Plus or minus 90 days.
And baby girl is going to be here!!! And no, we haven’t decided on a name yet. That probably won’t happen until we see her cute, wrinkly little face.
On that note, at my last Dr. appointment I had another reality check regarding my lack of enthusiasm in the healthy eating department. I’ve gained almost all the weight you’re supposed to when pregnant, but still have a trimester to go. And last week I decided I needed to make a change! Not only for me, but for baby girl.
I know you don’t want to hear my excuses because they are lame. The bottom line is I was so frustrated with my situation (see my last post) that I just didn’t care. And there I was buying things at the grocery store that I NEVER buy. Even my husband was wondering what was up, and he came out and told me to stop using pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I told him I wasn’t. Perhaps I was in denial.
So, today started phase two of my “deal with this situation, and make the most of it”, and that is cleaning up my eating! For those of you who have followed my blog . . . you know I’ve done meal planning & macro tracking and both of those things require you to count & track your calories, meet your daily macro goals (the amount of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber you need to eat), and to choose healthier alternatives to all the junk that is out there. THIS TIME I am not going to be tracking anything 🙂 But don’t you worry, I’ve got a plan. In the rest of this post I am going to cover three things:
1. My plan
2. Execution of said plan + fresh food grocery shopping tips
3. Display of my $100 fresh food grocery haul!!!
My plan is simple. Though I’m not tracking anything, I am choosing to eat only fresh fruit & veggies, meats, complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread & other baked goods, pasta, etc.), and other staples like greek yogurt, cheese in moderation, eggs, almond milk, etc. On a daily basis I am cutting out simple carbs, and sugary foods and will reserve those for my “treat” day, in which I can eat whatever foods I want, including treats, during one meal only (not the entire day).
But, I get to eat as much as I want of all that good food, but will focus more on the practice of Intuitive Eating. Basically, I can eat whatever I want when I am hungry, but to stop when I am satisfied or full. You can check out more about this book here! I decided that for me, right now, meal tracking or hitting my macro goals isn’t the best option for a ton of reasons I won’t go into. But, giving myself the option to eat whatever I want choosing from healthier options! Pretty simple, ya?
I want to start of with some tips, because really, this is how you execute a plan like this.
- Don’t buy it – Can’t eat it: Basically, don’t put those unwanted food items into your grocery cart. Don’t even put them in there if you’re indecisive about it and think you will make the best decision at check out – you’ll end up buying it. If unwanted food items don’t go into your cart, they don’t go through checkout, and they don’t end up in your cupboard, or on the counter, or in the fridge/freezer to stare you down when a craving kicks in.
- Don’t shop hungry: I know, I know, everyone has said this at least 3-4 times to another person or to themselves. But it is SO true. In fact, I was super hungry before my grocery trip today, and I knew in order for it to be a success and in line with my new plan, I needed to eat first. So I did, and guess what, I did not pick up a single item that was not on my list and I did not go over budget (except for that one item I actually forgot to put on my list – greek yogurt). I was not swayed by the cookie aisle, or the cracker aisle, or heaven help the ice-cream aisle.
- Don’t go down that aisle: Seriously! Don’t go down those aisles that contain all those unwanted foods. I avoid the ice-cream aisle because that is my weakness. Really, the only time I am ever in the frozen section is for veggies and berries. I would rather not have to look at all the rows of ice-cream and go through another debate in my head of why I did or didn’t need that treat.
- Make a list: Make a list, only put healthy items on there or your planned food items, and stick to that list. Period. (Unless, like me, you forget to put a healthy item on that list in the first place, like Greek Yogurt. Then that is ok.)
- Shop the fresh food sales: Find out what your grocery store is having a sale on for produce and only buy those things! That is how I determine what fresh fruits and veggies we will eat for the week and I go Pinterest crazy to find recipes to coincide with said fruit and veggies. But, don’t stop there! Today Albertson’s was having a sale on chicken breast at $1.59 a pound. Call me crazy, but I was only allowed to buy 10 pounds, and I bought 10 pounds. Now, that is more than we’ll eat in a week, probably even two weeks, but dang, you can’t beat chicken at that price! I may go back later this week for more!
- Farmer’s Market: So, I live in Southern California where Farmer’s Markets are practically year round. I checked out a local one last week, and was planning shop there this week, but didn’t due to being out-of-town over the weekend, needing to restock with limited time to do it. BUT, how can you resist all that fresh produce at a farmer’s market? Go CRAZY! Buy all that good stuff that looks fun to eat. Buy something you’ve never tried before & Pinterest a recipe for it! Great deals, great produce, healthy you!
- Prep: One day I am going to devote a post or two to food preparation, because it is that legit. When you get your bulk chicken home, this is the time to freeze some, cut up some, and marinate some for a future meal. I am the type of person that likes to cook a staple food (like chicken – can you tell I eat a lot of chicken?) in bulk to use throughout the week. I throw it in my crock pot with some seasoning and spice and maybe some marinade or other fun flavors, shred once cooked, and store for 2-3 days to eat during the week in various different meals. You can do this with any type of meat (can you also tell how important, I think, protein is in your diet?) and use in any type of meal. A couple weeks ago I made some crock-pot Italian chicken. Throughout the week I used that chicken to make Hawaiian haystacks, bbq pineapple chicken sandwiches, chicken quesadillas, and some type of chicken pasta dish. There was also some leftover for whatever else we wanted to eat! Fresh fruits and veggies are so easy to prep and to throw into a meal. I also like to cut up my favorite snacking veggies so they are easy to grab out of the fridge when I’m feeling the munchies.
- Don’t Throw Away Food: And what I mean by this is don’t throw away those unwanted food items already in your house. Some people recommend a complete purge, but I come from a family that taught me not to waste and not to throw away food. If that doesn’t bother you, then by all means, toss the junk – see #1. But, for those of you who don’t want to throw away those foods, or maybe it is your kid’s or spouse’s favorite and they would be mad at you if you did throw it away, here is what I do. I’ll be honest and tell you I have cereal, chocolate chips, some crackers, and a few other packaged goods hiding in my cupboards. I don’t keep a ton of food on hand, since there are only two of us right now, and I have habits that have kept my pantries clean for the most part. So, even if I did purge my pantry, I wouldn’t be throwing out much. I am going to save those unwanted foods for my treat meal, and I also like to hide them (do it the morning of a busy day so you forget that you did hide it) because I forget quite easily (pregnancy-brain), and keep them out of plain site. If I do really want one of those treats, I mentally ask myself why I want it, if i’m really hungry, and if there is a healthier alternative that would satiate that desire. Put up reminder notes to question yourself until you can do it off-hand. Ask yourself if you can save it for your treat meal – and chances are you won’t even want it then.
- Enjoy: I plan on enjoying all of my food and being happy with the choices I am making. I plan on eating a variety of healthy foods and getting the most nutrition from those foods to fuel my body, and keep baby girl growing strong and healthy.
I, like most people, have a budget for groceries. Otherwise I would spend way too much $$ and a lot would probably go to waste. I often have to put back things I wanted, or decide between two items, which can be a healthy exercise for your self-discipline. Anyways, everything pictured here I got for just over $100. And I want to show you all the healthy fresh food you can get for that much! And, this will probably last Sam and I at least one to one and a half weeks.
Ok, so maybe it doesn’t look like much, but it is! Not pictured is 5 lbs of chicken & some steak that I already put in the fridge. Here is a list of everything pictured and I have put a * next to items I don’t normally buy in a weekly shopping trip.
- Almond milk, eggs, cream cheese*, block of cheddar cheese, chobani yogurts* (I normally buy the plain greek yogurt, but with being pregnant, it is easier for me to have individual cups that I don’t have to add anything to when I need a quick healthy snack. Cream cheese is for a special recipe, recipe unkown as of now, and it was on sale!)
- 10 lbs chicken breast, 1 lb ground beef, 1-2 pounds steak (love me some meat! We eat a lot of it in this household)
- Yams, sweet potatoes, mango*, apples, lemons, oranges, cherry tomatoes, mini watermelon*, pineapple*, asparagus, green beans, bell peppers, baby spinach/spring greens mix (The starred items in this list are seasonal sales I took advantage of! Love mixing up my fruits and having something new to try)
- Rice, unsweetened applesauce, olives, canned pineapple, cornstarch* (I like to have both white and brown rice on hand, and my husband drinks applesauce, but I always get the unsweetened kind!)
- Rotisserie chicken* (this is for when I don’t have time to cook after my grocery shopping. It is nice to have a precooked chicken and you can use rotisserie in SO many things!)
There you have it! With my water bottle hiding in the back 🙂 I drink lots of water. There are no crackers, cookies, cereal, candies, and anything like that in my haul and I am SO proud of myself. There were Cadbury cream eggs at the checkout stand and I had to tell myself no!
Other healthy staples I normally have on hand include: oatmeal, cream of rice, whole wheat flour, pastas, other canned goods, etc.
It really isn’t that hard to make the switch to eating healthy fresh foods! You may have to do a little more prepping, cooking, and cleaning, but your body will thank you. I promise.
I have some exciting things coming up on my blog! I am finally out of my slump and excited for making this all work for me! Next up is a post about Phase 1 – I know you guys thought pregnancy brain had me all confused, but the truth is I started phase 1 last week, continued it today, but am keeping it a surprise until later!!! Check back for that post or subscribe so you know when I have new posts! 🙂