Grocery Shopping by: Cassie Zeider

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 

If many of you aren't like me, who absolutely LOVES to go grocery shopping, compare prices, check out ingridients of different foods, try to buy as much whole foods as possible to meal plan, then you're probably in the upper 80% of Americans. I'm sure it's not as fun when you have kiddos tagging along saying "I want that.. oooh ooh Mom, I want that!"

That being said, I thought it would be best to create some resources and tips on the basics of grocery shopping.

First off, let's be real.

The BEST places to buy your foods that have rich nutrients is a LOCAL store, farmer's markets, and/or joining a co-op. Organic is always better for you because it is guaranteed to be grown without pesticides and other chemicals that should NOT be in our bodies, that cause toxins and ultimately disease.


So now that we know where to shop. Let's be real again, there are times when you just want to go somewhere quick and get your groceries because you have a laundry list of stuff to do at home. So you're off to Kroger, Walmart, Marsh, or any other grocery chain. You walk in and the first thing you see is the produce and bakery. Please take your time in this section!!

Vegetables and fruits should play a GIGANTIC role in what you fuel yourself with. If you're thinking to yourself, okay lady, but I HATE vegetables! Then you need to STOP reading, head on over to and purchase shakeology ASAP, drink 1 a day to get all of your servings of vegetables in one delicious glass. (As well as your multivitamins, antioxidants, pre and probiotics and it helps with energy, digestion, and just overall disease prevention!)

Okay, so you're still here. You don't mind eating those veggies, GREAT! (I still recommend shakeology for ALL the other fabulous reasons to drink it daily.) BUT for the point of the article, let me digress.

Hopefully you have some sort of plan when you enter the store on what you want to make for dinner each night of the week. Why only a plan for dinner? Breakfast is easy, stay away from bagels and doughnuts, and focus on whole grain cereal, fruits, eggs, greek yogurt (Fage is a favorite of mine) and oatmeal. Lunch you could do a variety of salads, with chicken breasts, beans, or just any other lean protein, whole wheat sandwiches with lean meats and carrots and hummus on the side, or a whole wheat burritio wrapped in beans and veggies with salsa (hold the sour cream or other yummy sauces that ruin our diet and are mostly processed foods that slow are digestion). Snacks are easy too, have some peanut butter, nuts, hard boiled eggs, whole fruits, greek yogurt, or carrots and celery with hummus on hand. If you are desperate, I recommend the P90x protein bars, or my recent favorite Quest bars! You can get P90x protein online at and Quest bars at your local GNC.

On to dinner, as previously mentioned, hopefully there is some sort of plan.


My recommended suggestions and favorites in our household:

Meatless Monday- Corn tortillas with black or pinto beans, corn, salsa, and brown rice or quinoa

Tasty Tuesday- Stir Fry with whatever veggies available; peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomato, broccoli, carrots, etc pretty much any of your favorites. I also add either eggs or shrimp, and rarely chicken. Toss it in a pan on the stove with some terriyaki or bragg amino acids (replacement for soy sauce) and throw on the spices. Cajun, mustard, seasme seeds, italian, pepper, whatever you are feeling that day.

Wacky Wednesday- Sweet potato and roast pepper bisque

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

½ red pepper, roasted (trick follows!)

2+ cup water or vegetable broth (if you have it – water is just fine!)

1 inch ginger root, minced

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Himilayian salt to taste!

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain.

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly! Add more water as needed to make it the consistency you like.

TO ROAST PEPPERS: (might as well do more than ½ - these keep beautifully and are lovely additions to many dishes and salads). Slice long strips off of each pepper (I get 3 per pepper, usually) discarding the seeds and membrane. Put skinside up on a flameproof pan (no pyrex!) and broil until charred, like really black all over the skins. Remove from heat and put in a heatproof bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the peppers steam for 10 minutes or longer. (go ahead, fold the laundry or crack the homework whip). Rub off the black skins! (save the lovely juice that will have collected in the bottom of the bowl, as it is DELICIOUS and a great addition to the soup!)

Timely Thursday- Salmon with asparagus and quinoa or brown rice

Fun Friday- Lentil lime salad with a side of soup (If you are interested in the recipe, contact me! I'd love to share it!)

Okay, you've gotten through the week. Let's continue on the real ways of life. On the weekend there will be things that you will wnat to do that will mean you aren't home to cook meals. So you go out to eat. First off, try to choose a place that has healthy options. Some of my favorites; Pei Wei, Panera Bread, Texas Road house. Here's what I get at each.

Pei Wei is a step down from P.F Changs and has lettuce wraps, or you can order an entree and get it sans oil which cuts like HALF of the calories and tastes the same! I also try to pick entrees with sauces that don't kill me calorie wise and stick with shrimp or vegetarian options.

Panera Bread has some great soup and salad options, and they post all of their calories on the menu, LOVE IT! I am a fan of the half salad half soup, you pick 2, with some water or green tea.

Texas Road House- Their grilled chicken salad is to DIE for! One of my all time favorite salads, just be careful to ask sans croutons and a dressing that is oil based.

WAIT A MINUTE!! Why did I bring up calories in all of these options? Well easy, if you haven't ever tracked what you eat, then it's time you start. Most Americans eat more than 500 calories more than 50 years ago a DAY! A DAY!! There are 3500 calories in a LB, meaning if you eat 500 calories more a DAY you gain an extra LB a week! No wonder our society has an obesity epidemic! The good news is that if you are consious about it, you can eliminate these caloires by tracking what you eat. I use myfitnesspal it's quick and easy. (Feel free to add me as a friend my username is cass0632). Now for the bad news, if you continue to eat those extra 500 calories a day, it will take an EXTRA hour of working out to burn it off daily. WHAT! Most people can't find time for an hour workout let alone an EXTRA hour! Okay, okay, we are learning right?

Now that you know how to do some grocery shopping, and can stick to as many whole foods (unprocessed), and if you buy processed hopefully it has 5 ingridients or less, NO trans fat, and NO high fructose corn syrup or hydrogentated vegetable oils.