As another year begins, millions of Americans will resolve to go on the typical diet that will be paired with trying to work out more. The gym will be full for most of January and people will shed a few pounds, but by early Spring the gym will be back the regulars only and the diets will be long gone. So this year I urge you to quit the diets and just eat real food.
Ditch the processed foods and fast food runs and make awesome meals at home. Read this great article by Mark Bittman in the NY Times Food Section this morning, Chop, Fry, Boil: Eating for One or 6 Billion. It validates my perspective that eating great food is always better than trying to be on strict diet. Eating natural ingredients instead of something processed in a lab will always make you feel better. In order to eat great food at home you have to shop right at the grocery store.
My basic shopping list (which I organize by areas in the grocery store) usually includes:
- Fresh veggies (spinach, broccoli, carrots, herbs, and anything else in season)
- Fresh fruit (bananas, apples, berries, and anything else in season)
- Deli meats and cheeses (love honey glazed turkey)
- Corn tortillas (find one with as few ingredients as possible)
- Protein (look for good sales but usually get chicken breast, pork tenderloin, ground beef or turkey, fish fillets, shrimp)
- Grains (always have whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat couscous in my pantry- but try qunioa, pearled couscous, barley, etc)
- Dairy (eggs, almond milk, light sour cream, greek yogurt)
- Misc items (low sodium chicken stock, salad dressing, hummus, salsa, etc)
When shopping try and stay on the outside aisles first- this is where the “real food” is. I always start with produce so by the end of the trip my cart is getting full and I’m less likely to buy processed foods I don’t need. My last piece of shopping advice is have a plan. I lay out a few recipes for the week so I have those ingredients on hand. Then you can improvise once you get to the store based on sales and what produce and protein look the best!
So in 2011 ditch the crap and just EAT REAL FOOD!