Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What's on your shopping list? Here's what's on mine!

I can rattle off the first 10 items of my shopping list like nobody’s business…they are the items that make their way into my cart week in and week out, no matter what might my crazy schedule might be.  Below, I share the reasons.

1. Bananas –The combination of carbs, iron, potassium and natural sugars give me the perfect fuel before a run or a hard workout.  They can also thicken up a smoothie and travel nicely when you are on the go.  Bonus – they repel mosquitos.  Maybe it’s a banana a day that keeps the doctor away…..

2. Blueberries and strawberries – ahh – the notorious super fruits…there are so many benefits: they may cut the risk of heart-attack by 30%, they can delay or reduce memory loss, are filled with potassium, and they taste good on just about everything!  Great on my morning cereal, as a mid-afternoon snack or tossed in a smoothie.  LOVE.

3. Kashi cereal – If you love your bowl of cereal, whether it’s for breakfast daily, or on the weekend, through in some of those berries I mentioned and grab a box of Kashi. Even if you (or your kids) prefer the chocolate-y O’s or the Cinnamon Crunch the most calories you’ll pack per serving are about 190 calories and 4.5g of fat…just watch those portion sizes!  ¾ cup is all you get!  Keep a measuring spoon in the pantry – I sure do. 

4.  Whole grain bread – For me, the grainier & seedier the better.  This week’s choice is Whole Foods Multigrain.  I have to be careful here, because there are extra calories.  But there is extra taste and extra health benefits from all the grains and nuts in their bread.  I just make sure I have one slice instead of two, or if I have a full sandwich I have a fruit side (perfect place for those berries or melons) or some carrots instead of more processed carbs.

5. Peanut Butter – natural – ie: peanuts are the only ingredient!!  Besides being a yummy, yummy treat, 2 TB of peanut butter a day decreases your chances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  And 2 fun little facts:  the saturated fat/unsaturated fat ratio is the same as olive oil (score!) and each year American’s consume enough of the stuff to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon.

6.  Naked Juice Green Machine – it might look yucky but it tastes PHENOMENAL.  It does pack in the calories and sugar, though (all from fruit) but I still limit myself to 4 oz. a day.  I use it to wash down my vitamins and get some extra fruit in daily.

7.  Greek Yogurt – besides being packed with protein, full of potassium and friendly to your digestive system it’s versatile…I'll definitely be sharing some recipes with you!

8.  Granola – Protein-packed crunchy deliciousness!  That’s all I can say.  I alternate between Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax and Peanut Butter flavors.  I through them in with yogurt or even with dry oats and milk (1/4 cup each) and top with some fruit before an early morning run!

9.  Organic 2% milk with Omega-3s – the best out there.  I truly believe 2% milk is better any day of the week than skim.  Yes there are more calories, but there is also more taste!  Health-wise, though, they both pack the same amount of protein, sugar and carbohydrates.  So choose what works with your palette and go for it.

10.  Dark Chocolate – the more bitter the better!  And I buy the individually wrapped – or else I’d eat the whole bar.  Ghirardelli 86% Midnight Reverie packs just 60 calories in a square and is the perfect sized desert.  Especially when paired with a good red while.  If you don’t like it quite that bitter there is also a 72% Twilight Delight, but to get the health benefits don’t go any lower.  Anything with less than 60 % and you’re missing the health benefit.  Do not, I repeat DO NOT buy the ones filled with mint or raspberry! 

And the things I always have on hand…

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – literally a do-it-all condiment, , drizzle on veggies before you bake. Sprinkle in some rosemary and thyme and voila – bread dip! It’s endless the list.  And good for you.
Vinegar – white, apple cider, champagne, rice, balsamic, flavored balsamic…it can spice up just about anything.  Mix the two above together for a fabulous, healthy salad dressing!
USANA Nurtrimeal powder (www.usana.com)…and first glance a bag may seem pricey but they average less than $5 per shake. But (with water) a 3-scoop serving weighs in at only 220 calories - doesn’t scream meal replacement to me!  However, stop at McDonald’s and buy a kids milk for $1 (drive-thru to avoid the temptation).  You’re up to 370 calories. They travel easily with a shaker and are great for when you are spending long days on the road and don’t have time to sit down for something more nutritious than fast food offers.  Now’s the time to grab that handy banana you bought as item #1.

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