As promised, here is a breakdown of my typical grocery list!
First, A FEW TIPS & TRICKS BEFORE WE GET INTO IT:
- When I first started recovery, groceries were something that gave me a lot of anxiety. Sometimes, I would go with people & other times, I would just have to muster up the strength to do it. Eventually, overtime, it became easier & became something fun that I really like to do. A lot of the questions I have gotten come from people who are contemplating recovery or are currently in recovery & who don’t really know where to start or how to approach it. So, I hope that this post can help you get over that anxiety & have some guidance as to what you should be going for (If ever you guys need advice or want me to tag along when you go for groceries, please don’t be shy! I would LOVE to help in any way that I can!)
- If you aren’t contemplating recovery or are not recovering from any type of eating disorder, but you are simply not sure where to start its your groceries & you often go to the grocery store & end up spending too much on food that you don’t end up eating, I hope that this list can help give you some guidance!
- What I always like to do before going to do groceries is open my fridge & pantry & see where I’m at / what I have. If I have some produce leftover that is about to go bad but that I can still use, I’ll often do some meal prep before or after. NO WASTE POLICY IN FULL EFFECT HERE! I’ll clean out the fridge, I’ll see what I need or don’t need, what I’m in the mood for based on what I have/don’t have or what I haven’t bought in a while. If I don’t do this, I’ll often be at the store trying to remember what I have in the fridge. And this can be a waste of money sometimes when you go to the store & end up buying things because you might have it or might not. This is why I really like to know what I have before going – It saves me money & it’s a lot smarter because I don’t come home & have doubles or triples of things. So, basically, I base my list on this.
- Also, a lot of you have asked if I buy organic produce. While I wish I could because I know it’s better, it’s really just too expensive & right now, it’s not something I could commit myself to do. Maybe in the future. But, I do ALWAYS wash my fruits & veggies with the veggie soak by Nature Clean (You can get it at Health Tree). It’s CRUCIAL to watch your fruits & veggies. The reality is that we have no idea how dirty your produce is because a lot of the time, you can’t see what’s in/on it (pesticides, wax & other things used to preserve it & make it last longer). We are so used to seeing the produce that way that we don’t realize what’s actually on & in it. Unwashed produce can be contaminated with bacteria that when consumed can actually lead to food-borne illness. Basically, there are four main reasons to ALWAYS was your fruits & veggies: dirt, microorganisms, human pathogens & pesticides.
- DIRT: Fruits & veggies often contain natural fertilizers like manure & can also be contaminated by animals & poor hygiene among the workers who handle the produce before purchase.
- MICROORGANISMS: Yeast, mold & bacteria can make fresh produce spoil (In fact, about 20% of all produce is lost to spoilage caused by microorganisms).
- HUMAN PATHOGENS: Human pathogens, such as E. coli, salmonella, hepatitis A or Listeria could live on the unwashed surface of certain fruits & veggies.
- PESTICIDES: I don’t think I need to tell you why this is HORRIBLE for you.
- If there are things at the store that are organic that are only $1 or $2 more, I’ll buy them. Often times, that is not the case – The price difference between organic & regular produce is usually huge & I understand why. But, it’s not something I can commit myself to do entirely. I think it’s too expensive & while I do think it’s worth it, given the amount of cooking I do, I would not be able to commit myself to buying strictly organic produce. ONE THING’S FOR SURE: YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE BUYING. Obviously, your produce should always look good when you are buying it because if it doesn’t look good when you buy it, it won’t look good after sitting in your fridge for a few days. I do try, if ever I buy organic, to make it be the ones on the dirty dozen list because those are the ones most prone to being contaminated & stuffed with pesticides. So it’s obviously better to make an effort when it comes to those.
- Lastly, my list varies from week to week, based on my mood. It also largely depends on the season & what the grocery store has at that point in time. ALSO, obviously if I have things on my list that, when I get to the store are ridiculously overpriced because they are not in season, for instance, I won’t buy them.
- ALL THIS TO SAY, I ALMOST ALWAYS MAKE A LIST BEFORE I GO. But, obviously, sometimes, circumstances dictate otherwise & I’ll leave with different things that what I plan for. But I try my very best to stick to my list. It’s actually so easy to go to a store & want everything, especially if u go to them grocery store hungry. Also, there’s always new products that come out that look interesting, but I find that the list will helps give guidance & direction, makes it more time-efficient & saves you money. Here & there, it’s okay to pick up 1-3 products that you want to try (OBVS!), but when you don’t go with a list, you’re all over the place, you have no direction, it takes forever & you don’t really know what you need/want/don’t need, which can often lead to you spending money uselessly on food you ultimately won’t end up eating!