Where The Heck?! - Grocery Shopping - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 12-10-2012, 02:02 AM   #1  
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Question Where The Heck?! - Grocery Shopping

I was wondering if anyone else has trouble grocery shopping at the beginning of their weight loss journey? This situation has happened to me every time I have gone grocery shopping when determined to eat healthier. This go around I had a shopping list to abide by, doctors orders, but it's a serious hunt for the items listed!

Grocery shopping is so much easier with weight gain not on the mind because I know exactly where all the unhealthy stuff is, but when it comes to hunting down foods that will be good for me it's like I am in another country. Grocery shopping healthy at the beginning takes a lot of effort and time to find an assortment of different items.

Does anyone have grocery shopping tips and known locations of certain items? Most of the major chains house the same products in the same area even if the layout is a little different. Also, have you found that certain grocery stores help you maintain and healthy grocery list than others?

Also as a side note, do you guys feel like you still don't know how to cook properly? I can bake you a beautiful cake and craft a few meals every now and then, but I by no means consider myself great in the kitchen (which is why I'd skip to the fast food joints quite merrily). Being a single woman and living alone, cooking just kindof sucks.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:53 AM   #2  
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I think it's usually agreed that shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store is where you'll find the healthy food, the fresh fruits and veggies, meats, eggs- stay away from the center asiles of the store where all of the processed junk food is!

I hear you on the cooking- I was not a naturally talented cool, but the more things I try the better I get, and I have decided that (imho) if you can bake, you can cook. Baking is a lot more specific and easier to ruin than cooking.

My go-tos end up being:
baked chicken (I like to rub it in spices and the. Just throw it in the oven- easy and hasn't turned out terrible yet)
Meatballs- lean ground beef, 1 egg, and spices- 400 in the oven and I just guess and check on it a lot until its done...
I'll throw enchilada sauce in a slow/ pressure cooker and add onions and chicken
I would starve without frozen veggies.

Nothing I make is complicated but it's usually pretty good and healthy, and the more I try the more I learn what works/ doesn't

Good luck!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #3  
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It's funny that you say you feel like you're in another country, because I literally am in another country! Shopping in Japan is really difficult for me, the food is so different that I just have no idea what everything is and what I should make. It's all very overwhelming. I'm trying to get my hands on Japanese cook books in English to help but I end up making the same meals I always make - curry and spaghetti - because I just have no idea what else to do!

But enough of that. If I were you I would just keep a few things in mind when shopping:
- Buy lots of fruit and veg. Even if you don't know what to do with it, you should buy it anyway because you will have to eat it before it goes bad or you'll have wasted money.
- Don't buy any soda or too many juice drinks. You should be drinking water!
- Don't fall victim to packaging and slogans that claim that the food is low fat - low fat doesn't always mean healthy. They could easily have increased the sugar or the sodium content to compensate for the low fat.
- Educate yourself on what healthy food should consist of - all those labels can be really confusing if you don't know what the numbers mean. So study up on what your daily intake should be so you can easily look at the nutritional information if you're stuck. I've often thought something looked healthy but then been surprised at what's inside.
- Swap out your grains for whole grains. So whole grain/whole wheat bread, brown rice etc.
- Try and buy fresh ingredients if you can. It's really convenient to buy a can of chopping tomatoes, but why not buy raw tomatoes? That kind of thing.
- Don't buy junk! Out of sight out of mind. It's easy to say "oh I'll buy it just in case" but it really shouldn't be in your home!
- Try and buy lean meat or skinless chicken. You can try substituting meats - instead of a beef burger try a turkey burger. Turkey is much better for you!

Hope my advice has helped!

Last edited by Riestrella; 12-10-2012 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:14 AM   #4  
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I like chicken, too. I'll bake it and then I'll use the leftovers during the rest of the week. I make soup with the bones and some of the meat and add the rest in chinese food, salads, sandwiches, etc.

If I can't make one serving of a meal, I make more and freeze it or if I can afford to, I'll have two servings on the same day or whatever.

You'll come up with your own ideas as you go. As for the grocery store, you'll learn where the healthy stuff is. You'll probably still go to the aisles you usually visited and look at them, but the urge to grab something will be smaller each time.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:42 AM   #5  
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What particular items are you having a hard time finding?
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:35 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Scondy View Post
Being a single woman and living alone, cooking just kindof sucks.
Yes. Yes it does!

I end up eating a lot of wraps, mini pizzas made on wrap bread and salads... stuff that doesn't require making enough to feed an army which sucks because I have so many recipes that I'd love to try but don't need to make multiple servings. I'm about to start trying a few that I can freeze individually though. I'm terrible at wanting to eat what I pack for lunch too.

I also buy pork and chicken in bulk when it's on sale and portion it out before freezing it. Lay out one chicken breast in the morning and bake it when you get home.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #7  
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What particular items are you having a hard time finding?
Well, when I was shopping it just took me a lot longer to search items out. I think I spent 2 hours at the grocery story rummaging through everything. My normal shopping habits are about 30 minutes or less because I scoop all the stuff I grew up snatching off the shelf.

So I guess my question thus far when grocery shopping is this:

Non-stick cooking sprays - are there bad v.s. good cooking sprays for those cutting corners? I have olive oil, but at this point in my diet (doctor directed) I am not to use olive oil just yet.

When I cook and weigh out certain items (for instance if the label says 4oz = 1 serving which = 120 calories) does that mean pre or post cooked?

Coffee (I am allowed to have 1 cup a day. I have Kureig) are there particular coffees that aren't going to be so good for me? Are flavored coffees bad for dieters? I drink coffee black regardless, so I have no issue with cream or sugar.

Smoked salmon - should I get the kind that's spiced or not spiced. Should I be spicing my own for maximum health benefits?
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:19 PM   #8  
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Yes. Yes it does!

I end up eating a lot of wraps, mini pizzas made on wrap bread and salads... stuff that doesn't require making enough to feed an army which sucks because I have so many recipes that I'd love to try but don't need to make multiple servings. I'm about to start trying a few that I can freeze individually though. I'm terrible at wanting to eat what I pack for lunch too.

I also buy pork and chicken in bulk when it's on sale and portion it out before freezing it. Lay out one chicken breast in the morning and bake it when you get home.
Those sound like some great ideas. I suppose I didn't take responsibility before nor was I being an adult about my food choices. I always had someone else prepare it for me (Sonic, Panera, etc etc). Also, those meals that come prepackaged I would cook and man oh man the first serving would be fabulous. I would then say "heck, I don't want it to go to waste and it's not going to taste as good tomorrow if I don't eat it all fresh." So, I would finish up a 2 person pasta meal all by myself! I have a photographer friend of mine who does the same thing and admits it's easier to over indulge when you're alone. No one's going to care if you have that extra serving when you don't have anyone to share it with! I've been keeping my eye out at Barnes and Noble for a book that'll help me cook for one person.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #9  
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Originally Posted by Riestrella View Post
It's funny that you say you feel like you're in another country, because I literally am in another country! Shopping in Japan is really difficult for me, the food is so different that I just have no idea what everything is and what I should make. It's all very overwhelming. I'm trying to get my hands on Japanese cook books in English to help but I end up making the same meals I always make - curry and spaghetti - because I just have no idea what else to do!
I can't imagine your situation. The only time I had anything relatable to that was when I was in Germany trying to order from a German menu from a non-English speaking waiter. Let's just say it was...always surprising. I have a fellow friend who lives in China. I know that's not Japan, but I'm assuming the food choices are a lot alike. Also, I have a very health conscious colleague who lives in South Korea (which I know again isn't Japan) but I could snag some recipes from her for you?
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:33 PM   #10  
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Well, when I was shopping it just took me a lot longer to search items out. I think I spent 2 hours at the grocery story rummaging through everything. My normal shopping habits are about 30 minutes or less because I scoop all the stuff I grew up snatching off the shelf.

So I guess my question thus far when grocery shopping is this:

Non-stick cooking sprays - are there bad v.s. good cooking sprays for those cutting corners? I have olive oil, but at this point in my diet (doctor directed) I am not to use olive oil just yet.

When I cook and weigh out certain items (for instance if the label says 4oz = 1 serving which = 120 calories) does that mean pre or post cooked?

Coffee (I am allowed to have 1 cup a day. I have Kureig) are there particular coffees that aren't going to be so good for me? Are flavored coffees bad for dieters? I drink coffee black regardless, so I have no issue with cream or sugar.

Smoked salmon - should I get the kind that's spiced or not spiced. Should I be spicing my own for maximum health benefits?
i have no idea how to multi-quote, lol
Keep in mind, i dont know your doctors specific diet for you

Re Cooking Sprays- Calorie wise, they are all the same. it does not matter if you use canola/veggie oil/olive oil. Oil/fat has 9 cals per gram. And the spray cooking oils are NOT calorie free. Even though they advertise as such.

Generally,cals/serving are pre-cooked. Anything out of a box (unless it says other-wise) will be the dried, uncooked cal count. Same for chicken breast and such. 4 oz= 120 cals of RAW chicken breast.

Coffee- as long as you are talking about ground, roast coffee, even the flavored ones (like hazelnut or french vanilla) are still essentially calorie free. I believe Keurig makes some cups that are chai-tea/latte type things that do have calories because they are meant to be made from/with milk. Check the label if in doubt. But any "canned" black coffee is going to be zero cals

Smoke-Salmon-- sorry, i cant tell you what to do here. Theres no reason you CANT use pre-seasoned stuff, unless you are avoiding things like sodium/sugar. Pre-seasoned foods like that tend to be high in both those items. You can control better what ingredients to use if you season yourself, of course

Dont know if any of that helped without knowing more about your diet
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #11  
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No one's going to care if you have that extra serving when you don't have anyone to share it with! I've been keeping my eye out at Barnes and Noble for a book that'll help me cook for one person.
I'm doing Weight Watchers and Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches have become a crutch. Eaten in a bowl with a spoon and a dollop of Free Cool Whip. For some reason it seems like more than just inhaling it out of the wrapper and I can stop with just one.

Sonic has me in a bad state of mind... a chicken strip kid meal with small tots is only 8 points. I know I choose that more than I should.

Googling cooking for 1 doesn't yeild much either.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #12  
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Scondy,

What part of Texas are you in? If there's a Central Market near you it's a great place to buy good quality fruits and veggies and their meat section is awesome. They also have a LOT of coffee in the bulk section so you can try out different ones without committing to one before you know if you like it, and I think the labels on the canisters have a calorie count. Plus if you decide you want to spice your own smoked salmon the herbs and spices in bulk are awesome too! My husband and I go and stock up on herbs and spices about once a month.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:10 PM   #13  
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Cooking for one isn't actually hard. Shopping for one is what's difficult. But if you plan your menus ahead and use your freezer, you can make sure that you won't let food go to waste. You can even keep things in the fridge and have leftovers every other day or whenever.

You just need to plan. And maybe budget. I used to put food in the fridge or the freezer and forget about it because I didn't feel like eating the same thing again. Then I allotted a specific amount of money for food each week and if I spent it all, no more food and it worked. Eventually. But it did.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #14  
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I have a five year old daughter, so I'm not cooking for one, but I cook and freeze meals all the time. Think about it as making your own fresh, healthy, and cheaper frozen meals that are catered to your tastes.

I love to eat soups, chilis, and stews, so I have 1-2 cup tupperwares (usually opting for 1 cup servings for lunch, 2 cup servings for dinner) which I use to divvy the food up and freeze. At any given time, I usually have at least four kinds of soup, plus a variety of other foods in my freezer. I'll make things like turkey/zucchini meatballs and freeze them, chicken/bean/veggie burritos and freeze them, and even homemade chicken/squash nuggets. My daughter loves traditional "children's food" like that and I feel good giving them to her. Not to mention, I've been known to eat them in a pinch. I've even frozen casseroles for a few hours, cut them into the correct number of servings (usually 8) then put them into individual baggies.

I find a recipe I like, make the entire amount, and package it in as many servings as it makes (often 4-6 for a family). I then write the recipe, date, and calorie count on the container when I put it in to freeze. It saves me time and energy, and I basically can't fail. Another positive is that it's much harder to go back for "another bite" when you have to heat up an entire second serving.

The only things that I've found don't freeze well are mushrooms (mushroom soup is awful and gummy post-freezing) and dairy-based foods.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:21 PM   #15  
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I always buy the same few things

Last edited by Lemongrab; 12-10-2012 at 03:21 PM.
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