I love going grocery shopping. It’s fun looking at products & looking for new foods to try. You can leave me in a grocery market for hours & I won’t get bored. I get intrigued by food products & ingredient labels. Fresh foods, packaged foods, frozen items, all foods interest me. I’ve learned a lot about nutrition labels & what certain ingredients on them mean. I always choose healthy, nutrient-dense & natural foods to buy. I’m studying Food & Nutrition – Dietetics in school so I’ve taken many classes that have aided in my learning of ingredients in food. This includes Vitamin A Palmitate (fortified Vitamin A in sugars), Soy/sunflower lecithin (emulsifier), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Chicory Foot Fiber (carbohydrate fiber), Han Lo Guo (plant sugar), Erythritol (sugar alcohol), Partially Hydrogenated Oils (trans fat) and MANY more.
I don’t know if it’s just me but a food package can “look” healthy. It’s the way the package is constructed. It usually looks “nicer” to me when it’s marketed as a healthy food/snack which is what lures me in to check out the package. Then I look at the ingredient list & it’s actually not that clean. Many food distributers try to “mask” their bad ingredients by putting healthy claims on the front to make it seem healthier than it really is.
One thing I’ve been learning is reading the sugar content of foods. There are so many sources of sugar. Regular white sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, fruit juice concentrate, cane juice syrup, glucose syrup, high maltose corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut palm sugar, etc! Understanding the sources of sweeteners in foods is important to me.
I will write a post about the different sources of sugar soon & how our bodies react to them. Also which ones are the “best” and I prefer in certain cooking methods.
When I buy food this is what I consider:
- Nutrient-Dense (Low calorie does not mean it’s healthier)
- Ingredient List (I like short, clean ingredient lists I understand)
- Price (Health > Price) – unless I’m really broke
My top 3 Grocery stores:
- Trader Joes – Great prices, great food
-I get a majority of my fruits & veggies at TJ. They’re good quality, always fresh & usually cheaper than other grocery stores
- Sprouts – Great prices for higher end branded foods, many healthy choices
- Whole Foods – Easy to find clean food products, healthy & many more options but more on the pricier end
The other day, I stopped by Trader Joes & Sprouts after the gym. I’ve been trying to eat more plant-based foods. I still eat animal meats but more sparingly now. Here’s a look into my grocery bags!
- 11 oz Fresh Blueberries – $2.99
- Trimmed & Cleaned Green Beans (I prefer this because I don’t need to cut off the ends = faster prep time) – $2.49
- 1 bag of Organic Kiwis (It had 8) = $2.99
- Bell Peppers – $1.29 each
Other Foods I typically buy at Trader Joes:
- Chia & Flax Peanut Butter
- Organic Creamy Peanut Butter w/ Valencia Peanuts
- Ezekiel Whole Grain Bread
- Protein: Turkey Breast, Chicken Tenders
- Variety of Fruits: Mango, Bananas, Mandarin Oranges, Peaches, Avocado, Grape Tomatoes
- Variety of Veggies: Broccoli, Zucchini, Baby Spinach
- Nuts: Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios
- Others: Eggplant Hummus, Edamame Hummus
- Sea Scallops – $16.99 BOGO (Only until 2/10/16)
- Tilapia – $5.99 BOGO (Only until 2/10/16)
- Firm Organic Tofu – $1.99
- Tempeh – $2.99
- Mangoes – 97¢ each
- Bean Sprouts – 99¢/bag
- Siggi’s Yogurt – Plain – 2/$4
- The Good Bean – Roasted Chickpeas -$3.99
- Enlightened – Roasted Broad Beans – $3.99
- 1 Vegan Evo Hemp – Energy Bar – Mango Macadamia – $1.49
- Purely Elizabeth Cranberry Granola – $5.99
- Plant Fusion – Plant Protein – $22.99
- Green Mountain Gringo – Mild Salsa – $4.79
- Thai Red Rice Pad Thai Noodles – $4.99
Other Foods I typically buy at Sprouts:
- Fruits: A lot of times they’re on sale here! The mangoes I got were 97¢ each – compared to $1.99 each at Trader Joes for the same size.
- Dairy: Califia Farms Almond Milk
- Veggies: Sometimes they’re not too fresh here. Other times, they are so I usually get them if they’re fresh & at a good price 🙂 I get eggplant from here a lot.
- Protein: Orca Bay Seafood Products were BOGO ^__^ So instead of 1 bag of scallops for $16.99 I got 2 for $16.99. Winning!
- Snacks: I like to get roasted snacks/nuts with ONLY the nut itself + seasalt (sometimes a bit of oil if it’s a healthy source). I don’t like the ones with many added ingredients. I also get beef jerky & crackers.
- Superfoods: Chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries (much cheaper than Whole Foods)
- Bulk Foods: Quinoa, Rice, Nuts
That’s a typical grocery shopping day for me. I don’t buy the same foods every week & some of these items will last more than a week. My protein, fruits & veggies usually last only a week but they vary from week to week. It just depends on what I plan to cook & what I’m feeling.