Running the supermarket gauntlet on a Saturday morning is not my idea of fun, but no matter when you do your shopping, it’s got to be done at some point or another.
If you’ve just started with the primal way of eating (Paleo) then things will have become even more complicated, and some will tell you, more expensive.
But it really isn’t as difficult or expensive as you are led to believe!
Use these tips to get in and out of the supermarket in quick time without spending a fortune.
On your marks, get set, go!
- If your bank account allows choose organic whenever possible.
- Stock up on what’s on sale – many vegetables can be frozen for later use.
- If convenience and minimal prep time are important to you stick some spinach, salad blends, pre-cut vegetables, etc into your trolley.
Fill your trolley with lots of colours.
Vegetables – Fill your boots. Great choices include: spinach, greens, broccoli, courgettes, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers and avocado.
Fruit – Don’t go crazy here! Fit fruit into your diet primarily in the post workout period. Great choices include: Berries, watermelon, mango, peaches, grapefruit, oranges, plums, apples, bananas…
- Go for grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, and free range poultry if it’s available and within your budget.
- If choosing farm raised meats opt for leaner cuts, if grass fed the fat is good!
Meat – Beef, venison, wild game and bacon – they’re all good. Sirloin, tenderloin, flank, and strip steaks are the leanest choices. Be adventurous with your meet choices and don’t be afraid to visit your local butcher! You’ll also be glad to hear you can have sausages – just make sure you choose the one’s that aren’t filled with crap.
Poultry – I’m mean of a breast man than a thigh man (cheeky!), but both will yield a high meat to money ratio.
Fish & Seafood – Salmon, tuna and other fatty fish are the best choices due to their high Omega-3 fatty acid content. For variety cod, perch, tilapia, mahi, scallops, shrimp, etc. are good choices too.
- Don’t hang about here. Grab some goat’s milk, almond milk or coconut milk.
If you’re good you should be able to swing by pick up some eggs and be on the move again. Look for omega-3 fortified eggs from free-range chickens.
Frozen Foods Department[checklist]
- In an ideal world we’d all eat fresh food 24/7 but it’s not always ideal depending on the season and your budget. The frozen food aisle is can be a good option for fruits and vegetables. I like to have a few bags of broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, etc. in the freezer for a ‘quick’ meal when I’m shattered at the end of a day.
- Make sure to choose plain frozen vegetables without any sauces or dodgy artificial flavourings.
- Chuck in frozen berries, peaches, cherries and other fruits and you’re on to a winner.
- Pick up a couple large bags of plain chicken breasts, salmon, and/or other meats. If you are on a budget buying bulk bags of meat is cheaper than purchasing from the meat counter. It might not be as good as the fresh meats, but sometimes you’ve got to do what’s best for your budget. [/checklist]
This is where people crack! Lots of pretty colours and buy one get one free offers that lure you in. I never go down the biscuit aisles and I haven’t done for a good few years. Avoid the aisles of tempation.[checklist]
- Add some zing to your trolley. Good options include garlic powder, oregano, basil, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary and sage.
- Oil me up! Coconut oil and olive oil are straight in the trolley with no mucking about. If you fancy something a bit different try avocado and walnut oils – both go well on salads.
- Coconut milk (usually in a can), is great for making curries and works amazing well in smoothies.
- Nuts and nut butters are brilliant for snacks. I’m a peanut butter fiend. I stick it in smoothies and slap it on wedges of apple for a quick snack. Other options include walnut butter, almond butter and macadamia butter. Try a few out and see which one you like best. [/checklist]
- Your goals will depend on how strict you need to be whilst doing your supermarket sweep. Items you may or may not include could be unsweetened dried fruit, balsamic vinegar, beef jerky and dark chocolate.
- If you need an energy boost then forget all the ‘super –ade’ drinks and grab some coconut water. Admittedly not all supermarket chains stock this yet, but you can still order online or at your local health food shop.[/checklist]
Ok, that’s your game plan. Now go, get in there…