5 Ways to Improve Your Grocery List (and Your Bod)

I love going to the supermarket. I find it so fun, especially since I consider myself “up to date” on the latest “trends” and “diet fads” of today. Reading nutrition labels for fiber, Googling fruits that help with de-bloating, checking the ice cream isle for new flavors, looking in other people’s carts, judging …it’s my cardio.

I know it’s annoying when others preach about “healthy” food. But, I’ve gone vegan, dabbled in the cabbage soup diet, attempted a juice cleanse and even made it through Veguary, so I do first hand grant myself permission to recommend what will make you feel good and what will waste yo money and makes you fat.

Forget Hungry Girl and those bogus food swap sites, and forget healthy dessert blogs like Chocolate Covered Katie. Forget brownies with chickpeas and splenda and making cake with diet soda. Just reference the below next time you go food shopping. And tonight, fuck the Skinny Cow’s “healthy dessert” and melt dark chocolate on something natural like brown rice rice krispie treats and go to bed feeling not that bad.

Replace TERIYAKI SAUCE for APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

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Did you know apple cider vinegar aids indigestion, promotes weight loss and is a great way to flavor your stir fry without the 700+ milligrams of sodium induced in just ONE TABLESPOON of teriyaki? Studies show that apple cider vinegar, which is an amazing marinade or dressing when paired with a little bit of low sodium soy sauce, suppresses appetite, increases metabolism, and reduces water retention. Scientists also theorize that apple cider vinegar interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, which means fewer calories enter the bloodstream. I take shots of it when I am feeling serious.

Recipe: Easy Asian-y marinade

Great for your go-to chicken/broccoli stir fry or atop a simple salad dressing with a grain like quinoa

  1. ¾ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. ½ cup olive oil
  4. ¼ cup low sodium sauce (#Kikoman)
  5. salt, pepper, to taste

Chuck REFRIGERATOR TORTELLINI and marry RICOTTA AND POLENTA

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I read that people describe tortellini as a pregnant woman’s belly button. Is that really what you want to put in yourself at the beginning of a week when you are planning to be “good”? No one 1 cup of tortellini, the designated serving size, will fill you up. When you accidentally finish a a whole package (not including all of the parm you melt on top), it puts you at more than 1,200 calories and nearly 30 grams of fat.

I get we are tired during the week, but how about the below as an easy, and healthy, way to fill yourself up while satisfying your Italian cravings?

Recipe: Polenta, tomato and ricotta bowl (all this serves 1)

So much comforting food in a bowl for half the fat and calories

  1. One half cup cooked polenta (a box of quick cook polenta from the grain section)
  2. ¾ cup your favorite tomato sauce (please not Raos. How about Ragu marinara or another low sugar option?)
  3. ½ a fresh tomato
  4. ¼ cup no fat ricotta
  5. Handful of spinach leaves
  6. A SPRINKLE of fresh parm (more won’t make it taste better)

Chop up your tomato and put it into a pan or microwave safe bowl with your sauce. Cook the polenta by pouring it into 1.5 cups of boiling water right after it begins to boil. Keeping the stove on, begin to mix; you will instantly see it start to thicken in a porriage. Add some salt and pepper and a little olive oil if you are feeling crazy. Begin to microwave the tomato/sauce mixture, covered with a paper towel, for about 1 minute or until warm. When polenta is cooked, put the ricotta right into the pot, do not mix, just keep it warm. Once your sauce is cooked, throw in the spinach and microwave for another 30. Spoonful the polenta and ricotta into a bowl and then top you’re your sauce. Top the whole concoction with some parm and voila.

*Have extra time? Put the oven safe bowl in the broiler until the parmesan crust starts to brown.

Throw out I CAN’T BELIVE IT’S NOT BUTTER and buy PAM OLIVE OIL SPRAY

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Olive oil spray tastes good, is basically no calories and is REAL. And not creepy.That is all.

Recipe: directly replace on everything.

DELI COUNTER CHICKEN SALAD makes me cry. MAKE YOUR OWN.

Just because it is Whole Foods does not mean you could be making a better (and more cost saving) choice when it comes to buying something to eat out of a plastic container. Sure, your trainer said 33 g of protein is great!!! But did he also endorse 610 calories, 43g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 100mg cholesterol, 500mg sodium and 17g carbohydrates of mayo with a little chicken? (Kudos to Whole Foods on the use of apple cider vinegar in the recipe though).

Save yourself this awful choice and make your own delicious deli sandwich using a great sub for the mayo…avocado!

Recipe: Avocado and chicken (or egg) salad sandwich (makes 2 small sandwiches, eat both)

  1. One half ripe avocado
  2. One half lemon
  3. 1 large spoonful of brown mustard
  4. Cut up chicken (left over chicken breast or rotisserie chicken)
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Lettuce and tomato
  7. High fiber pita/low carb wraps (Trader Joe’s or Smart and Delicious has great wraps)

Mush your avocado, lemon juice and mustard until it makes a guac-type mixture. Mix in your chicken (I would also use hard boiled eggs instead) and garnish with salt and pepper, and hot sauce if you are crazy. Stuff into a high fiber pita or low cal wrap, or eat it straight out of a not deli counter bowl.

KALE is so 2013. CAULIFLOWER is what’s good

Cauliflower is so versatile. Roast it, steam it, puree it, chop it, make fried rice with it, make out with…you can even turn it into “mashed potatoes”. It has fiber, is considered a detoxifier, has antioxidants, and doesn’t get stuck in your teeth. And is just so satisfying and filling.

Recipe: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Because Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine are tiny, soggy and like not that good

  1. One half of a bag of defrosted frozen cauliflower (chopped if you have a food processor or minced if you don’t)
  2. Recommended heaping spoonful of any combination of: dried parsley or oregano or basil (or the fresh stuff would be even more amazing)
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  5. Salt and pepper and red pepper

Mix that shit however you can, press it onto a baking sheet at 450, bake for 15 minutes. Remove and add whatever you want to create a pizza. I recommend tomato sauce, low fat ricotta and spinach, obviously. Or fresh tomatoes, basil and parmesan.

So let’s STOP being typical with our groceries. More friendly suggestions to come!

amanda lane

Hustla by day, Top Chef by night, Amanda lives in New York via New Orleans via Boston and is thoroughly enjoying the last year before the Quarter Life Crisis begins.

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