It has been a little while since I posted my last entry. With all that is going on I hope you are safe and well. Taking a moment away from developing client home workouts I have found a sunny afternoon to sit and write-up my latest blog topic; my tactics for staying healthy in the supermarket.
A theme is emerging in my posts, fitness tips and nutrition. Both topics are very close to my heart and are inextricably linked.
Therefore in this entry I share my experiences when I take my usual trip to the supermarket, my habits and purchases, that have helped support my fitness training.
As always I add the caveat that I am not a qualified nutritionist, the experiences I share are purely my own and that I have found have worked for me. My aim is to share them in the hope they inspire others, in however small a way, to live fitter and healthier lives.
My Shopping Habits
The Weekly Shop
Some may say I am a traditionalist but I stick to the weekly shop mantra, that is one big grocery shop per week for the staple foods with the 'expectation' that supplies will last for a week.
This has several benefits:
Time saving, I take fewer trips to the shop...simple;
With everything at home there are no last minute purchases when I'm hungry which is prime time for me cheating and opting for that fast food option;
Can be cheaper if you can buy in bulk at a discount (living in Zurich, this can be advantageous considering everything is expensive).
Aside from the main shop there are of course a few short visits here and there to top up on the classic perishable goods such as fruit and veggies; fresh is always better.
"Making a list and checking it twice"
We’ve all had that thought of we are turning into our parents and this is definitely one of them. Like my mum, albeit in the 21st century on my phone instead of a scrap piece of paper, I build a shopping list before I go to the supermarket.
To make the list I:
1. Check the cupboards, what is running low? What is empty?
2. Ask myself, what meals do I want to make this week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks?
In this way I have my mission detail written down and ready for the shop. I can stay focused in the supermarket for what I ACTUALLY need and not what I am being MARKETED to as a need.
Start a shop with an empty basket and not an empty stomach
This one frustrates me so much as I know when I am shopping on an empty stomach I will buy more than I actually need and definitely make some unsavoury choices with a heightened sense of urgency; who doesn't want that giant pack of peanut M&M's staring at you as you wait in line at the cash register.
So this one is simple, even just a [healthy] snack before shopping helps me to cure the hunger and keep me focused on buying what I need and not what my eyes and stomach are telling me to buy.
Avoiding the danger zone
With every will in the world sometimes temptation can be too much to handle and we give in. Referencing an earlier blog post, the simple fact of having unhealthy snacks and foods in my cupboards leads me to eat them so I just don’t buy them.
The equivalent of ‘just not buying them’ for me in a supermarket is avoiding the aisles which stack the foods I wish to avoid which, conveniently, tend towards the centre of the supermarket. So with a nice walk around the supermarket I miss most of the processed sugary foods and have a basket full of fresh whole food produce; saving a long walk and time in the shop for training.
A weekly shop to save time and avoid last minute temptations
Make a list that aligns to the meal plan of the week
Shop when you’re not hungry
Avoid the danger zone
My Weekly Shopping List and Meal Planning
So with all these tips noted, what is the end result of my weekly shop? Well, I have listed it below and seeing it in writing I have even suprised myself with how short it was, ok ok there aren't all the herbs and spices but I don't buy these every time, so this is pretty much it.
Typical Shopping List:
Cooked Steamed Beetroot
Mixed Bell Peppers
Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruit
90%-100% Dark Chocolate [Yes 100%!!]
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Frozen Salmon Fillets
Mixed Salad Leaves
Wholemeal Bread - zero sugar
0.1% Fat Milk
With this relatively simple list of ingredients there's always room for creativity and below I detail some of the typical meals I rustle up to keep me fed from morning until night.
Scrambled eggs on toast
Overnight oats with chia seeds and mixed nuts
Grilled chicken with a beetroot salad
Chicken with Pasta and Tomato Sauce
Chicken Thai Curry (low fat milk instead of coconut milk)
Roast Turkey with roast potatoes and quick boiled veg
Baked salmon and cherry tomatoes with quinoa
Sliced fruit with cubed dark chocolate
Sliced peppers and carrots with hummus
Homemade popcorn (my favourite filler food)
I hope you found this entry useful if not entertaining to read. I would also love to hear some of the tips you have for staying healthy and avoiding temptations in your shopping habits. Be sure to share them with me and once I have collected several I shall release a follow-up blog.