A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Grocery Mainstays

on September 16, 2015

We’re working on reining in the grocery budget a bit, which has me thinking a lot about what things I buy regularly and which of those are “must haves” versus the occasional treat. Last night, my husband went to Sam’s without a list and when he was telling me about the things he purchased, lots of the things he got like Greek yogurt were because “we always need that.” It was nice to see that our healthier habits have become so ingrained. πŸ™‚ Of course, he didn’t tell me about the case of hard cider he bought, the two jugs of V8, the chocolate chips, etc – those aren’t standards.

Plain Greek yogurt is definitely a must in our house!

Plain Greek yogurt is definitely a must in our house!

  • Greek yogurt: We always have both the little cups (usually the Light n’ Fit coffee flavor or a light fruit flavor) and a big tub of plain yogurt. We use plain yogurt all the time, both as a base for fruit in a dessert or breakfast and as a substitute for sour cream in savory dishes. My husband isn’t yet entirely on board with Greek yogurt on his chili instead of sour cream, but he does love the Greek yogurt as a base for ranch dip for carrots.
  • Edamame: Oliver and I both LOVE edamame. We always have frozen edamame on hand for snacks or to stir into stir fries, salads, etc. I usually take two of the little Dora edamame pouches to work because they thaw during the day in my bag and make a very handy snack, especially when I’m driving a lot during the day and need something that is easy to eat in the car.
I feel a little silly as an adult eating edamame out of the little Dora pouch, but they're so convenient!

I feel a little silly as an adult eating edamame out of the little Dora pouch, but they’re so convenient!

  • Fruit: We’ve cut back on our fruit consumption, just because I used to eat way too much at night, but we still go through a lot! Our favorites, for budget and taste and longevity reasons, are apples, bananas and grapes. All three can usually be found for a reasonable price at my grocery store and have a reasonable shelf life. I usually toss a couple of apples in my lunch bag because they travel well. If we let a banana go too long and get too brown for anyone to eat, we toss them in the freezer for smoothies in the future.
  • Light bread: I like the Sara Lee light oatmeal bread or Orowheat’s sandwich thins. We use the light bread for sandwiches and the sandwich thins as pizza crusts or bases for tuna melts. We always have both on hand. It’s important to point out that a big part of the benefit of these, neither of which are “whole” foods by any stretch of the imagination, is that they’re not good enough to be a binge trigger for me. As someone who has to be VERY careful with bread, these are safe to have in my pantry.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a go to for breakfast and dinner in our house. Oliver LOVES scrambled eggs – they were the first thing he learned to cook (with close supervision) and I could (and DO) eat eggs for any meal of the day. They’re a great protein source and a great way to sneak in extra veggies in scrambles or omelets. We’re dreading the price increase that is coming this year in eggs thanks to illness in the bird flocks. 😦
First cooking lesson at the stove: Scrambled eggs. He'll tell you that eggs have protein for your muscles so you can run and play.

First cooking lesson at the stove: Scrambled eggs. He’ll tell you that eggs have protein for your muscles so you can run and play.

  • Beans: Canned beans and dry beans are a constant presence in our pantry and grocery basket. We’re working on eating more meatless meals and beans can make a great, filling, non-meat protein source in your diet. Oliver loves beans and for a while when he wasn’t eating meat at all, they were our go-to protein source. He’ll happily tell you that beans have protein and fiber. πŸ™‚ In most dishes where I would traditionally use ground meat of some kind, I substitute at least half of the meat in the original recipe for beans of some kind to lighten the calorie and fat load, as well as increasing the fiber. Definitely try it out!

The veggies we buy tends to vary based on what’s on the dinner menu and what we’re getting in our CSA bag for the week (currently loads of green beans, which would be good except my nutty kid only likes the canned green beans at school). Of course, we also usually pick up milk and almond milk and are never without my beloved PB2. If I can keep my grocery basket on the healthy side, it makes things SO much easier at home. After all, if I say NO to something in the grocery store, I only have to say no once. If I bring an unhealthy option home, I have to say no to every time I go in the pantry and that is MUCH harder.

In keeping with my goal to weigh in every week and get back on track weight-wise, I’m happy to report that my weight is down to 180.0 this morning (down over 6 pounds in the last two weeks) and my body fat is 25.9%, down from 27.5% in the same time frame. Definitely moving in the right direction again!

What things are always on your grocery list? Do you tend to vary your breakfasts and lunch a lot? In the National Weight Control Registry studies, they found that long term maintainers tend not to vary their options much. That makes sense in some ways, in that fewer choices mean fewer chances to make high calorie choices, but I think I would get bored with that. In the summer, I tend to do sandwiches for lunch but now that fall is here I’m loving making big pots of soup on the weekend that I can take for lunch all week. This week, it’s been a ratatouille-inspired soup with chickpeas – Yum!

10 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Grocery Mainstays

  1. Anna says:

    Love this post – seeing what other people are eating/buying is interesting. I never thought about the edamame for a snack. I haven’t seen the Dora packs but I could definitely divide a bag into baggies for on the go. That makes sense about the bread. I like the pita pockets for sandwiches, but don’t go crazy turning them into my beloved toast. Truth: “if I say NO to something in the grocery store, I only have to say no once” – one of the best tips ever!

    • Toast is definitely dangerous territory for me. Buttery toast is a MAJOR comfort food! I’m planning to switch to making my own little baggies. Dora is convenient but probably not worth the extra cost. πŸ™‚

  2. has2run says:

    My usuals are eggs, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables. I am super excited that fall squash season is here because that means that spaghetti squash is here. I don’t know why I just randomly wrote that. Have a great day

  3. Meg B says:

    Yogurt is a must have for me. We also always have on hand canned beans. I tend to switch my lunches up, I usually eat leftovers if dinner the night before was healthy. I am also a HUGE fan of soups. My office arctic year round so I can eat soup for lunch everyday!
    Great post!

  4. We eat a lot of yogurt, milk, eggs, and fruit. I tend to eat the same thing (with slight variations) every day until I get tired of it; I have 2 standard breakfasts that I rotate (unintentionally) every few weeks. It’s also easier on the budget when I make the same things all the time because more variation usually means more ingredients.

  5. Coco says:

    Where do you find the Dora Edamame??? Yogurt, Eggs, Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Salad mix, Flax Sandwich Thins – those are my staples!

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