Last week we covered the ground rules of shopping along with fruits and vegetables, and meats. If you missed that, you can find it here. This week we will cover carbohydrates, eggs and dairy, and oils and spices.
When most people think of carbohydrates, Twinkies, cupcakes, and pastries come to mind. Along with that misconception, it is also commonly thought that all carbs have to be eliminated to lose body fat. This is rarely the case.
Here are the carb sources that we recommend: beans, oats, quinoa, wild rice, potatoes, and amaranth.
To find these you will have to look in the cereal aisle, or visit a specialty grocery store to buy them in bulk. Warning: Do not buy any breakfast cereal, no matter what health claims it makes.
Eggs and Dairy
This is the easiest section since you’ll only need a few things here:
- Eggs (organic, pasture raised are best)
- Plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt
- Organic butter from grass fed cows
When it comes to dairy I suggest the following guidelines:
- Buy in moderation
- Look for higher quality products
- Stronger flavored cheese = less is needed
Other things (oils and spices)
This is another subject that deserves another blog itself, but to keep it short, here is a short list of recommended oils (for cooking):
- Olive Oil (not the cheapest one)
- Coconut Oil (delicious flavor and good source of saturated fats)
- Walnut Oil (for salads and protein shakes)
Spices preference will vary a lot from person to person, so here is my only advice: try a new spice at least once per month until you have a broad variety of spices that you know how to use.
A Note on “Health Food Stores”
Healthy foods are often sold for a premium at specialty retail stores such as Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, and Sprouts. While there is nothing wrong with supporting these stores, if you are on a tight budget most chain grocery stores have a majority of the items that you will want every week for much less (even organic foods). If you do find a product that you can only get at specialty stores look for the generic store brand, which will be cheaper. Remember, your nutrition is ultimately an investment in your long-term health. Don’t be cheap; buy what you need to.
Shopping doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Bring a shopping list, stick to the outside of the store, and use your brain. Remember, if it seems to good to be true it is. Try new foods weekly, and pretty soon you’ll be a pro at shopping.