8. Stocking Up on Staples

Having healthy choices readily available can help you lose weight. Begin by shopping at least once a week with a list in hand. This helps to ensure that you have a variety of perishable and lower-fat fresh foods to enjoy. It also allows you to have snacks and healthy meals around that won’t kill your diet. There was a time when I personally hated to go to the grocery store. But then I discovered that my disdain was not for grocery shopping but because I didn’t go enough.

When I finally would go to the store it was a big old long ordeal. Now that I go a couple times a week, I actually enjoy my visit. It feels like an old-world European escape to a foreign market where you have to shop daily for dinner. My kitchen is now stocked with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. And even though I’m not the greatest cook in the world, I eat healthy daily. These days I’m all about “fresh,” and I’m not talking flirty.

Learning the Layout of Your Supermarket

When you shop, try to do so at the same supermarket each week. Besides making friends with the butcher, baker, and cashier, get to know the layout and location of various foods. Supermarkets are designed to tempt you to buy more food than you need. Did you ever wonder why the milk and meat counters are always the farthest from the front door? Or why stores are now baking bread in the afternoons? Milk and meat are the two most purchased items in the grocery store.


  YOUR Life

Shop the outer perimeter of your store for the freshest and most nutritious food choices.

When you run in to grab a gallon of milk and end up walking up and down aisles, you can get tempted to pick up one or two additional items. Delicious baked breads smell so tempting when you shop at the store after work. Marketers plan this to appeal to you. How many times have you run into the store for one item and came out with ten?

One of my secrets is to shop the store’s perimeter. This is where all the good stuff is—healthy fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, seafood, dairy products, and just-baked breads. The inside aisles mainly stock processed, convenience-type foods like canned goods, cereals, and cookies. Although you can’t avoid the inner aisles altogether, knowing the layout of your store and a good shopping list can help you make the best food selections.

Guide to Stocking Your Home

Here are some healthy food options to stock in your home:

  • Whole-grain breads
  • Bagels
  • Pita bread
  • English muffins
  • Rye or pumpernickel breads
  • Raisin bread
  • Sugar-free dry cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Couscous
  • Bread crumbs
  • Pasta
  • Low-fat frozen waffles
  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Lean ground beef or turkey
  • Lean cuts of beef (flank, sirloin, tenderloin)
  • Lean cuts of pork (canned, cured, boiled ham; Canadian bacon; pork tenderloin)
  • Tuna, sardines, packed in water
  • Fresh fish (white fish, turbot, fillet of sole, salmon), frozen fish without breading
  • Skim or low-fat milk
  • Eggs
  • Low-fat cottage cheese or sliced cheese
  • Low-fat ricotta cheese
  • Nonfat or low-fat yogurts
  • Nonfat or low-fat sour cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Low-fat granola or fruit bars
  • Low-fat or fat-free cookies (vanilla wafers, gingersnaps)
  • Fruit-filled cookie bars
  • Low-fat crackers
  • Baked tortilla chips
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn (low-fat microwave popcorn)
  • Rice cakes
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Grapes
  • Oranges/grapefruit
  • Raspberries/blueberries/strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Lemons
  • Plums/nectarines
  • Raisins/dried fruits
  • Canned fruit (juice packed)
  • Applesauce
  • 100 percent fruit juices
  • Carrots, baby carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage, napa cabbage
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • White or sweet potatoes
  • Peppers (green, red, yellow)
  • Lettuce, romaine, Bibb, spinach, or other varieties
  • Tomatoes
  • Frozen vegetables (without sauce)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato sauces, paste
  • Canned beans
  • Pasta sauces
  • Pizza crusts
  • Vegetarian burgers
  • Low-fat soups
  • Chicken/beef/vegetable broths
  • Salsa
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Cooking sprays
  • Balsamic/red wine vinegar
  • Oils, vegetable and olive
  • Mustard
  • Light soy sauce
  • Low-fat salad dressings

You do not need to purchase all these foods at once. However, having many of them around allows you to prepare quick and healthy meals without too much time or thought. Feel free to custom make the selections to include your personal favorites. Be sure to remove food that has been sitting in your home for extended lengths of time. Clean out items like candies, cookies, snack foods, and presweetened cereals. Begin to enjoy the fresh, delicious taste of wholesome, nutritious food instead.

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