healthy living

Things I Don’t Buy in the Grocery Store Anymore

Grocery shopping was one of my favorite things for a long time. I loved going to my favorite store and exploring all the new items and things I wanted to try. I ate a lot of processed foods and had a fistful of coupons to save money on them. The advice that most “lose weight” articles give is to stay in the perimeter of the grocery story: the produce section, dairy, meat and seafood and avoid the middle of the store. The middle of the store is where all these processed, not-so-good-for-you “foods” are found.

I’ve mentioned many, many times that I don’t deny myself things I want now, I just eat them in moderation. I call this my 90/10 Rule. I splurge, I eat treats, I drink beer and go out for pizza. But instead of gorging myself on massive amounts, I do so in moderation. 2 pieces of pizza and 1 beer are the perfect amount of food for a dinner out. I don’t feel deprived, I don’t feel like I’m denying myself “Bad Foods” and I enjoy myself. This works for me and has worked well for 4 years now.

While I do not “deny” myself food or label foods as good or bad, there are a lot of things that I just don’t eat anymore. Part of that is because I know how many calories are in things now. It’s honestly difficult to enjoy something knowing that it has like 700 calories in it and it’s double the calories I’d normally eat for a meal.

One of the big things I avoid in the grocery store now is the candy/cookie/treat isle. Don’t get me wrong–I still eat candy and cookies and treats but I eat different kinds now. Instead of getting an entire box of Oreos and eating them all in one weekend, I get the take-n-bake type cookies and only bake a serving at a time. Just last night I made Michael and I some chocolate chip cookies: I baked 6 total and we enjoyed our little serving of cookies for dessert without the temptation to eat 5 more.

The other big one is the juice isle–frozen and bottled. I used to LOVE juice. Lemonade, guava juice, orange juice–I always had my freezer stocked with a few options because I usually had some kind of juice with breakfast every day. I’ve told you before that I had a bit of a “drinking problem.” Now? I rarely have that stuff on hand. When I get sick I usually buy a small single serving container of orange juice and every once in awhile I will make lemonade in the summertime. Usually the only thing I have in the house is the unsweetened iced tea I made.

Finally, the bakery. It’s almost always skipped in the grocery store. In the old days, I used to get the single serving slices of cake or cheesecake a few times a week. I told myself I was doing “good” because it was only one piece. Until I started buying several at a time and eating two slices of cheesecake from the bakery instead of one.

One thing I don’t avoid anymore (but did while I was trying to lose 100 pounds) was the ice cream isle. For 2 years I couldn’t eat ice cream because it was a trigger food–if it was in my house I’d eat all of it and probably in one sitting. After I maintained my weight loss for awhile I realized I was able to eat ice cream in moderation. I COULD have it in my house and eat a little bit here and there and NOT the entire thing!

Of course, now I eat the lower calorie ice creams and not the crazy treats that are high in calories. And my trip the ice cream isle does not happen every time I got to the grocery store! Once a month is about the average now.

You can do so well in the grocery store and make your way to the checkout with lots of fruits and veggies and seafood and other healthy options. And then be faced with this:

The last minute, impulse buy crap! Dang it! Too bad the grocery checkout lines don’t look more like this:

Oranges, apples, and other healthier options. Oh well, in a perfect world I guess. I do pretty well with resisting the impulse buy candy section.

QUESTION: What things in the grocery store do you avoid now?

Healthy Life Confessions

Confession time! (By the way, I have no idea what the above picture is from. It’s bizarre, was it a magazine? Don’t know but I liked it.)

My healthy living lifestyle hasn’t always been an easy road.  I used to prefer processed foods that didn’t require anything other than a microwave in order to eat. I didn’t cook, I didn’t want to spend much time in the kitchen and I liked junk food. Making the transition to healthier living was a hard one.

The first big change I made was switching my regular soda to diet soda. It was disgusting. I hated it. It tasted weird, it tasted like chemicals, I had to choke it down. But after a few weeks, I got used to that and didn’t mind it so much. After I got used to drinking diet, regular soda tasted strange! Eventually I made the switch to sparkling water because I didn’t like how the diet soda made me feel.

I had to retrain my taste buds, too. There were a lot of healthy foods I didn’t really like because I never ate them. I learned to like some things and eventually learned to love and prefer the healthier options.

Healthy Foods I Learned to Like

Cottage Cheese – I hated this for years! It was so gross. I hated the flavor, or lack of, and the texture. Eventually I started liking it because I mixed it into salads and dinners. Now I can eat it plain. Cottage cheese is a great low calorie snack option because the high protein fills you up.

Cooked Spinach – As a kid I refused to eat spinach. My mom would try to make me and I’d gag and spit it out. That followed me into my adulthood and I avoided all spinach. What made me change my mind was meeting Michael. He made me a spinach salad and I really liked it. Then he made me a scrambled egg dish with feta and spinach and I shockingly enjoyed that too!

Plain Greek Yogurt – Yogurt for me was that super sugary crap like Yoplait. Sugar, sweet, fruit, it was more like a dessert than a healthy snack! I slowly made the change to Greek yogurt and liked the texture a lot. Chobani was my favorite and I stuck to the fruit flavors I liked. Eventually I switched to plain and added my own fresh fruit. My palate definitely changed and I prefer that now.

Brussels Sprouts – One word: BACON. That’s how I grew to love Brussels sprouts. 🙂

Onions – How I learned to like onions was French Onion soup. Who doesn’t like caramelized onions?!? Now I can eat onions in salads raw, cooked, anything.

Squash – I hated all kinds of squash as a kid. It was both the flavor and the texture. I learned to like it when my friend Star baked some acorn squash with brown sugar. It was like a dessert! Yum! Then I tried spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta noodles. Loved it! And it’s so low in calories.

Healthy Foods I Dislike

Mushrooms – Yuck, yuck, yuck. Hate mushrooms and always will. The flavor, the texture, the smell, everything. I can’t even eat food that has mushrooms in it.

Green Tea – I still don’t like the flavor. It’s bitter, I just can’t take it. I know it’s good for me, so I take green tea supplements instead.

Oysters – I know these are healthy and popular but I just can’t do it. The texture and size of oysters just gross me out. I’d rather eat clams or mussels!

Mango – I love all fruit but for some reason mangoes are not one of them. Papayas are kind of up there too.

Other Confessions

I don’t understand the whole “oats in a jar” phenomenon in the blog world. Seriously, someone explain it to me. What’s wrong with a bowl?

I miss running races, I miss the camaraderie. That’s all.

Sometimes I get burned out with working out 5 days a week and wish I had the strength to take an entire week off and not worry the whole time that I will gain weight or fall off the exercise wagon.

I think what I miss most from my “previous life” was not having the awareness of calorie counts. Sometimes I just want to drink a 600 calorie strawberry daiquiri with whipped cream and eat half a pizza but knowing how many calories that would be turns me off from the idea.

One of my fantasy vacations is a week long stay at a resort/retreat like this. A week of fitness classes, yoga, hiking in the wilderness, meditation and spa treatments? Sign me up! (First thing I’m doing when I win the lottery.)

QUESTION: Do you have any healthy living confessions you want to share? Any healthy foods you just can’t make yourself like?