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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,664)
Fitness Minutes: (41,336)
Posts: 26,770
3/29/13 6:01 P

The best way to start this journey is to only make one or two changes to start with. Don't try to alter your total nutrition overnight - it will only come back and bite you in the butt at a later date. Instead, try putting some more fruit/veges into your trolley, and less processed junk. It might be not putting in so much soda or juice, and instead drink extra water. The other thing is to go into the store with a realistic list and stick to it. If you aren't a disciplined shopper, only going in with a certain amount of money can help too. There is nothing like overdoing it at the check-out and having to put some back - I have done this occasionally, and can attest that it really helps to be more mindful - LOL!

Take advantage of your vege and meat specials, and bulk cook some casseroles and soups, then containerize them in single serves and freeze. This helps to save time and 'thinking' during the week. If you can get a few varieties in there, then it will be a doddle!

Things that are staples in my pantry, and I buy whether I need them now or later, are Lentils, Canned Tuna/Salmon, Canned plain tomatoes (you can add basil or chillies etc. when you cook to make them whatever 'take' you want re Italian, Mexican, etc.) Red Kidney Beans, Oat Bran and Bakers Bran. The Oat Bran is amazing for thickeners in gravies, coating chicken or pork steaks, etc. Balsamic Vinegar is another staple, to help change up the casseroles for different takes. Milk Powder is another staple, for when I want to boost the calcium and protein content of something (great in smoothies and as 'extras' in baking.

My freezer always has frozen peas for emergencies, and to help boost my protein and fibre, and frozen crumbed fish fillets for a change. I also always have frozen grated cheese in there for when I need it.

If you are addicted to cakes, cookies, etc., then skip those aisles, OR if you need something from that aisle, then walk very briskly to what you need, and the same way to the end of the aisle.

If you struggle to think of recipes, try looking at SP's recipes - particularly Chef Meg's. Keep an eye on the nutrition info because some of the recipes aren't the best for a weight-loss journey. With a little bit of thought and planning you will find that you are no longer overwhelmed, but actually enjoy the process :-)


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 3/29/2013 (18:02)
LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/29/13 5:34 P

Also, it seems that nobody has mentioned this: I never, ever EVER go grocery shopping without a list, and I stick to it. I make it very very detailed. I start by planning out meals for the whole week and as I'm doing that I make a separate list of what I don't have that I need in order to eat those meals I planned.

THEN I DON'T BUY ANYTHING ELSE. No matter what!!!! (Unless its like oh yea I forgot I actually need tampons or something)

I do have a few "staple" items that can serve as snacks or things to pack in lunches. A few examples are:
Chobani nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Protein bars
Apples/pears (or fruit of your choice)
Canned tuna and canned chicken
Brown rice
Salad in a bag
Mushrooms and tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, (or other veggies depending on my mood)
Wheat or oat bread
Almond butter
Spaghettios (this last one is totally a favorite of mine...I picked up on this trick awhile back...someone told me to pay attention to the nutrition of "kid" foods because a lot of them are healthy and full of vitamins since they are specifically geared toward kids....I don't eat spaghettios all the time but it has become one of my go to snacks....a 7 1/2 oz can is 150 cals, 1 gram fat, 31 grams carbs, 5 grams protein....just thought I would share that little trick. There are other good "kid" food examples but be careful of the Mac and cheese).

SARAHMO4 Posts: 335
3/29/13 5:02 P

I will offer what I know from working at Walmart for a while a few years back. Anything in the middle between aisles, on the ends of aisles, and toward the outer edge of an individual aisle is not healthy food for the most part. Go in deeper, towards the middle to find some healthy stuff. Items are placed that way so shoppers end up buying something, even if they dont plan to or really dont need the item. MArketing strategy in other words. Other than that, watch sales to find new items to try. Dont change everything at once and meal plans are good.

3/29/13 12:48 P

Congratulations on your twins! When I had three kids under the age of 4, I had to be super-organized with my shopping. Add diet to that and it's really hard. I actually created a checklist - saved on the computer - that I would print out every week and stick on my fridge. It had all our typical grocery items on it, arranged in the order of the store lay-out, and I just had to check of what I needed to get. When it was time to go shop, I would grab the list and go! I wish I was that organized now...

You may want to figure out 10-20 staples that will keep you going strong on your diet. Some suggestions:
Carrots, celery, lettuce, tomatoes any other favorite veggies. Apples and other fruit.
Low fat cheese, low fat Greek Yogurt, skim milk, eggs
Peanut butter!
Whole wheat English muffins - make a great breakfast! Top with some tomato slices and some low fat cheese and put under the broiler!
Instant oatmeal - just watch out for the sugar. I eat this almost everyday for breakfast.
Some frozen veggies to have on hand.
Sugar-free popsicles are a must for me! Almost no calories and they satisfy my sweet tooth.

Just think of dinner as a lean protein (chicken, fish, etc) plus a vegetable or two. I don't eat pasta/rice/potatoes at the moment, but I make it for the rest of the crew. Works for my family.

Make a pot of veggie soup for lunches and you are good to go!

Good luck!

3/29/13 12:18 P

Best advice is stick to the outside aisles! That's where all the produce and healthy foods usually live. The middle rows are most likely overprocessed foods that you should avoid! Good luck!!!

APPRIL Posts: 2,239
3/29/13 12:16 P

Think about what you want for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, late snack.
Look for some recipes.
Make a grocery list.

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (267,064)
Fitness Minutes: (101,221)
Posts: 11,621
3/28/13 5:17 P

As a general rule, the "stick to the outer perimeter works," but there ARE some things that you might need inside the other aisles. Peanut butter and canned tuna come to mind, just to list a few. So there are exceptions to the outer perimeter.

DO NOT EVER go to the grocery store hungry!!

Make a shopping list and try your best to stick to it.

I buy frozen veggies, chicken breasts, canned tuna and other things that I know are staples for me in bulk when they're on sale and then store them.

Good luck! You're doing the right thing asking questions before you go for it ... LOTS of great advice out here!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
3/28/13 5:13 P

don't try to do everything at once. pick two or three things and focus on those this trip. then pick another 2 or 3 the next trip. the added benefit of this is that you only have to do a few new meals as opposed to a full week of new meals. if you're like me and many others having a whole new set of foods is strange and different, which translates to running out for fast food or ordering in pizza because you have no idea why on earth you bought kohlrabi, a whole pineaaple, hoisin sauce and mustard greens. if you have just a few new things you can rely on old staples [though feel free to make them a little better for you] and not be overwhelmed by doing everything different.

HUNNA13 Posts: 180
3/28/13 5:05 P

What I found that helped me in the beginning was reading through a lot of posts on here looking for snack ideas, quick meals, different foods to try, etc. I would write down anything that sounded good, and bought a few things to try. I also invested in the Sparkpeople cookbook which was a lifesaver. You can find it on Amazon for like $10.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
3/28/13 4:49 P

I agree that having a meal plan in place makes it WAY easier to shop. Plus, it helps save a lot of money! And, as long as you stick to the plan you made, it makes it a lot easier to eat a healthy well-rounded diet, because you're not having to come up with food on the fly. It's already planned and accounted for.

TRBLESSED1020 Posts: 3
3/28/13 4:39 P

Thank you for that! I never thought about shopping like that.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
3/28/13 4:21 P

stick to the outer perimeters of the store. Stock up on fruit and veggies and good healthy proteins.

Have a plan. Plan out your meals for the week the best you can and buy only what you really need and a few healthy snacks. don't go into the aisles. That is where all the processed stuff is.

TRBLESSED1020 Posts: 3
3/28/13 4:01 P

Hello Sparks,
I am very new to SP and i am very overwhelmed with how to get started with what to buy to start to eat healthy. I am totally open to any suggestion and totally appreciative. Thanks in advance.

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