Grocery Shopping

Yesterday I made my trip to the Strip District to get all my fruits, veggies and nuts along with a few other things.  Sometimes the grocery store can be so expensive but I was able to get 2 huge bags of veggies for $14 dollars. 
I know that so many of you are trying to change the way you eat and are struggling to make good choices.  You go into the grocery store and there are 20 different kinds of nuts and you have no idea where to start.  So I'm going to give you a quick little guide and tips for how to navigate the grocery store!
1.  Make a list.  I sit down every weekend and plan out 2 weeks worth of meals.  I plan out my snacks as well.  I use a dry erase board and write down what we are eating every night for dinner.  I also put my snacks on the right hand side in the notes.  This way I am never scrambling around to make meals.  I make my grocery list and hit up the grocery store.
2.  Grocery Store.  I usually go to multiple places.  I always buy my meat at McGinnis sisters because it is local and fresh.  I buy a 10lb bag of chicken and then cut it up into palm size pieces and freeze in family size portions.  I also buy my ground turkey at McGinnis and freeze in 1 lbs portions.  I do not use ground meat anymore, I use ground turkey in my chili, tacos, ect...
I have found that the best place to buy your fruits and vetetables is the strip district.  It is kind of a hassle if you don't live in the city but it is worth the savings.  You can also find spices and other ingredients that are very expensive in the grocery store at Penzey's Spices for a cheaper price.  I also buy my green peppers from Costco in bulk and cup them up and freeze them.  Then I can pull them out of the freezer as I need them.  I do that with celery as well. 
The key to effective grocery shopping is only buying what you need and sticking to your list.  Otherwise you will spend way to much money and you won't be able to eat everything you buy before it goes bad.
Oatmeal-Buy either steel cut oats or rolled oats´╗┐ because they retain most/all of their nutritional value due to the way they are processed.  Avoid instant oatmeal and oatmeal in the packets.  They are loaded with lots of extra sugar. 
Nuts-Peanut Butter-  I highly recommend that you read the labels of your peanut butter.  You want to stay away from anything with high fructose corn syrup.  I always buy almond butter and all natural peanut butter from Costco.  I use 2 tbsp of almond butter and an apple for my morning snack everyday!  Remember that you need at least 2 servings of good fat per day and peanut butter is a source of good fat along with extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and beans.  when shopping for nuts buy unsalted nuts.  You do not want any extra ingredients, just the raw nuts.  I always buy unsalted raw cashews, sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds.  They are great in your Shakeology and on your oatmeal!
Yogurt-  I pretty much stick to plain Greek yogurt from Costco when I grocery shop, but I also buy plain low fat yogurt as well.  Do not buy yogurt with the fruit on the bottom because it has extra sugar that you do not need.  You can sweeten your yogurt with fresh fruit and a teaspoon of honey or agave nectar.  What is agave nectar?  It is an all natural sweetener that you can find in the grocery store near the sugar.

When grocery shopping stay away from the center isles.  For the most part I stay on the perimeter of the store where all the fresh food is located.  When reading labels look for items with the fewest ingredients and if you don't know what an ingredient is then you should not buy it! I always stick to 5 or less ingredients. 
Sweet Potato's- Do you come from a meat and potato's family?  If so, then sweet potato's are a great alternative to white potatoes.  I buy them by the bag and either microwave them for a baked sweet potato with oregano or walnuts and raisins or I make sweet potato fries in the oven by slicing the potato's and coating with 1 tbsp olive oil and oregano and bake in the oven at 350 until crispy.
Flaxseed-  Flaxseed is high in fiber and is wonderful for digestion.  Buy the ground flaxseed at any grocery store.  You want the ground flaxseed because you body can digest that better than the whole seed.
Wheat Germ- Wheat germ is high in omega 3s and folic acid.  I add it to my oatmeal every morning.  It can be found at the grocery store near the oatmeal.  Once opened you must store in the refrigerator.
Green tea- I always keep green tea on hand for when I am hungry and/or need something warm to drink.  Green tea is a natural diuretic and detox.  I also find that it suppresses my hunger in the late afternoon or evening.  Pick up a box and keep in your pantry for those moments when you aren't sure if you are hungry or bored!

Soergals is another great health food store that has all natural and gluten free foods!  If you can't find something at the grocery store there is a good chance that Soergals has it!
I really hope that this article has at least helped you to understand some of the items that you will normally buy.  It took me about 2 months before I felt comfortable in the grocery store and knew where to find the things that I needed.  Please don't hesitate to give me a call or email me with any questions.  I know that eating clean can be difficult at first but your body will thank you!  Just make one small change every week and before you know it you will transform your entire life and you will feel amazing!

If you would like additional help with meal planning and getting started eating clean please email me at mmitro@hotmail.com and I'd be happy to coach you through the process!  Remember planning is key!