Can You Buy Health?

Yes, You Can! If You Know How To Shop!
(Fall Grocery Shopping List included)

Staying healthy, losing weight, speeding up a recovery process starts with selecting the healthiest and the most nutritious foods at the grocery store! It is easy to eat well when your kitchen is stocked up with easy-to-prepare delicious ingredients.

How do you shop for groceries? Do you make a list or just grab whatever looks pretty? Either way can work as long as you end up with a fridge full of nutritious vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds to feed your family…

Last night my friend and I had an interesting discussion over dinner of roasted fennel, pumpkin, beets, and onions which we had with a little bit of grilled chicken. She complained that even though she loves all the healthy food and would love to eat it more often, she never remembers what ingredients to buy at the supermarket. How could she, if she needs to shop for the entire family and consider everyone’s needs and likes?!  Plus being pressured on time (who isn’t?) and tempted by the “special” hard-to-miss deals artfully created by the marketing department, how can one stay on track? In stressful situations, which grocery shopping can easily turn into, our brains try to create a path of least resistance. In most cases it means going for what worked before. As a result, we end up with a number of routine very familiar items in a basket plus/minus a few that the supermaket smart marketing placement convinced us to buy.

While it works to save time and energy, it won’t always provide the most nutritious choice of seasonal foods, especially if you are trying to shift gears to a healthier diet.

If you are trying to follow a healthier diet, to lose weight, or to better your immune system, you need a plan and a grocery shopping list! Whether on paper, on your iphone or blackberry, or in your head (if you trust it), but you should create the ‘must get’ items list based on how you would like to eat next week.

There are many benefits to using a shopping list:
– You won’t forget anything
– You will save money as you are less likely to give in to marketing and buy stuff that you don’t need
– You will be able to try new recipes since you will have all the necessary ingredients
– You are more likely to stick to your diet plan if you have fresh nutritious items in your kitchen
– You will save money on ordering food or getting take outs

Before you create a shopping list, consider the following:
How much time you will have to cook. It will determine whether you include some pre-made food or if you need to buy only raw bulk foods
What your goals are nutrition-wise. Are you looking to cut out gluten, to reduce sugar, or to experiment with Power Foods? Based on your needs you can include or subtract certain items. For example if you are going gluten free, include gluten free bread so you not tempted throughout the week to have regular bread. If you are reducing sugar intake, try stevia and buy lots of fruits. Even though there are general healthy items that are good to buy, your shopping list should be customized to your needs and your current situation
What meals you are going to have at home and which snacks are you taking to work. Most days I make my breakfast and lunch to-go before I leave to teach yoga. So I always make sure to stock up on quick-to-make green leafy vegetables and grains that can be soaked overnight such as quinoa. A nutritious lunch can be ready in minutes!
Are you planning to try a new recipe or a new type of food? Experimenting in the kitchen is quite fun! Leave some space in your grocery list for fun-to-try items and keep your mind open. Maybe one week it will be chia seeds and another week some sprouted beans. Who knows maybe that weird looking seaweed can become your new favorite snack?! Using your pre-planned menu, make a list of all ingredients you will need to complete your menu.

Make sure to stick to your list when wandering through the store. It’s easy to stray when your kids are begging for certain types of cereal, or your eyes are drawn to the fresh, yummy-smelling, box of doughnuts placed in front of you! Stay focused and stick to your list.

Naturally, your list will change based on the season and local specialties. This one, for example, was for Fall.

Here is my basic fall grocery shopping list: (if you would like to shop with me and to learn new warming Fall-friendly recipes, join the Kitchen Evolution brunch and shopping tour on Oct 15th)

Vata Fall Shopping List

  • Beets
  • Squashes/pumpkin/sweet potatoes
  • Spinach / mixed greens
  • Bok choy
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Raw Kimchi or Sauerkraut or Fermented Pro-biotic Green Miso
  • Quinoa or buckwheat
  • Bob Mills Muesli
  • Mung beans
  • Red lentils
  • Hummus
  • Almond milk
  • Dates
  • Figs (fresh while they last)
  • Plums (Love small sweet plums!)
  • Papaya
  • Lemons
  • Carrots
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sprouted Flax Seed crackers
  • Sesame Seed Bread
  • Almond flour and Coconut flour (for my new gluten-free baking experiments)
  • Goji berries
  • Raisins
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Daal Spices
  • Black pepper, Celtic Sea Salt, and Turmeric (I buy spices whenever I run out, not every week. It is best to keep them fresh and buy organic)
  • Ghee

Occasionally, I buy fresh goat cheese and eggs from Union Square farmer’s market. Even though I am not vegan or vegetarian, I rarely crave dairy and chicken so these items are not on my must-get list.

Did you ever try to create a grocery shopping list? How did it go?

See you at Lifethyme for some serious grocery aisle exploration!


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