is the milk/yogurt, eggs, and drink section. So many people drink whole milk or 2% milk still, but we should all switch to skim or 1% milk. You’ll soon be seeing a post on how to switch down from whole milk to skim milk. So you should be getting a gallon of milk, carton of eggs, and if you like orange juice get some of that too. (Note: If you are lactose intolerant, there are so many options for you now like coconut milk, almond milk, and cashew milk! If you are allergic to any food that I have listed – then avoid those foods.)

So tips to remember the next time you go grocery shopping:

  1. Bring a list with you of everything you need for the next week.
  2. AVOID the middle isles with the candy, snacks, and chips.
  3. Choose more fresh fruits and veggies and also frozen fruit and veggies.
  4. Choose lean meats such as fish, chicken, and seafood.
  5. AVOID pork and the heavier fat red meats (80/20 ground meat is an example – choose 90/10).
  6. Choose skim milk over whole milk or 2% milk.
  7. AVOID going to the store hungry.
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Easy Guide to Weight Loss

easy guide to weight loss
Weight loss seems like the hardest thing to achieve and keeping the weight off seems even harder! Here is my guide on losing weight the easy way.

Let me start off by explaining this: To lose ONE pound, you have to burn 3500 calories. So for us to understand how to lose one pound in a week, that would mean you have to cut out 500 calories each day because 500 calories a day x 7 days = 3500 calories  in one week.

The “majority” of people need around 2000 calories each day to maintain their weight. However, if you are overweight/obese, you are typically eating a lot more than that number. This means, you need to cut down on the calories you’re eating throughout the day to equal a 500 calorie loss daily and ultimately that one pound in a week.

That seems fairly easy right? But we don’t portion things correctly. For example, my clients will say, “I ate cereal and milk for breakfast.” So, I would ask them, “How much?” They say, “A bowl.” This is how most people portion foods. Oh, I ate a plate full. Oh, I ate a bowl of food. Here’s the thing: my bowls are huge. So when someone says, “I ate a bowl,” it could mean they really ate like 3 cups of cereal with 2 1/2 cups of milk. That’s a LOT of cereal and milk, but in that big bowl, it looks like nothing. That portion size of a typical cereal with whole milk is 750 calories, and one serving of cereal with one cup of milk has 250 calories).

My suggestion to patients is use the liquid and dry measuring cups. See my previous post on how to measure foods in a liquid vs dry measuring cup. Measure your portions so that you KNOW how much you eat.

So some tips to help with calorie counting and ways that will help you lose weight:

  1. Read the label. This means to look at the portion size and know how much is ONE serving. ONLY eat that amount.
  2. Measure using the proper utensils. So if it is a liquid – measure in a liquid measuring cup. If it is dry, use a dry measuring cup.
  3. Use single-serving foods. What is a single-serving food? It is a food that is prepackaged or a fruit that is enough to eat at one sitting. So this would include food like an apple, orange, light yogurt, or those little 100 calorie packs of crackers and such. These types of foods stops you from overeating. Because if you have a huge bag of chips, you are going to mindlessly eat them until they are all gone. Same thing goes for big containers of yogurt. You know yogurt is good for you, but if you eat a big container of it, you have now eaten way too many calories.
  4. Anything that is considered a healthy food, is good for you, but eating too much of it becomes a bad thing. So we all know that grilled chicken is better for you than fried chicken. This doesn’t mean eat double the portions of grilled chicken simply because it has fewer calories.
  5. If you are eating at a dine-in restaurant, either split the meal with someone or package away half of your meal “to-go” because typically you are getting enough food for two at a dine-in restaurant.
  6. If you are eating fast food, choose grilled items and instead of fries, get fruit or a side salad. If you are really wanting that hamburger, get the kid’s meal. It’ll be the best option.
  7. Cut out the sodas. Soft drinks have empty calories. You do not get full off of them and they don’t do anything but give you extra sugar. If you have to drink a soda, then switch to either diet or the beverages that have zero calories. Example: Coke Zero. This will make a huge impact on your weight!

I hope these tips help you and give you a better lifestyle. However, in order for me to tell you how many calories your body actually needs, it would be much more extensive.  These are baseline guidelines that will help you lead a healthier, more fabulous life!

Any questions? Leave a comment, and I’ll answer as soon as I can!

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