Healthy Grocery Shopping 101

I'm mixing things up a bit with this post! Normally I use this blog for just two reasons. 1. For me! :) To hold myself accountable with my training and keep a record of it for future reference. And 2. For others! To encourage you to stay active and set goals for yourself.

I did not grow up in a very nutrition savvy household. Not that it was an unhealthy house - we still had veggies and fruit with dinner, venison or fish from the ranch, etc, etc. But we definitely did not know all the small tips and tricks to keep in mind in the grocery store in order to make the most out of our purchases.

The wonderful thing about my years of undiagnosed digestive problems is that I very quickly learned what's good for us, what ingredients to avoid, and what serving sizes looked like. It's become a popular trend for people to commit to doing the same. Everyone wants to "eat healthy". Even the restaurants are catching on to this great change in our culture! Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading advertising and poor educating going on. I'm hoping today's post helps clear some of that up!

This post will not show you meal ideas, nor is it just for runners. It's for everyone! Please take the time to scroll through and feel free to leave comments with questions or suggestions! This is something I've become very passionate about, so I'm excited to share it with you! :)

Organic coffee! Why organic? You can rinse some of the pesticides off your food, but I doubt your rinse off your coffee!! :) I prefer instant so that I don't waste any. $11 should get you through a month - Way cheaper than *bucks!

Nuun All Day. It's about $7 for 15 servings, so only 50 cents a bottle! No artificial sugars, no carbonation, and full of vitamins and nutrients! My favorite is the blueberry pomegranate.

Salsa is the healthiest and most versatile condiment in the store. Pick your flavor and get creative! It's great in salads, sandwiches, tacos, etc! Only major thing to watch with these is the sodium level!

Red bell peppers are FULL of nutrients and super tasty raw or cooked. When shopping, look for ones that don't have wrinkly skin! The nice thing about them is they last well once rinsed and cut!

Roma tomatoes are almost always the cheapest tomato in the store! They're also a great serving size! Just rinse one, slice or dice, and get creative!

Avocado. YUM! The secret to avocados is that a serving size is ONLY 1/4 of it! Rinse it, cut out your quarter, and put the rest (with the pit) in an air tight container immediately to keep from turning brown!

Avoid white potatoes, but the sweet ones get an A+ grade! Just wash off, stab a few times with a fork, pop in the microwave for 2 minutes, flip, 2 more minutes, and then wrap in foil for a few. We like ours with ground turkey!

Almond butter > Peanut butter! NO COMPARISON! A good one should be refrigerated and contain nothing but the nut itself. If your nut butter has any kind of oil, sugar, or salt, it's time for a new one! :)

Almond milk is a hidden gem in my book! You'll see a lot to choose from, but go with plain unsweetened. Trust me - It's STILL sweet! Avoid the light and sweetened versions! Use like regular milk and enjoy the extra calcium!

EGGS! The superfood for everyone! Just try to find a brand with no antibiotics and no hormones!

Bye bye jelly, hello fruit spread! Fruit is naturally sweet, why would you want someone adding extra sugar to it?! Look for a brand that's just pure fruit! If you can't, look for low sugar and avoid full sugar or artificially sweetened ones!

Salt free seasoning is everywhere. Take the time to cleanup your spice rack. Herbs and spices are super good for you and a healthy way to add flavor, but they can be pretty bad for you if you're not careful. How much sodium is in yours?

A couple posts about cereal. 1. Count the ingredients. They should fit on one hand! Can you pronounce them? If so, it's a keeper!

2. Re-read the ingredients. Is anything enriched? If so, it's a trick and it's not going to fuel you like you want! Is any form of sugar in the top three ingredients? If so, it's not a fair treat for your body! Avoid it!

3. Here's an example of one of the tricks out there! This is an ORGANIC cereal! The problem? Look at the ingredients? What's item # 2?? No bueno!

Tomatoes are surprisingly high in sodium for a "fruit". So, when you buy canned versions - diced, sauces, stewed, etc - Look for "No Salt Added" on the label!

Spaghetti is cheap, and when purchased right and portioned right - it's not evil! :) Look for whole wheat or a vegetable version that is high in fiber and protein.

Two things to note about soups, stocks, and broths. Always look for "No salt added" and "No MSG"!

Okay, I lied, four comments about cereal (I'm addicted). These two are my favorite. Single ingredients and super puffy so it makes for large, healthy servings!

Organic spinach! Here's the deal with this: A serving size is HUGE! Most of you eat 1/4 of a serving and think you've had your veggies for the day! This bowl is HUGE and clearly overflowing, but I could only fit 72 grams in it. And there is no room left for toppings! How much is a serving? About 85 grams! Pile it up, folks!

Here's a quick tip for you! When you're using a lot of fresh produce you'll find yourself with more "leftovers" than usual. Try to save all your glass jars for this purpose. Easy to clean, no BPA, and cheaper than bags!

This is my protein powder. After every workout I immediately dump one scoop into my blender with a cup of almond milk, a cup of frozen berries, and a few spinach leaves.
What do I like about my protein? 1. THE TASTE! 2. The quality of the whey protein (undenatured). 3. No yucky sugars, just pure and simple stevia. 4. Amino acids!!! This makes it easier to absorb!

This is another part of my daily routine. With all the stresses and toxins in our lives, it's good to have a gentle, proven, nutrient dense supplement to rid your body of the toxins and restore your cell's health.

CHEAP, QUICK, FLEXIBLE! What more could you ask for?! Buy old fashioned (not instant) and get it in the large tub. You can flavor it with fruits, cocoa powder, nuts, cinnamon, etc!

Excuse the mess, but here's a quick shot in our freezer. We stock up on frozen fruits and veggies whenever possible. Way cheaper than fresh, they last longer, and none of the yucky preservatives from canned veggies!

If oatmeal is on your menu, consider adding some cinnamon. Cinnamon is a super choice if you have diabetes because it minimizes the impact of carbs on your blood sugar.

Another quick tip! Eat your cereal in a mug! Most of us often triple the serving size of our cereal, but a mug keeps you honest! :)

A note about deli meat. While it can be a great, lean protein option, there are only a few "safe" brands to buy. Always check the ingredients for nitrates, nitrates, and any artificial colors or flavors. Hormel Natural Choice has been our "go-to" for quite a while and can be found just about anywhere!

A healthy snack! Who knew?! Larabars, as the label proudly states, are pure fruit and notes. NOTHING ELSE! They are high in calories though, so these are best for pre/post workout or a nice treat!

Stevia is your new best friend. Say bye to sweet-n-low, splenda, and even cane sugar. This is your best bet! Also on this note, check your ingredient labels for aspartame! This is a BAD artificial sweetener and has no place in your body!!

Last but not least! Two things to note about yogurt! 1. Go for plain. You can sweeten it with berries, honey, etc, but don't let them do it for you! 2. Go for organic. This goes for all dairy foods and drinks! Besides that, both greek and regular are good options!
Well, that's it for today! :) That was over thirty tips and tricks that I've learned along the way. There's much more to share but I'll save that for another day if this gets a positive response! :) Let me know what you think. Anything you'd like to see more of or know more about? I'm all ears!!

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