Okay so guys, let's be honest - grocery shopping is not the most baddass thing in the world. When it comes to what you have to get done in a given week, I’m sure hitting the market isn’t too high on your to-do list. But alas, it is super important if you trying to stay (or get) fit. Although eating is something we all know how to do very well, selecting the right foods is where most of our shortcomings are, which keep us from our dream body. I have a few pointers that can definitely help you find your way around the grocery store!
Eating whole, fresh and clean food is vital if you want to live lean and feel strong. As they say “Abs are made in the kitchen”, and I can say that couldn’t be more true. In order to prepare lean, protein-packed meals with tons of nutritious whole foods; you will need a steady supply of fresh ingredients. Ideally, you want to grocery shop twice a week to stay up on all the fresh veggies and herbs you need to be at peak physically. The thing about the most nutritious foods in the world is that they spoil REALLY fast (think about a bag of baby spinach - you blink and the stuff is mush). The reason for this is that bacteria ain’t dumb - those little buggers know nutritious food when they see it (that's why Twinkies' shelf life is measured in eons, not months).
Long story short, fresher foods are better foods, so let’s make this as painless as possible. Here is the ultimate guide to badass (and painless!) grocery shopping:
First off, make a list. Don’t be the one standing in the aisle aimlessly picking up stuff and reading the backs of cans and cereal boxes. Secondly, do NOT buy anything that isn't on your list! I used to be the one to pass my budget by a long shot because of the need to pick up items that had no business in my shopping cart. Trust me, you don't need to go through that phase.
An easy way I knock my list is by shopping on the outter parts of the store and avoiding the inner aisles as much as possible:
Unless you are grabbing protein powder, peanut or almond butter, nuts or high fiber whole grain foods, there is absolutely no reason for you to walk down any aisles! The inner aisles is where all the processed, artificially flavored, low-nutrition foods are located. Plus, those inner aisles is where you'll end up picking up all the snacks that aren't even on your shopping list! Let them go, and and stick to the outside.
Here is the order I usually attack the layout:
Veggies and potatoes (baby spinach, arugula, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onion, broccoli, peas) **go organic. Get your arugula and spinach bagged and check for spoilage.
Herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, ginger root, garlic) **always go for fresh
Fresh and dried herbs
Beef, chicken, fish (80/20 grass fed beef, filet mignon, 99% lean white meat turkey, free range organic chicken breast and thighs, wild caught salmon, tuna steaks, cod, flounder, shrimp not precooked)
Eggs and dairy (free range omega-3 eggs, carton egg whites, grasped butter, Greek yogurt, sliced Swiss cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella)
Grains and cereals (oatmeal, whole grain nutrition bars, quinoa, barley, steel cut oats, oat bran, brown rice)
Oils and nuts and seeds (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, canola oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, raw almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
Fresh fruits (grapefruit, apples, berries, bananas, avocado, blueberries, pineapple) ** get this stuff organic. For the grapefruit you want firm and feel heavy, inspect all fresh berries as they tend to spoil quickly, I prefer my bananas firm and starchy, and get a mix of hard and softer ready to eat avocados so you aren't sitting with 6 avocados that ripen all at once.
The more consistent you are with a regular shopping routine, the easier and less expensive it will be. You will know the layout of the store like that back of your hand in a couple weeks, you'll learn how much of each item is perfect for you and your needs, and each trip will be quick and painless. You may actually begin to enjoy shopping once it becomes effortless.
Now that you have all your supplies and know how to get more bang for your buck, prep your meals for the week and get ready to get those gains!
Per Week: Fresh seasonal fruit (blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate, kiwi) Frozen Blueberries, Grapefruit, Romaine Lettuce, Hearts, Baby Spinach, Arugula, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Red onions, Orange and yellow bell peppers, Non-fat Plain Greek-style Yogurt, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thighs, Lean cuts of Beef, Ground Turkey Breast, Fresh Pacific Salmon, Almond milk, Coconut water
Twice a month: 100% whole wheat/grain bread (>5g fiber/serving) Rice Cakes, Brown rice, Quinoa, Barley, Walnuts, Almonds, Sunflower seeds, Flaxseeds, Peanuts, Raisins, High Fiber Cereal (>10 grams/serving), Steel Cut Oatmeal, Frozen Tilapia/Sole/Catfish filets, Fresh ginger root, Fresh parsley, Fresh oregano
Keep in House: Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Green/Black/White Tea, Chili powder, Fresh ground black pepper, Turmeric, Cumin, Canned beans- Black, Chickpeas, kidney, Canned Vegetables- corn, peas, carrots, Frozen vegetables- broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mixed, stir-fry, All natural chunky peanut butter