lessons in eating clean... pt 2

If you missed part 1, click here to read a list of practical ideas to help start your journey to a healthier you. When people say it IS possible to eat healthy foods on a budget, it's some times hard to believe. That's why I LOVED that Dana actually gave us a sample grocery list to get us started on this journey. She started this part off with a list of groceries she saw in women's carts throughout the store... let's see if I can remember (I didn't write that list down):

  • pop tarts
  • toaster strudels
  • frozen pancakes  & waffles
  • hot pockets
  • macaroni and cheese (a HUGE weakness of ours!)
  • pre-packaged chips (for lunches)
  • pre-packaged cookies
  • sugary cereal
  • ice cream
  • frozen pizza

Her list was extensive, these are just the few things I remember. Then she rattled off our new grocery list and this is what I was able to jot down:

  • whole chicken/turkey/ham (on sale)
  • brown rice
  • fruit (on sale)
  • canned beans
  • salsa
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • oats
  • spaghetti sauce
  • carrots
  • organic milk
  • yogurt
  • whole wheat pasta noodles
  • natural, unsweetened applesauce
  • canned pumpkin
  • canned sweet potatoes
  • flour
  • whole wheat tortillas

A couple of notes about the grocery list:

  • The thing I loved about her presentation was that it wasn't extreme. Beginning a journey of eating healthier is no small step, but she presented it in such a capable, non-intimidating way. There are a few things I disagreed with about her list - for example, anything canned. I don't agree that it is the most nutritious way to approach things, but it's low-cost and it's better than a lot of what we are eating now. So while there are things she suggests that may not be the BEST option, she keeps it real. And I appreciate that.
  • Boxed Macaroni & Cheese is "THE WORST." This was the WORST news ever as it's the one exception I make as far as buying preserved food that will last forever and ever (gross). We eat ridiculous amounts of macaroni & cheese. But, between the insane amounts of sodium and the dyes, it happens to have no nutritional value whatsoever. So... we will make this a rare treat around here from now on. (sigh)
  • I prefer to make my own spaghetti sauce from scratch... err... with canned tomatoes. I have read that canned tomatoes are some of the worst foods you can eat. This is very unfortunate (for me) and I am not sure yet if I should buy spaghetti sauce or find an alternative way to make it (like, *gasp* from actual fresh tomatoes!).
  • Regular milk is LOADED with additional sugars (news to me!) and if you must buy and drink milk, buy organic.
  • Anything orange is dyed (even oranges have artificial dyes added to them): Yellow cheeses, kraft macaroni & cheese, orange soda, etc.

Okay, more to come in Part 3. I'll try my best to explain how to read Nutritional labels and throw in the last few of the notes I took as well. I don't know about you guys, but this is really fun for me! :)

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.