Beginners Guide to Healthy Eating
I can still remember the feeling of wanting to cry and scream all at the same time while looking at a blank piece of paper trying to build a grocery list that was healthy, kid friendly and not budget blowing. Knowing how many times in the past I had become overwhelmed over a list and I resorted to the same shopping without a plan or list which would usually result in purchasing some healthy food, but also sweets and junk food not to mention the extra money it was costing. I kept thinking to myself WHY IS THIS SO HARD, why is it causing me so much stress? I was finally able to answer this question when I realized that if you just take it back to the basics it is not as difficult as i was making it out to be. I have created tips, ideas and a meal and snack plan to get you started.
Healthy Eating Tip's
- Keep it simple. Set small goals and discover what brands you like and don't like as well as understanding what works for you and your family.
- Use the 80/20 method. 80% real food, 20% real life!
- Do not to deprive yourself.
- Start with a blank slate in your pantry, spice rack, refrigerator and freezer.
- Prepare snacks in advance to keep healthy snacks quick and accessible.
- Meal plan and create a grocery list of item's you need that week.
Tip's While Shopping
- Stick to your list, this will help you stay on budget.
- Always check labels, just because something claims to be organic or natural doesn't always mean there aren't bad things hiding inside.
- Dairy, look for organic, grass fed, no hormones
- Eggs, look for organic, cage free or free range.
- Meats, look for organic, 100% grass fed, no added hormones, no added sugar, natural
- Fruits and Vegetables, purchase fresh organic fruit and vegetables that are in season and use organic frozen fruit and vegetables for out of season items. Doing this will save you on high prices stores charge for out of season items.
- Look for USDA, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, no added hormones, no fillers, no byproducts, no added sugars, 100%
Creating your Grocery List
- Create sections to make it easier to keep your list organized.
- Go through your kitchen to determine what items need to be replenished
- Create you dinner meals and snacks for the week around local sales and coupons.
- Build your list with the ingredients that you need for each meal and snack.
- Keep your budget in mind.
- Build your final list from the back of your store to the front to help you go down your list faster and also prevent you from forgetting items.
Hopefully by now you are almost ready to start your first big grocery shop. Below you will find my meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks.
Breakfast - Oatmeal, Whole Grain English Muffins, Eggs
Lunch - Salad, Turkey or Chicken Wraps, Peanut butter & Jelly Sandwich's( try to stick with organic peanut butter and jelly)
Snacks - Oatmeal Balls, Popcorn, Fresh Fruit, Apple Sauce, Veggie Sticks, Whole Wheat Graham Crackers, Peanuts, Smoothies, Fruit Popsicle
- Grilled Chicken with side of fruit, salad and cucumbers.
- Grilled Turkey Breast with side of fruit and Baked Potato.
- Spaghetti with meat sauce. (Meat Optional)
- Try just noodles (Gluten Free Option) and sauce.
- May use spaghetti squash in place of noodles also.
- Chicken, Bacon & Ranch sliders with mozzarella cheese and guacamole, with a side of mashed sweet potatoes, cucumbers and fruit.
- Taco's may be chicken, steak, beef, veggie, with a side of corn chips, salsa and guacamole
- Burger's may be chicken, beef, veggie, turkey served on a wrap, bun or lettuce leaves. Sides of fruit, carrots and baked fries (sweet potato or idaho potato)
Few Misc. Items
- Swap vegetable oil for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado oil, Sesame Oil
- Purchase organic spices and condiments
- Swap cows milk for almond, hazelnut, oat's or cashew milk. Look for organic and unsweetened or you could make your own.
I am so excited for you to start this healthy eating journey. Healthy recipes are coming soon. If you have any more tips or ideas, I would love to hear from you below! What are you waiting for get shopping.