• End piece of cheese: meet Dalia’s tummy.

    Random shredded bits of cheese: also say hello to Dalia’s tummy :-)

    Thanks for the suggestions Jen.

    From Dalia
    March 3, 2012

  • Great post Jen…It gives us all reason to pause and re-think what we eat and how we portion the sizes!

    From Trev Witt
    March 4, 2012

  • Love this Jen. So helpful. My kids love oranges but hate peeling them so the orange trick was very helpful. Can’t wait to do Smart Cart with you.

    From Lisette
    March 6, 2012

Turning Healthy Shopping Into Healthy Meals

Here are some grocery store shopping tips and look outs that will assist in making your kitchen a safe and bountiful place to prepare healthy meals. 

First and foremost, skip the aisles that are danger zones such as that darn chip and cracker isle.  If these items never go in your cart, chances are they won’t go in your stomach or tempt you at home.  Sometimes you’ll hear people preach to only shop in the outskirts of the grocery store, but to me that doesn’t really make any sense since the bakery, deli, wine and ice cream sections are on the perimeters.  Anyway, what you want to do is go through your grocery store purchasing items off your grocery list.  Break your list down into categories such as: grains, vegetables, proteins, condiments, dairy and dry goods. 

Now, what to buy?

  • If you buy oranges, when you get home peel all of them and put them into zip lock bags.  If you buy grapes, wash them then keep them out where you can see them, don’t put them in the bottom of the crisper drawer to mold.  Unless that’s only happened to me?
  • When buying plain brown rice (not minute rice), cook off many portions and once cooked, portion serving sizes and freeze.
  • Buy whole wheat pastas and portion each box into 14-16 servings if cooking for one.  Freezer bags work great for pastas like spaghetti.
  • Buy your vegetables half fresh half frozen— this prevents some waste while allowing you to enjoy foods that taste best fresh such as tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, and so forth.  Frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and brussel sprouts quality and texture are comparable to fresh.  This will prevent in trying to buy too many fresh produce and not having enough time to use them before they go bad.
  • Buy precut melon, such as pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew.  This prevents the idea that you will cut it later this week, and then never get around to it and end up throwing it away.
  • When buying meats always make sure your buying the leanest cut, such as ground turkey breast and ground chicken breast—very different than buying ground turkey or ground chicken!  If buying 1 pound and cooking for yourself, portion the pound into four sections and either freeze or prepare each portion in a different manner.  For example, you can use ground chicken breast to make taco meat, a chicken breast burger, chicken meatloaf or chicken breast meatballs with marinara. 
  • When buying cheese from the deli counter, ask them to slice it into ½ ounce slices.  This keeps your calories lower per slice, but the size still covers the whole sandwich. 
  • Even if you don’t enjoying drinking skim milk, at least cook with it. If you don’t taste in the final product, you can at least save those calories.  Buy pre-shredded cheese instead of shredding it yourself.  We all know what happens to that end piece when we shred it ourselves.

Bottom line is that you need to set yourself up for success while at the grocery store so when you’re at home you don’t have the temptations to make ‘unwise’ decisions.  Oh, and just because a company calls a product “smart”, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy—and just because something is natural or organic, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  If you buy organic butter does that mean you get to eat more?  Nope!

Happy Shopping and remember Bob’s ‘Unwise Better Best,’ it’s up to YOU!

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