So often we write about what to eat, what not to eat, and share recipes-on-recipes with you here on The 365, but this week I wanted to make things a little more personal and share what I came home with after my weekly trip to the grocery store, plus a sneak peek into my weekly “meal plan” (which has helped me shed over 15 pounds since January!).
Each week I try to set aside a solid hour, usually on a Sunday morning, to run over to Whole Foods and get my grocery shopping done. I don’t believe you have to go to Whole Foods to get quality products, it just happens to be the closest to me and its never crowded when I go so I can take my time and make good decisions instead of feeling rushed. I always make a list and a plan for the week ahead, which makes shopping painless and makes my week so much easier because I know what I’ll be making each day for myself and my husband. The meals and flavors change week-to-week but the concepts stay the same – twice a week a fish or a humanely sourced protein, a pasta-alternative, and a vegetarian dish, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and processed and packaged to a minimum. Since I get home relatively late from work I keep the more complicated meals for the weekends and during the week try to keep it at 30 minutes or less, otherwise… #hanger. Also, I have nothing against leftovers and strive to make my meals stretch to last at least two days whether its to make dinner a quick oven/stove-top heat-up the following day or to have a new dish for lunch.
Staples each week include:
Almond milk (try to find a brand without carrageenan, which is a controversial thickening agent found in many milk-alternatives, derived from red seaweed and is said to lead to inflammation and even cancer.) I use almond milk mostly just in cereal, I thankfully don’t have a lactose intolerance but I prefer the way almond milk tastes.
Greek yogurt – I usually pick the brand with the least amount of sugar, that’s also currently on sale. But when I’m having a sweets craving, instead of reaching for ice cream and candy like I used to, I’ll grab one of these puppies. I also use Greek yogurt as a late afternoon snack if I know dinnertime is going to be later than I’d like it to be.
Eggs – for everything from hard boiled for a snack, to breakfast for dinner, to just plain old breakfast – I always have Nellie’s eggs on-hand – especially when the urge to bake something hits. Nellie’s are Certified Humane, so I can feel good about picking these up!
Fish – Twice a week I make fish at home – I know many people aren’t a big fan but I grew up with a Greek mother so fish has always been a staple in my diet. I will usually season with spices or whip up a low-cal vegan aioli and then bake with a little olive oil drizzle for 20 minutes.
Rice or quinoa – I always pair fish (and every protein) with a yummy rice or quinoa and veggies. Lately I’ve been grabbing Lotus Foods organic rice. I love the Jade Pearl flavor which is high in chlorophyll and tastes amazing!
Fresh fruits and veggies – Whatever is in season and on sale I tend to grab a ton of in the produce section. Bananas, berries, and stone fruits (in the summer months) are staples for sweet snacks and this week eggplant, asparagus, kale, mushrooms, and tomatoes are in que for vegetarian dinners and salads for packed-lunches during the week.
Pasta-alternative – I don’t have a gluten intolerance but I love the taste of some of the newest pasta alternatives I’ve discovered. Adzuki bean pasta is my latest favorite – this week it’s going to be paired with a butternut squash sauce. It’s much lower in carbs and has lots of added benefits, and honestly tastes a whole lot like spaghetti! I’ve also tried the mung bean variety from Explore Asian and loved that as well!
Cereal – I am a total kid when comes to cereal and I always have it on hand, though I’ve graduated from Lucky Charms. In recent weeks I’ve been going to gluten-free options like Three Sisters Cocoa Snapz (addicting, warning you now!).
Makeup Remover Wipes – For $5.99 the Yes to Blueberries makeup remover wipes are a steal! They remove everything and leave my skin feeling soft as opposed to abused like some wipes or greasy like others. I still cleanse and exfoliate and all that jazz, but when you wear as much mascara as I do, remover wipes are a necessary investment!
This week’s meal plan:
Breakfast: Varies between eggs, cereal, yogurt & fruit
Lunch: Kale salad, beets, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, leftover veggies from dinner – a drizzle of raspberry balsamic vinegar
Dinner: Sunday was leftover mungbean pasta, Monday is wild-caught fish with asparagus and rice, Tuesday & Wednesday is eggplant “pizzas,” Thursday is adzuki bean pasta with buttnernut squash sauce, and Friday is breakfast for dinner – eggs, toasted Ezekiel muffins with mashed avocado.
Dessert: Varies between a glass of rose or some Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit and a honey drizzle.
Snacks: I always have almonds, fruits, and veggies on hand if I hear my stomach rumbling. I don’t believe in letting myself feel hungry, I listen to my body, and when I feel like I need to eat something I try to make the smartest decision possible.
What are your go-to items each week? Share them below!