I’ll just be honest with you. I’m a strange girl, for probably more reasons than one if you ask people who know me well. But the strangeness I’m confessing to today is that I don’t like shopping. That’s right. I don’t like looking through racks and bins of stuff, bumping into people, standing in lines. In drives me crazy. I just want to get what I need and go back home.
I don’t even like grocery shopping. At least in the grocery store, though, things are usually placed neatly on shelves and aisles are labeled to make what I need fairly easy to find. And it helps that I usually buy the same things so I know where they are.
So I thought today I’d give you a peek inside my grocery cart–or buggy or trolley or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods. (What do you call it?)
These are some of the staples that I keep on hand all the time:
1. Eggs: They are the most complete source of protein, meaning they provide all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) your body needs. They’re reasonably inexpensive and quite versatile. I like to hard boil eggs to keep on hand for a quick breakfast, snack, or to top off a salad. Or I’ll scramble an egg or maybe even fry an egg (with no oil in the pan) for an egg sandwich. I am careful about not eating more than one or two eggs a day, though, since the yolk has a high fat content. On the other hand, the yolk also has a lot of vitamin D which is important for bone health.
2. Frozen fruit: I like to keep frozen fruit on hand for smoothies. My smoothies are pretty basic. I start with almond milk (something else I keep on hand), toss in that banana that’s getting a bit too ripe, add in some frozen fruit–berries, peaches, whatever you like, maybe some cinnamon or a bit of peanut butter for some added flavor. Blend and enjoy!
3. Fresh fruit: I always have fresh fruit on hand as well. Bananas and apples are a must for me. I usually have a banana before a run. They are a great source of carbohydrates before a workout. And I eat at least an apple every day. I love Pink Lady apples the most. They are that perfect blend of sweet and tart. Yum! If I can’t find Pink Ladies, though, I’ll go for Golden Delicious apples. I also like to pick up small amounts of whatever fresh fruit is in season to top of my yogurt. Right now I’m enjoying fresh blueberries and strawberries.
4. Frozen vegetables: I also always keep frozen vegetables in the freezer. They are the best option next to fresh. Being single, I can’t buy a lot of fresh produce because I usually can’t use it before it goes bad, so frozen veggies are great. I love to steam some veggies to eat alongside baked fish or a chicken breast. I do like to keep some type of lettuce or fresh spinach on hand, and I’ll pick up a few fresh vegetables, like radishes, cucumber, broccoli, or cauliflower, to make into a salad or to enjoy with some hummus.
5. Yogurt: I don’t eat a ton of dairy products. I usually have some grated cheese in the freezer that I use sparingly on things like chicken and spinach quesadillas or maybe a little on top of a salad. And every now and then, I pick up some cottage cheese. My main dairy product is Greek yogurt. I love Chobani non-fat vanilla yogurt. It has almost equal amounts of carbs and protein and when I top it off with a few sliced almonds, to me it’s the perfect breakfast!
6. Peanut butter: I don’t think I could live without peanut butter. I love it! I especially love Smucker’s natural peanut butter. It’s literally ground up peanuts. The peanuts and oil separate, so it’s kind of a pain in the neck to stir, but I’ve discovered that if I keep the jar stored upside down, there is not as much oil separation. What I love about this peanut butter is that there is no added sugar. That’s one thing I really pay attention to in grocery shopping. I avoid things that have added sugar. I love peanut butter on a rice cake before a long run, peanut butter on an apple as a lazy dinner, peanut butter on a banana…there aren’t many ways I don’t like peanut butter!
7. Snack bars: This is where I’m really particular. Most snack bars are very high in sugar. Read the labels. Usually the second or third ingredient will be some type of sugar, which is why I like apple pie Lara bars. They have the shape of a snack bar but are simply made of apples, dates, nuts and cinnamon. No added anything. They are must haves on my long runs, and yes, I’ll be carrying a couple on my upcoming marathon. I also really like Nature Valley’s nut bars. They have a few more added ingredients but are mostly just nuts. Because they are filling, I love to keep these in my bag for work when I’m hungry but don’t have time to take a break.
8. Chicken: I’m not a big meat eater, but when I do eat meat, it’s usually chicken. I try to buy all natural chicken. I also keep wild caught cod fillets in the freezer for a quick meal.
9. Nuts, beans, lentils: These are other important protein sources for me since I don’t eat a lot of meat. I typically just used canned beans–black, red, great northern, whatever–and rinse them off to put inside a whole wheat tortilla with some chicken and salsa, on a salad, in soup, etc. Lentils are amazing! Don’t be scared to try them. They have such a good flavor, are easy to cook, very versatile, cheap, and loaded with protein and fiber. And nuts…I like to keep raw unsalted almonds on hand for a quick snack. Just a few almonds takes the edge off.
So there you go. Those are my staples. These are the things I buy almost every week at the grocery store and the things my meals are shaped around.
What’s inside your shopping cart?
What do you call the shopping cart?