By Kayleigh Caito
The 2018 Crossfit Open is over. Congrats! You made it! It was a rough 5 weeks of workouts. How did you do? Better than you expected? Not so well because of difficult movements thanks to Dave Castro? Either way, now it’s time to start preparing for next year. This week we are focusing on the basics, going back to where eating a healthful diet starts: the grocery store!
Have you ever spent a lot of money on groceries just to realize you hardly got anything for meals? It’s easy to walk through the store and throw things that look good in the cart, but by the time you get to the checkout line, you may realize that you didn’t really get anything to make solid meals. Then during the week you find yourself scrambling to put together meals and end up throwing away food and eating out instead. Don’t worry… you’re not alone! So what are some ways to ensure you leave the grocery store with your best cartful?
Tip 1: Plan out your meals ahead of time.
Whether you are feeding just yourself or a family of four, be sure to plan out some meals for the week. If you have never done this before, I suggest you start by picking three dinners to plan. That way you can be assured three nights out of your week you won’t be scrambling around to figure out dinner. Also, be sure to plan out healthy breakfast foods to start your day right (see previous blog entry for more).
Tip 2: Plan simple, healthy meals.
Not all of us are top chef material, so prepare food that is at your skill level. You can take some time on the Internet to find recipes, or create meals of your own. A good rule of thumb when planning meals is to start by picking a lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish, pork), vegetable (or 2!), and a starch/starchy vegetable (rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread/pasta, sweet potato, potato… just to name a few). Then you can consider adding fruit, low fat dairy, and a source of healthy fat.
Tip 3: Always make a grocery list.
Sometimes it can be easy to get lost for time and say, “I’ll just go up and down every aisle, and when I see what I need, I’ll get it.” Well, this can be a trap for picking up things like Oreos, potato chips, PopTarts, or whatever your guilty pleasure is. If you have a list, it is much easier to bypass those foods, especially if you do not even go down the “junk food” aisle. Also, if you plan your meals in advance, it makes creating a list incredibly easier. You know exactly what you want to eat, and can base your list on those meals. This helps save money and reduce waste, and believe it or not, saves time!
Tip 4: Take the time to shop.
Sometimes we can be rushed in the store. Use this time to get away from everything, and enjoy walking around and buying food. Take the time to look at nutrition labels and look at ingredients in the food so you know exactly what you are buying. Taking your time can also help some of us forgetful folk from missing food on our lists.
Tip 5: Shop along the edge of the store.
Grocery stores typically have all the fresh food around the perimeter of the store. This includes the fresh produce, meats, seafood, dairy, and eggs. Eating around the outside of the store will ensure that you are steering clear of a cartful of processed foods, but instead leaving the store with real, whole foods.
Resources for recipes: