Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stock your kitchen!

So now that you have thrown out the bad stuff, it is time to stock your kitchen with healthy, nutritious and delicious foods!  I like to start here with the Dr. Oz shopping list.

Here are some more guidelines to help you create YOUR shopping list:

  1. "Clean eating" is essentially eating only (or mainly) REAL food that came from the Earth, is unprocessed and doesn't have a package. (There are exceptions, of course, like olive or coconut oil; whole grain breads, etc.) Stick to the PERIMETER of the grocery store as much as you can; these are the sections where real food lives.
  2. Learn to love produce. Frozen is okay, canned is nutrient deficient. Find ways to make your meals focused around vegetables--they are the real stars of your plate!
  3. Fruit digests much more quickly than other food groups, so when possible, eat them alone, lest you eat them behind something that moves VERY slowly, like protein, and cause a digestion backup, which will cause your food to putrify in your gut. 
  4. Do not buy into the "low fat, fat free" stuff. If it comes in a box and has a list of bajillion ingredients that look like chemistry class, it doesn't belong in your precious bod. These chemicals disrupt your hormones and your metabolism. They DO cause weight gain. This includes Diet soda!
  5. Cut out soda altogether, or if you are very addicted, cut back to one a day.
  6. Remember, your liquids count as calories. It's too easy to down 150 calories in a small glass of juice, and when your calorie allowance is 1250 for the DAY, you are seriously putting a dent in what you can eat for the day. Eating your calories will be much more satisfying!
  7. Go easy on the oil! Extra virgin olive oil is considered to be a heart-healthy fat, and I LOVE it...BUT 1 tbsp. is 120 calories. So if you use it, use it wisely. Try adding 1 tsp. to a flavorful vinegar, which is much lower in cals. For cooking, use an evoo cooking SPRAY, which gives you a very fine mist and a lot less calories.
  8. Don't be afraid of FAT. Avocados, nuts, and seeds (and natural PB and almond butter) have amazing health benefits and are good for your weight! One serving will do ya, so don't eat an entire bag of peanuts. But, generally, if nature made the fat, eat it! And if chemicals made the fat (hello, recycled french fry oil) NEVER eat it--for more reasons than just weight control.  
  9. Learn what works for you and what doesn't. No two people thrive on the exact same diet. I don't do well with dairy. I love cheese, milk and ice cream (yup, I enjoy ice cream on occasion). but when I eat it I get bloated!! Lots of people have a gluten intolerance, from all wheat products. Don't be afraid to eliminate something for a week to see if it changes how you feel. This is YOUR experiment to get you on the path to better health!
  10. Eat the following: lean hormone-free protein, natural hormone-free eggs and egg whites, non-GMO soy (as unprocessed as possible, like tofu or tempeh or edamame), unlimited veggies especially leafy greens, fresh fruits, 100% whole grain pastas or breads, beans, NATURAL peanut butter and almond butter, quality protein powder or Shakeology, raw nuts, avocados, small quantities of healthy oils like extra virgin olive or coconut, almond milk, grains and seeds like lentils, quinoa, brown or wild rice, barley, millet, couscous. If you consume dairy, make sure it's free of hormones and antibiotics. For sweeteners: 100% raw maple syrup, raw honey, stevia. MAKE meals out of these foods. It is possible, and delicious! When you make your own food, you control the ingredients.
  11. DO NOT eat the following: Packaged cookies, chips, snacks. Heavily processed frozen meals. Anything with an ingredient list a mile long with things you can't pronounce. Anything that can sit on a shelf for a month and not rot. Candy bars. Energy drinks. Soda. Fast food (if you find yourself in that situation, try to make the best possible choice. If you need help, ask!). Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil (look at ingredients). Sugar (could be under 100 difference names, usually ending in "ose"). White breads, pastas, rice. Juice from concentrate. Diet food. 
  12. When people tell me it's too expensive to eat healthy, I jump out of my skin. It's so untrue! It's more expensive to eat fast food, pay for packaging, eat out all the time, and have medical bills. The "healthy food" they are usually referring to is the PACKAGED "health food." We aren't eating packaged food. We are eating REAL food. And real food is pretty cheap! So here are some tips for saving $: When possible, buy from a local farm or local market (best price, more nutrients, eco-friendly, support local business...what's not to love? and it TASTES better!) Buy from bulk bins at the grocery store (beans, popcorn kernels, rice, barley....there's so much stuff here! You're not paying for fancy packaging, so the price is great!) Keep dry staples in your pantry in airtight bins, and cook up batches of rice or quinoa, etc. at the beginning of the week. Then you'll mostly only be buying produce weekly, to eat with your pre-cooked grains. Probably my best tip is to make a list of what you plan to eat for the next week (find recipes where you can overlap ingredients and use leftovers!) and go shopping with THAT list. Don't buy a bunch of random stuff. Be deliberate, and PLAN AHEAD.
**Challenge - take a look at the list above and pick something that you have NEVER tried before, and give it a try! If you need help on where to find it in the grocery store, or how to prepare a certain food, please ask!

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