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MCASKEY6 SparkPoints: (28,583)
Fitness Minutes: (59,136)
Posts: 382
8/9/13 12:12 P

I’ve never followed the SP shopping list. Mostly I’ve just been focusing on cutting calories and eating more “whole foods” like whole carrots, plums, lean chicken, low calorie yogurt, lean cheese (mozzarella sticks) etc. But yes it is expensive to eat healthy. When I didn’t care about my weight or what I ate, I could make it on $20 (or less) a week. Now that I’m serious about my health I pay $60 (or more) a week.

That’s the one thing that really frustrates me when I hear people talking about the obesity problem. They never want to address the fact that eating healthy, going to a gym, etc, cost money and in some cases a lot of it. So it’s no real surprise that obesity is more rampant in low income areas. Educating people on “calories in” and “calories out” is great, but try feeding a family of four on $20 and see how much health food you can buy.

I’m single and I don’t have children so it’s easier for me to cut corners, but even I feel the pinch (or punch) of trying to be healthier. I’m looking around to see if there is a less expensive alternative I can use (like farmer’s markets, co-ops, etc). Also, I refuse to make a recipe that has a long laundry list of ingredients (especially if I’ve never tried it before).

I guess it’s just like everything else in life. You have to find a balance you are comfortable with. How much money are you willing to sacrifice to have a healthier, fitter body?

But I understand how incredibly frustrating (and even scary) it can be.

RRAYNER Posts: 1,063
8/9/13 11:27 A

emoticon Shopping for healthy foods is definitely more costly than buying things that are quick, but not necessarily nutritional. I just keep thinking I'm worth the few extra bucks. My daughter and I love to make up great healthy "concoctions" for dinner. Hope you're still enjoying SP. emoticon

DROPCONE Posts: 1,592
8/9/12 8:48 A

When I was first starting out tweaking my diet, I made a lot of changes to how I cooked, cooking more from scratch and less from prepared items, and using less fat & salt & cheese. Also I started working with portion sizes, just eating less instead of trying to eat the same amount as my guy. Another thing - I added salad & frozen veggies to our dinners. Even though my guy is totally uninterested in "following a diet", he has come to appreciate salad.

The thing I find most annoying about the SP shopping list is that the store often doesn't offer things in the units I need. For instance, I have to buy a whole bag of carrots, not just two. A package of almonds will cost over $8.00 and I need it for two recipes or a couple snacks (and, I don't like almonds. Yes, they are nutritionally great, I just don't like 'em). So, I find a substitute that I do like or leave them off.

You don't need to make a huge change or follow SP's nutrition tracker religiously for this lifestyle change to work! Ease into it gradually & your success will stick better anyway.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,274
8/9/12 8:16 A

so you're planning on having three things for dinner every night? one for the hubby, one for the kids and one for you? that seems like a waste of time and money.
if your kids really are eating pretty healthily, then you should be eating the same thing as they are, perhaps just getting lowfat dairy for you where they use whole.
as far as the spark menus go, they're randomly generated by a computer, which means that they don't take into account the season or using up what you have, which are two keys to keeping your grocery bill down. since you do have a family, you could plan meals around using up what you have, but you'll still have to make some tweaks. personally, i keep the menus on for ideas and inspiration, but as a single person, the first thing i would do with the grocery list would be to edit the fruits and veggies down to three or so perishable ones, bump up the volume so that they were taking up most of the servings for the week, and tweak the rest so that it's canned, frozen or dried so i don't have to worry about spoilage. since you have a family and if you bought a head of broccoli for a meal, you could easily use it for many other things without being sick of it or having to make sure that you freeze it for later use or cooked it into something to use as a heat and eat meal later.
the other part of that is seasonality. so when you're cutting down the list so you aren't buying twelve different kinds of produce, make sure you're doing it with your local sale flier and replacing berries with apples or citrus in the winter or winter squash with summer squash in the summer. those sorts of swaps are what keeps the grocery bill down.

your best bet is going to be tweaking what your kids are eating and making that in bulk for everyone. you'll be able to buy in larger quantities [which helps keep the cost down] and you'll only have to make one meal. you can certainly use them for ideas, but feel free to swap things that are on sale in for things that aren't.

and i will say this. i am a grazer. i have always been a grazer and i'm always going to be a grazer. so instead of eating full meals [which i don't find satisfying and i'm hungry an hour later anyways], i snack all day long. i eat about 200 cals about eight times a day. i try and eat something along the lines of balanced snacks or mini meals, so it's not like my snacks are fruit snacks or hohos. i might have 200 cals of veggie curry. i might have a scrambled egg with veggies on a half bagel. i might have granola and yogurt. i might have stir fry for first dinner and lasagna for second dinner.
the key to eating more often is to make sure you're eating fewer calories at a go. and making sure that you're getting fat, protein, carbs and fiber each time you eat.
think of it this way, you can finish a family sized bag of chips in one sitting if you aren't paying attention and munching. but if you have them with a guacamole or a greek yogurt based dip, it slows you down a little. well how about if you paired your chips with a hearty veggie chili and a little cheese and some guac and salsa? odds are you couldn't eat the whole bag. so if you find yourself mindlessly munching, focus on finding something that you can snack on that might fill you up. for me, i could eat 400 cals of pringles and still be hungry, but have 100 cals of shrimp stir fry and feel full. it is about realizing when you are doing that and changing what you're doing. you could do it by breaking the habit [not snacking] or you could do it by changing the habit [grabbing something different to snack on].

TIFFANYT12 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (315)
Posts: 10
8/8/12 10:40 P

Has anybody followed the spark peoples shopping list? And if so, what was the price like? I really REALLY need to work on my eating habits. I'm wondering if following a menu would help with that. Because I'm at a loss when it comes to food. But I also can't be spedning hundreds of dollars a week on groceries for one person. My husband isn't really intrested in following my diet, and my kids eat ok as it is.. I want to get rid of this extra fat I'm carrying around my mid section, and I know that a good diet is the key. But my mind seems to always take over and win when it comes to snacking. So got anything that could help me out?

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