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    « Mandarin Grilled Chicken Salad | Main | When Life gets in the Way »

    Shopping Day

    You can't change your body unless you change your habits.

    Today my wife went grocery shopping.  I could tell you everything that she bought, but without a framework for comparison, you would not know the difference between today's shopping trip and shopping trips that occurred for years leading up to today.  Keeping in mind the facts that my wife is shopping for a family of 6 and that she has always tried to keep meals fairly healthy, the changes aren't really that dramatic.  There are, however, some notable changes that I think should be mentioned.

    The first glaring difference is that there was no soda in today's shopping cart.  Normally, we would have purchased several 2-liter bottles of soda that we would have consumed in the first 5-7 days after buying them (we normally went through at least 2 liters of soda each day).  After we finish the 2-liter bottle that I opened this morning, we are a soda-free house - a concept that honestly scares me a good bit.  I haven't gone a day without soda for about 3 years.  It goes without saying that I am totally addicted to caffeine and sugar, and I derive a great deal of comfort from settling down with an ice cold soda.  I will have to drink coffee for a time to wean myself off the caffeine, otherwise the withdrawal will be a very unpleasant experience.  In the place of the soda in the shopping cart was water, sports water, and juice.

    Today's shopping trip also saw  a transition from white to brown.  White rice has given way to whole-grain brown rice.  White bread has been replaced by whole wheat varieties - including whole wheat tortillas, pita, a sandwich breads.  Even the pasta is whole wheat or vegetable based.  We still have white potatoes (though the brown yam varieties are better choices), but primarily because no one but my wife and one of the children like sweet potatoes.

    A really big difference between last month's shopping and today's is the number of fruit and vegetable varieties in the shopping cart.  My wife has always bought bananas and apples for the children to snack on, but this month we have the following fruit and vegetable options available in the house: apples, bananas, mandarin oranges, peaches, cherries, kiwi fruit, nectarines, watermelon, baby carrots, salad mixes, shredded cabbage, broccoli, ears of corn and green peppers.  We also reap zucchini, yellow squash, okra, and green beans from our garden,  Eggplant is beginning to bear fruit now and we should have some of it in the house soon.

    We did away with fatty ground beef and replaced it with lean ground turkey.  The difference in taste is marginal, but the difference in fat content is remarkable.  We also purchased some lean meat options like whiting fillets, skinless chicken breast, and shrimp.  Another good meat option is canned tuna or albacore.  A key point when buying tuna - make sure it's packed in water and not oil.  Oil adds a lot of calories that you really shouldn't give away.  There are some oils that are good for you, but I'm betting that they aren't the same as the oil in which tuna is packed.  Albacore tastes better than tuna (IMO) and is higher in the omega-3 fats (the good kind of oil I mentioned before), but it's more expensive.  If you can get it, great.  If not, it's not that big of a deal.

    A few other items ended up in the cart that aren't monthly usuals for us: whole grain cereals (especially for me, the sausage-egg-and-cheese-biscuit king), meal replacement bars that are high in protein, heart-healthy nuts, yogurt, and light mayo.

    Knowing all of this food information is helpful (I hope), but an even more helpful topic is how to put it all together to make a decent set of meals.  I'll post a separate blog that details my nutrition plan in addition to a series of blogs that have some pretty darned good recipes that we've concocted.

    Be well.

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