Grocery Shopping Tips
Here is a general guideline for the types of foods you will be purchasing at the grocery store. You want to aim for foods that are usually on the perimeter of the grocery store and that are as close to their natural source as possible. When you look at the ingredient list, I typically try to stick with foods that have 5 or less ingredients (that is not a hard rule, some foods on this list have more than that, but it is a general guideline I go by). As you can see from this list, there is a huge variety of foods to choose from. The key is to get creative in the kitchen. A lot of my recipes are made by taking my favorite family recipes and “cleaning them up”. I look at the regular recipes’ ingredients and compare it with the list below to see what I can omit and substitute from the list below to make it healthier. This helps me keep the foods I like in my diet, but also helps to keep me in shape year-round. During this program, you are going to have to cook and spend some time in the kitchen, but I promise you that once you start seeing results you will be happy with the decision to follow this plan.
Playing around with spices can help so much. For example, I do not like ground turkey very much, but when I add Trader Joe’s taco seasoning to it, I could eat it every day! Another example, I do not like how chicken breast tastes when it is baked, but I love how it tastes when it is grilled or broiled. You are so much more likely to stay on track when you really enjoy the foods you are eating. Eating healthy does not have to mean you have to eat boring foods every single day. I would not lead you astray here. I promise that if you spend a little bit of time getting creative in the kitchen and learn what seasonings and flavors you like, you are much more likely to stick with this way of eating long term. You do not have to spend a fortune to eat healthy. We do most of our grocery shopping at store like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and other local grocery stores. When possible, we buy produce from local farmers markets too. In this video here you can watch a video I made about how to shop healthy at Walmart.
• Kale or Baby Kale • Spinach • Brussels Sprouts • Broccoli • Carrots • Bell Peppers (green, red, yellow, or orange) • Asparagus • Cabbage • Green Beans • Lettuce • Bok Choy • Zucchini • Yellow Summer Squash • Tomatoes • Onions (red, white, yellow, or chives) • Cucumber • Lettuce (romaine, green leaf and red leaf are a few of my favorites) • Mushrooms • Cauliflower • Celery • Eggplant • Okra • Sauerkraut •
*If your budget allows, buy organic especially on vegetables where you eat the skin.
• Boneless, skinless chicken breast • Eggs 1 whole/2 whites or 4 whites • Salmon (no more than 1-2 servings per week) • Fish (my favorites are: cod, flounder, red snapper, mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna, halibut. Aim for wild caught, you can usually find these reasonably priced in the frozen section at Sam’s • Club or Costco) • Shrimp (no more than 1-2 servings per week) • Extra lean ground turkey or turkey breast • Tofu • Pork tenderloin • Beef Tenderloin (look for lean cuts like London Broil, top round, lean sirloin, etc) • Extra lean ground beef • Extra lean ground chicken • Venison (deer or elk meat) • Scallops • Turkey Bacon (try to get nitrate free) • Extra Lean Chicken Sausage • Turkey Pepperoni • Protein powder (whey, hemp, rice, or pea – I like and suggest MRM brand)
• Unsweetened Almond Milk (I prefer the taste of the ‘unsweetened vanilla’ type) • Unsweetened Coconut Milk or Rice Milk • Plain Greek Yogurt • Low-Fat cottage cheese • Low-Fat cheese (string cheese, Cabot brand cheddar cheese, Laughing Cow light cheese wedges)
*Pay attention to how your body feels when you eat dairy. Some people are sensitive to dairy and others are not. If you feel bloated after eating dairy, you may want to consider taking it out of your diet, or eating it in moderation.*
FATS & OILS
• Almonds (raw almonds are best, but flavored almonds are ok) • All Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/ salt added) • All Natural Almond Butter (no sugar/ salt added) • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil • Extra Virgin Olive Oil • Flax Seed (or ground flax seed) • Chia Seeds • PB2 • Cocoa Nibs • Avocado • Raw Cashews • Raw Walnuts • Non-stick cooking spray • Whole Egg (you can add an extra whole egg to your meal for your healthy fat serving if you would like)
• Berries – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries (fresh or frozen) • Apples • Bananas • Pears • Lemon • Lime • Grapefruit • Kiwi • Mandarin Oranges (packed in juice not heavy syrup)
*These fruits are full of healthy antioxidants and vitamins that are important for your body to function optimally.*
• Black Beans • Kidney Beans • Navy Beans • Edamame (in moderation) • Lentils • Garbanzo beans (sometimes called chick peas)
• Vanilla Extract • Honey (use sparingly) • Unsweetened applesauce • Stevia
• Water • Tea • Coffee (black or with skim, 1%, 2% or whole milk and stevia) • True Lemon lemonade
• Rice (brown, black, wild, jasmine) – I like Trader Joe’s brand Brown Rice Medley) • Sweet Potatoes • Red and Yellow Potatoes • Ezekial Bread/English Muffins (usually in the frozen section) • Brown Rice Wraps (best when heated) • Corn Tortillas • High Fiber Wraps • Joseph’s Lavash Wraps • Whole Wheat Bread (in moderation) • Oats (old fashioned or steel cut) • Quinoa • Buckwheat • Barley • Flour (whole wheat, coconut, almond) • Squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin) • Whole Wheat Pasta (in moderation) • Rice Cakes (plain is preferred, but flavored is ok) • Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice
CONDIMENTS & SEASONINGS
• Garlic (fresh or powdered) • Ginger (fresh or powdered) • Lemon Juice (fresh or bottled) • Lime Juice (fresh or bottled) • Chicken Broth & Chicken Stock • Vegetable & Beef Stock • Tomato Paste • Canned Tomatoes (diced, stewed, whole, etc) • Mustard • Salsa • Tomato Sauce • Vinegar (apple cider, rice, balsamic, red wine) • Any Dried Herbs (basil, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, etc) • Sea Salt • Ketchup (reduced sugar variety) • Low Sodium Soy Sauce • Hot Sauce • Worcestershire Sauce • Taco Seasoning (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
NATALIE APPROVED BRANDS • MRM All Natural Whey Protein (use the code NATALIE at checkout for 40% off your entire purchase on their website) • MRM Veggie Protein or Veggie Elite Protein • Mrs. Dash seasonings • True Lemon Seasonings and Lemonade Packets • Quest Protein Bars