Monday, February 17, 2014

Healthy Grocery List & Meal Plan

You've probably heard the old saying "Abs are made in the kitchen." That's because 80% of fitness is related to diet. Now, I'm no dietician, but I can promise that even if you workout like a machine, you won't get the results you're after if you're not fueling your body with the proper nutrition.

With so many diets and buzz-words out there (Paleo, Dukan, Mediterranean, Atkins, Flexitarian, organic, non-GMO) and so many restrictions (gluten-free, no-carb, no-fat, no-sugar) etc., how do you know what to eat? The solution is much simpler than you think.

Throw all those diets out the window, and go back to the basics. Just focus on eating non- or minimally-processed natural ingredients like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and proteins, nuts, etc. and prepare them in ways that won't drain them of their nutrients. For example, try steaming, stir-frying, grilling, broiling, baking or microwaving instead of pan-frying and boiling. And instead of slathering on the condiments (which are full of added salt and sugar), try seasoning your foods with a mix of dried herbs, or olive-oil and seasoning mix. And the bonus? When you eat healthy foods, you can eat more of what you love!

I'm not a nutritionist, and everybody is different, but I wanted to share with you what has worked for ME. So to get you started, I put together a list of suggested grocery items. Stick to this list and you honestly can't go wrong. Tip: Print this out and take it with you to the grocery store!

5 tips to help you make smart food choices: 

1. Every change you make to improve your diet matters. Start by making small changes like cooking with olive oil instead of butter when cooking, or adding a fresh salad to your diet once a day.

2. PLAN AHEAD! I know that if I don't plan my meals out ahead of time, I have a really hard time figuring out what to eat when hunger strikes.

3. If you are shopping without a pre-planned grocery list, stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store.

4. Don't focus on what you can't eat. Instead, fill your shopping cart foods you CAN eat, and there won't be any room left for the crap you don't need.

5. Still not sure about a food? Check the ingredients list. If you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't eat it.

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