When I began my journey towards good health and holistic nutrition a year back, one of the major challenges I faced was preparing my brand new and ‘healthy’ grocery list. I had seen a lot of documentaries and articles telling us what not to eat, what not to purchase, genetically modified foods etc and all this excessive information took time to absorb and digest. I agree it’s not all that easy to cut out a huge component such as processed foods and refined sugars from your life. But it’s time to get started and make that big change. The intent of the ‘clean eating’ section in my blog is to help all of you make healthier decisions in simple, progressive steps. Do not get overwhelmed with myriad sources and information about making the big healthful change in your life. I will gradually introduce you to newer, cleaner, healthier substitutes to make this ‘big change’ easier to incorporate and less stressful.
So lets get started! 🙂
I started preparing my grocery list with what I do not want to purchase. Here is a simple list to get you started.
1) Processed foods –
- Canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat.
- Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains.
- Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies.
- Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium.
- Packaged cakes and cookies.
- Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium.
- Sugary breakfast cereals, corn flakes etc
- Processed meats.
2) Carbonated drinks – Soda, juices, iced teas etc. ( these include ‘diet’ versions as well)
3) Artificial sweeteners / colors – Avoid items such as these which have artificial sweeteners listed in their ingredients. Items such as soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice, and ice cream and yogurt tend to contain artificial sweeteners.
4) Refined sugar – Almost everything has sugar – Breads, breakfast cereals, baked goods, pizzas and pastas….For starters, concentrate on whole wheat/ whole grain products and check the nutrient list on the boxes to make sure they do not contain high fructose corn syrup which is a very unhealthy form of sugar.
Once you are prepared to let go off these things from your grocery list, you have already begun your journey on the way to good health 😀
Anyway, so make sure your grocery list contains the following components:
1) Fruits and Veggies
Absolutely essential! Fruits and vegetables should ideally consist of 70% of your total groceries (not in terms of price but quantity). A following is a good checklist if you are including juicing in your diet.
– Apples, Oranges, Strawberries, Pineapple, HoneyDew, Kiwi Fruit, Blackberries/Blueberries, Goji berries
– Carrots, Beet root, Kale, Celery, Spinach, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, Brocoli, Capsicum (Bell peppers), Lemons, Ginger, Collards, Swiss Chards, Asparagus
– Organic Meats/Unprocessed Meats, Milk (Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Raw grass fed cows milk), Dry Fruits (Almonds, Walnuts, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts – they should be unsalted nuts) , Beans
– Always go for whole wheat/brown fibre option and say no to refined white grains.
– Whole wheat bread, Muti-grain breads (make sure they are whole grain), Brown rice, Brown rice crackers, whole wheat crackers
– Flaxseeds, chia seeds – These seeds have very low cholesterol and sodium and are high in dietary fibre and other vitamins and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. They also contain protein and are high on omega 3 fatty acids. Other great seeds are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
– Basil, cilantro, mint, parsley ( try adding them to your daily juice).
Here’s a quick recap for do’s and dont’s while you are on your grocery list.
This is what my Grocery Basket looks like! 70% greens!
A great way to incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet is to juice them up. It tastes great, is easy to prepare and your body gets all the recommended nutrients for the day. I also love to stir fry my vegetables about twice a week. I like to spice it up with garlic, pepper and paprika and sauté it in extra virgin olive oil. These are simple easy ways to get started.
All the best for the first step towards a healthier lifestyle !