Whether you love or loathe going grocery shopping; it’s definitely best to have a plan or strategy before walking in. Personally, I really like running into Trader Joe’s, but Walmart….now that’s a different story. See the picture below of one of my fun visits to Walmart and what Madelyn managed to do 10 mins after setting foot into the store…oh my….I had to laugh!
First and foremost, go in with a list. Figure out what you need or are making for the week and write it down. It also makes it much easier if you organize your list according to where you’ll find the food in the store. For example; list all produce items together. I didn’t do the best job in this list….haha.
I’m going to review some basic items….what to throw in the buggy and what to put back on the shelf.
Pasta and other Grains
- Pasta- Look for whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, spelt or other types of whole grains in the ingredients. Choose a product that is 100% whole-grain and has at least 5 grams of fiber per 2 oz serving. Barilla is a great brand for taste and price.
- Bread- Bread labeled as multigrain can be tricky. If you see enriched flour in the ingredient list, put that bread back on the shelf and look for bread that is labeled 100% whole wheat or whole grain. I like Orowheat 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins and Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 bread is the BEST.
- Tortillas- Again avoid enriched flour and look for whole corn flour, whole wheat flour, or oat flour. Toss out the spinach wraps and try La Tortilla Factory tortillas (they make a variety of different types) or FlatOut flatbread.
- Quinoa- This whole grain is loaded with fiber and other vitamins and minerals and is also a complete protein. Cook up a bunch to have throughout the week.
- Brown rice- Compared to white rice, brown varieties have a lower glycemic index, which means less dramatic impact on blood sugar levels and more balanced release of insulin. Brown rice contains many essential minerals, especially manganese, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and most of the B-vitamins. One cup of brown rice contains about 215 calories, 5 grams of protein, very little sodium and no cholesterol. From livestrong.com.
Seeds, nuts and dried fruit
- Pumpkin seeds provide 30 percent of your daily need for iron. All seeds are nutritious, just be cautious of the calorie count and sodium. I usually try to buy the lightly salted variety.
- Walnuts contain more inflammation-fighting omega-3s than other nuts. Again, be cautious of the calorie count and the amount of added sodium. Go for varieties that don’t contain added oils or other added ingredients.
- Prunes- Studies show that prunes contain polyphenol antioxidants that may fight bone loss. Be aware of dried fruit that is soaked in extra sugars. Read the ingredients and buy dried fruit that lists the only ingredient as the fruit itself.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats are the way to go. They only take 5 minutes to cook up and don’t contain all of the added sugar found in instant brands. Jazz them up with fruit and nuts. Steel-cut oats are also a great choice, but they take about 30 minutes to cook up. I’ve never tried them, but Country Choice offers quick cook steel-cut oats that only take 5 minutes in the microwave.
- Multigrain cereals that contain oats, barley, rye and whole wheat with no added sugars are smart choices.
- The first ingredient should be a whole grain. If sugar (cane juice, dextrose, rice syrup) is near the top of the ingredient list or if the ingredient list contains hydrogenated oils, toss it out of the buggy. Go with brands that contain 5 grams of fiber or more per cup. Go with cereals that don’t have more than 200 calories per cup and have less than 200 milligrams per cup. Be aware of the serving size when filling up your bowl. Kashi is one of my favorite brands of cereal. The kids really like Cascadian Farm and Envirokidz from Nature’s Path.
Something to think about……
Do you go to the grocery store with a list and/or a plan?
Are you a grocery store lover or hater?
What are some of your favorites from the categories above?
Have a happy Thursday! I’ll post the 2nd part of the grocery shopping post next Thursday.
Much of the information above was obtained from Runner’s World magazine.