Trying to incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle is sometimes easier said than done, especially when you are not sure how to tackle the biggest obstacle...the land of milk, honey, and so much more...the grocery store!!! A trip to your local grocery can be like landing on an island of temptation and guilty pleasures, especially if you go hungry! Our human brains are hard-wired for craving fats and sugars, and this can result in some pretty poor choices.
But you can overcome! The nutrition advice that Mr. PT offers his clients focuses on the idea of simplicity. The more your food has been messed with, the less healthy it is going to be. In order to get more nutrients and less fat, you MUST spend time with your food. Making meals has to become a part of your life.
This is all well and good, but what does it look like? And where do you start? You start, of course, at the grocery. The choices you make throughout the week are going to be based on the foods you fill your pantry and refrigerator with. So sit down, clip some coupons, plan your meals, and make a list. Go to the grocery prepared to buy the foods you want and need, and nothing more!
Another rule of thumb: try to stick to the perimeter of the store. Hit the grains, meats, dairy, and produce sections. I usually make a few pit stops to pick up canned goods, cereal, and peanut butter, but other than that, I try to stick with items on the outer layer of the store. That way I avoid most of the processed foods loaded with extra salt, sugar, and trans fats.
Luckily Mr. PT and I were pretty low on supplies, so a big trip to Kroger was much needed. Here is what I came home with:
I tried to group items by food group, so you can see that I included...
-cereal, low fat granola bars, whole grain wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat English muffins with raisins
-apples, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, frozen berries, fresh blueberries, and low sugar jelly
-low fat organic milk, vanilla almond milk, all natural vanilla and fruit yogurt, and low fat cheese
-chickpeas, all natural peanut butter
-fresh red lettuce, green pepper, bulk carrots, frozen corn, and frozen edamame
Was I perfect? Of course not! I bought packaged pizza crusts for our homemade pizzas and Land of Lakes olive oil spread (butter). Are these the most nutritious and non-processed items I could buy? Not really, but this is not about being perfect. This is about making good choices 80-90% of the time and not denying yourself. We are human, after all.
Keep in mind I already had in stock eggs, chicken, lean beef, and some other crucial items that were not bought today.
Hopefully that gives you a good idea of what a personal trainer would advise you to shop for and eat. Just keep it simple, don't get too processed, and plan on spending time making your meals. And what could a meal look like after a shopping trip like this? Well, I ate a pretty fruit and grainy breakfast, so I wanted to get some veggies and proteins in for lunch.
A fresh salad with carrots, raisins and walnuts, tossed with apple-cider vinegar and olive oil, accompanied with hummus and cottage cheese seasoned with black and red pepper. A short list of ingredients with a whole lot of YUM.