For week 4 of the 52 Weeks to Better Nutrition and a New You series, it is time to develop a habit of shopping for optimal nutrition. Since you have already cleaned out some of the junk in your kitchen from week 1, let's look at re-stalking your kitchen with foods that will help you reach your goals.
If you are like most people, you already are at the store about once a week to buy food. Also, many people also make a shopping list. So this habit is not drastically different - all I want you to do is adopt a new habit before you go to the store - making a goal-appropriate shopping list.
Making and sticking with a goal-appropriate shopping list has the following benefits:
- Gets you thinking about what goes in your mouth and how that helps your goals
- Gets food you need to eat to reach your goals into your house
- Saves money by not buying stuff not on the list
- Decreases time at the grocery store
- Helps avoid temptation for foods that are not appropriate for your goal
Pick one day per week as your shopping day (e.g. Saturday). This will also save you time and money over multiple weekly trips. Before you go to the store, sit down in your kitchen and make a shopping list. Before each item is placed on the list, ask yourself the question: is this moving me closer to or further from my training goals? Eat before you arrive at the store as this will make saying "no" to the inappropriate foods much easier. When you get to the store, you are to buy only what is on the list (unless there is a great sale on a goal-appropriate food - e.g. buy one get one free wild salmon)
At this point, I don't want to burden you with any more than this one simple habit. If this is enough for you, then you can stop reading. However, if you want some sample ideas of what could go on that list, here you go:
General note: choose organic, free-range, wild, etc when possible
Note: endless great options here, don't limit yourself to this list and try to expand your vegetable horizons
Berries (e.g. blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc)
For muscle gain and high-performance training, you may want to add the following:
Dates or raisins (post training only)
Other fish (e.g. tuna, cod, sole, halibut, etc)
Chololate milk (post training)
Note: some people don't do well on dairy (I have not had it as part of my diet since I was 13). In most cases, choose the low-fat options.
Old fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal
Sprouted grain bread?
Note: some people don't do well with grains so you may find it better to skip this section. Those doing high-performance training or training for lean muscle (and who tolerate grains well) may find them helpful for additional carbs and calories
Note: this is not an exclusive list. If you have questions on specific foods, leave them as a comment below or post them on my Facebook Page.
Week 1: Kitchen Cleanout (at the end of the introduction to this series)