The Food Marketing Institute recently reported that 71% of us are cooking at home more often these days and using real foods to do so. That’s great news! It also means more people are buying fresh produce, meat, and kitchen staples in the grocery store.
How can you make a trip to the store quick and cost-efficient? The quick answer is….meal planning!
When you plan meals, you automatically take stock of what you have in the pantry and fridge and choose dishes that make use of what you already have.
That is rule #1 – Effective meal planning and grocery shopping makes use of what is already on hand.
As you write down the meals you want to make throughout the week, list the items you need to purchase. This ensures that you have what you need and nothing extra. Make sure to include enough foods from each food group, with special attention to fresh vegetables and fruits for every meal as well as snacks. At the grocery store, always keep an eye out for sales on grain products like rice, gluten-free pasta and quinoa and chia seeds so you can stock up and have them as staples for every meal. Frozen fish, frozen vegetables and even frozen fruit are also good to keep on hand for quick entrees, side dishes and smoothies when you haven’t had a chance to buy fresh ingredients.
Aside from sale items that are a smart buy, stick to the list on your meal plan and shop the perimeter of the store. Avoiding the inner aisles reduces excessive spending on items of limited nutritional value.
Whole Food Shopping List (print & take with you)
These are most of my favourite whole foods. Add any whole food I missed and take this along with you the next time you go grocery shopping. Experiment with new foods and ways to include them in your daily intake and you’ll be fully nourishing your body with the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fats you need to thrive.
Gluten Free Grains:
Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Rice
* Grains should be soaked for six hours or longer if possible and rinsed before cooking
Artichoke Broccoli Endive Kale Mustard greens Arugula Brussels sprouts Celery
Eggplant Kohlrabi Nettles Radicchio Asparagus Cabbage- red & green Chard
Fiddleheads Maize (non GMO) Okra Rhubarb Avocado Bok Choy Carrots
Cauliflower Collard greens Frisee Mushroom Parsley Spinach Tomatoes
Watercress Water Chestnut Onion-family: chives, garlic, leek, onion, shallot, green onion
Peppers: Jalapeno, Habanero, Paprika, Red, Cayenne
Root vegetables: carrot, celeriac, daikon, ginger, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip Radish: turnip, wasabi, horseradish, white radish
Squashes: acorn, butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti
Tubers: Jicama, Jerusalem artichoke, Potato, sweet potato, yam
Herbs and Spices:
Anise Basil Chamomile Caraway Dill Marjoram Sage Fennel
Oregano Thyme Rosemerry Lemon grass Pink Himalayan Salt Pepper Corns
Apple Bread fruit Boysenberry Coconut Elderberry Grapefruit Gooseberry
Jackfruit Lime Banana Blueberry Grapes Nectarines Strawberry Cherry
Cantaloupe Honeydew Watermelon Star Fruit Black Berry Raspberry Fig
Clementine Tangerine Oranges Papaya Plum Purple Mangosteen Prune
Peach Pear Pomegranate Persimmons Apricots Kiwi Lychee Mango
Extra virgin olive oil Extra virgin coconut oil Ghee (Grass-fed) Butter
Meat and Protein:
Pastured meat is always the best choice. Look for meat that has been ethically raised and given a diet suitable for the animal. Grass fed and pastured is the best option. If the animal was fed grain, ensure it was organic and for the shortest time possible. Hormone and antibiotic free is a must when selecting meat and eggs. You’re further ahead to avoid meat not raised this way than to expose yourself to harmful chemicals and hormones. Avoid farmed fish whenever possible. Opt for wild caught instead.
Goji berrie, Hemp hearts, Maca, Cacao,
Bee products (royal jelly, pollen, honey), Acai, Spirulina
Chia seeds, Fermented foods (kimchi, saur kraut, miso, coconut kefir),
Bone broth, Sea vegetables -high in minerals including dulse and kelp
Below is the list complied and published by the Environmental Working Group on food most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Until recently this list was called the Dirty Dozen, this year two new items were added to the list. Ideally you would purchase all of your fruits and vegetables organic- simply because they taste better and the soils they are grown in are much higher in minerals. Unfortunately, because of cost or accessibility, that is not always possible. When possible choose the fruits and vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen” list organic, and save a little money by purchasing the Clean 15 from conventional growers.
The Dirty Dozen:
Apples Celery Peppers Peaches Strawberries Nectarines Green beans
Grapes Spinach Lettuce Cucumbers Blueberries Potatoes Kale
Onions Sweet Corn Pineapple Avocado Cabbage Sweetpeas Mangoes
Asparagus Eggplant Kiwi Cantaloupe Sweet Potatoes Grapefruit Watermelon
You can the latest changes to this list here www.environmentalworkinggroup.com