Spring Grocery Shopping Challenge

Question: It’s easy to start a new nutrition plan but I get sick of eating the same foods. How do I keep eating healthy when I have no time?

Answer: Knowing what to eat and then planning how to shop, what to cook and what to eat are 2 entirely different things. Old routines that you’ve become accustomed to doing on autopilot are not working anymore.

I see this often in my practice at Solaris Whole Health. Each person is excited to make a change and sees amazing results within the first few weeks, however the reality of changing old routines is daunting. Old family recipes are great for holidays; however they may not be the best choice for every day. I’m Greek, I know! The standard shopping list you’ve grown up with or have been working off of for years is now obsolete. The grocery store pattern you are able to do in your sleep is turned upside down.

When time is short and stress is high, changing these tried and true patterns can be frustrating. This is when I see old patterns start to emerge like buying pre-packaged foods, eating nutritionally poor foods when dining out or skipping meals because of lack of preparation. With normal daily stressors these are easy pitfalls. Shifting this new pattern is crucial to losing weight and keeping it off while keeping your energy up, mental focus high and immune system strong.

So, this spring here is your 5-STEP, 12 WEEK, SWH SPRING CHALLENGE: To create a new food planning regime that will take you into the new year healthier than ever!

1. Choose ONE healthy recipe book or App or Site to work from. Keep it simple. One of my favorite recipe books is “The UltraMetabolism Cookbook” by Dr. Mark Hyman. Or I like a great recipe/grocery shopping APP called “Big Oven.”Here you are able to search recipes with any nutrition parameters (dairy free,gluten free, peanut free), create shop-ping lists and scan your current recipes by taking a photo right on your phone. Take the time to investigate what you’re comfortable with and choose one direction confidently.

2. Create a weekly menu, adding ONE new healthy recipe per week. This means in 7 weeks you will have a weeks full of new recipes to add to your regime. I think the ‘prince spaghetti night’ mentality is right on. As humans we love consistency and predictability in a world that can dish us surprises on a daily level. So plan that every Monday you will make/have the same dish, every Tuesday the same dish and so on.

3. Create ONE master shopping list. Add your new weekly ingredients each week to your master shopping list. You will organically create a new master list each week. The Big Oven App allows you to create this list right from your recipes OR you may create your own in word or excel OR keep your old favorite list and add new ingredients. GroceryRegardless of how you will use your new master shopping list I suggest creating a new habit of checking off or adding an ingredient you need or ran out of in real time. If your list is on paper, pin it to your refrigerator so the minute you run out of something you circle it OR check it off on your phone/App list.

4. Shop ONE time per week. If you work inside or outside the home and cook for yourself and/or family, time is of the essence. I am a big fan of mixing it up with organic fresh or frozen fruits, veggies and protein. With your weekly menu already planned, your cooking routine will begin to take shape. The goal is to know what you are cooking and create the muscle memory to eventually cook new healthy great meals nightly without having to think.

5. PRACTICE. You won’t like every new recipe you make. Know this going in. Commit to 12 weeks of this new routine. By the end of 12 weeks your goal is to have 7 new recipes in your repertoire with a new master grocery list and a weekly menu. This new regime will take you and your families health, vitality and confidence to the next level!

All good things in life take effort. Creating your new menu, cooking patterns, and shopping routines takes time. By breaking the process down, your new habit will come together and you will be ready to start 2014 better than ever! Good luck with your SWH SPRING CHALLENGE!

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