Grocery 101

Congrats! Week 1 is in the books!! You’re stronger, leaner and more focused then you were 5 weeks ago. Take the momentum with you this week and tweak your fitness and nutrition this week.

I believe that nutrition is the foundation of any good fitness program and the gateway to good health. Improvements in everything from athletic performance to injury rehabilitation to body composition can be achieved through good nutrition. Basically, you can train hard, sleep well, practice recovery techniques and eliminate stress BUT if you’re not incorporating good nutrition into your daily life, you will fall short of your health and fitness potential.

First Step:  Purge
Ok, we’ve discussed that it’s all about planning and preparation. Empty your pantry- if you haven’t done this..DO it now!
• Clean up the refrigerator
• Empty your desk drawers
• Hide the vino and the vodka
• Get the temptations out of sight

Second Step:  Plan Ahead
Prepare a few meal ahead of time and proportion them into containers in the refrigerator. For example, I almost always have turkey chili or chicken chili on hand. It’s easy to make, keeps for a few days. I make 2 salads at a time; that way I have a “go-to” option. Cut up vegetables and proportion those too. Need a snack, choose those with hummus or almond butter.

Time Out:  Snacking
Plan your snacks. This is not a license to graze all day,  but you should be eating small meals every 3-4 hours to stabilize your blood sugar.  The average snack has 226 calories so plan wisely.  However, sometimes we eat because we’re bored or stressed. If you find yourself going through the pantry looking for anything to east…. STOP! Drink a glass of water and prepare yourself something. If you’re short on time then grab one of your prepared snacks.  If you  crave sweet, try the Black Chocolate Tea from the Tea Exchange in Guilford…it’s a perfect after dinner evening treat. If that doesn’t work for you, how about a banana with almond butter?

Third Step:  Hit the Store
Create a staple list for your household, go to items that you should always keep on hand. Before it might have been Nutella; now you’ve changed that to Greek yogurt (BTW Nutella is an under 21 food!)

SHiFT Rule… stay on the outside of the track. Imagine the grocery store like a race track, goal is to stay out of the pit area. Stick to the outside of the store. All the staples are on the outside, fruits and vegetables, meats and diary.

Jenn’s Core List of Food
Vegetable Staples
Spaghetti Squash
Sweet Potatoes

Protein Staples
Lean Meats (grass fed)
Eggs (chicken, duck or goose)
Lean Poultry Organic- Chicken and Turkey
Fish & Shellfish
Beans Farrow/Quinoa
*bacon is not a staple

Almonds or Mixed Nuts
*tread lightly with the nuts, remember that a ¼ cup is a portion that should last you the entire day!

Pantry Essentials
Coconut Flour
Sea Salt
Almond Meal/Flour
Crushed Garlic
Balsamic Vinegar
Almond Butter
Chicken Stock
Tomato Paste
Dijon Mustard
Raw Honey
Agave Nectar

Snacks (My Favorites)
Lara Bars
Kale Chips
Hot Tea or Coffee
Banana with Almond Butter
Hard Boiled Egg
Protein Shake
Green Juice/Lemonade
Water with Lemon

I hope these tips help you to eat well.  Next week we will talk about cross training and exercise.  In the interim…. stay strong, keep focused and make some healthy changes!