5 Items on My Grocery List in March/April

Regardless of the snowflakes in the forecast today, I am very excited to inch closer spring. With seasonal changes, comes change with what I am eating and craving. This month, I have a few go-to’s in the grocery store including the below.

1. Wild Cod and Halibut

Protein is a core focus in my meals. Eating a minimum of 30 grams of protein at each meal, especially breakfast, helps control blood sugar and provide satiety. In case you have seen a lot of buzz around high protein diets being as bad as smoking, please read this article to help understand why that is an extreme statement for weak data.

2. Power Deep Green Blend (1.5 lb bag)

I easily go through this blend of kale, spinach and chard within 5 days. Predominately used to pack a blender full for my AM smoothie (along with protein powder, maca powder, green tea (I put in 2 entire sachet’s worth, and a small amount of fruit), and other times I use it as a base for a salad. Delicious and nutritious this purchase serves up vitamin A, C, Iron and fiber. Above all, I try to eat 6-10 servings of non-starchy vegetables a day, and this blend provides an easy way to do just that.

3. Asparagus

Reaching their peak season end of March early April, these spears just make me feel good when I eat them. Whether I roast them, blank them or eat them raw, I am doing my body good eating asparagus. These green guys are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, E, A and folate (B vitamins), prebiotics, fiber and more.  And one more personal health tip to consider – I find I do best by planning a vegetable to go along with my afternoon snack to aid in eating plenty of nutrients (low calorie) while providing volume and satisfaction leading me to a balanced appetite for dinner. While still breastfeeding and now training for the Soldier Field 10 miler, I can tend to get “hangry” if I don’t fill up.

4. Parsley

Feeling a little bloated? It’s nice to know this fresh herb is a natural way to help flush out excess fluid, thus supporting our kidneys. Serving a purpose beyond a decorative plate, I buy a bushel weekly and throw it in any of my meals imaginable – from eggs to salads to meat.  Parsley is also good for our bones, heart, blood pressure and energy levels.

5. Mandarins

One reason I like buying citrus is I don’t need to feel in a hurry to eat it. The “shelf-life” of citrus fruits tends to be longer than other portable fruits like apples, pears, etc due to it’s tough outer-layer. The durability of the peel also makes citrus fruit a nice snack to throw in my purse or gym bag. We can all agree, eating healthy is more than making the right choices; it includes having the right food on hand at the right time and being convenient. Another bonus is the vitamin C content in mandarins keeps us youthful – data suggests mandarins prevent wrinkles and in a separate body of research, adequate vitamin C levels can reduce body fat. 

Recommended Grocery List

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Eating healthy begins with a good grocery list and having an idea of what meals to make for the week ahead. More tips and advice below.

Produce – focusing on seasonal produce and organic if possible

  • Veggies – lots and lots!
  • Sweet potatoes – great for sweet potato chips or just oven roasted with butter or coconut oil.
  • Mushrooms – use these in everything, from eating raw to throwing in eggs.
  • Wild green
  • Broccoli – usually buy frozen in bulk, therefore, no stress on consuming it before it may spoil.
  • Zucchini, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, all pending on the planned meals for the week.
  • Cauliflower – use as cauli mash or cauli rice.
  • Fresh herbs – can really change the way a meal tastes, and provide antioxidants and helps detoxify our body.
  • Avocado – helps heal us from the inside out.
  • Frozen berries – for those nights I want something sweet – coconut cream, cocoa nibs and berries.
  • Bananas – so good frozen
  • Jicama – full of fiber and great for dicing in a stiry-fry, salad or slice cylinders and use as a chip.
  • Lemons/Limes

Health Tips:

Eat fermented foods daily. You can find options at Whole Foods (including Kombucha), fermented vegetables at the farmer’s market and online at wisechoicemarket.com.

Overall diversify the types of produce you eat weekly, even simply rotate the type of salad greens you eat.

Meat/Seafood

  • Anything grass fed/free range at a good price – beef, lamb, venison, pork
  • Nitrate free bacon – shortcut or Canadian bacon
  • Organic, free-range poultry – opt for skin-on, bone in. Both of these elements are mineral rich and good for our body.
  • No nitrate, hormone free, gluten free deli meat (Boar’s Head, Applegate, Columbus
  • WILD Salmon, tilapia, scallops, calamari, tuna, cod, shrimp – usually buy frozen and some fresh if eating same day.
  • Sardines

Health Tips:

If you don’t have access to quality protein sources there are some great online stores and possible local CSA’s. I recommend US Wellness Meats, Tropical Traditions, Vital Choice (awesome seafood) and Eat Wild websites. Amazon is great for getting certain ingredients, including jerky.

Choose wild caught fish and not farmed. The nutritional profiles in wild are better and contain fewer toxins.

Dairy

  • Organic (grassfed is even better) butter
  • Full fat, organic and grassfed cheese
  • Free range, organic eggs

Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contain: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega- 3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.*

Aisles

  • Pickles
  • Oils such as coconut, macadamia nut and high quality olive oil
  • Nuts – store them in a cool place, heat can turn them rancid
  • Coconut flour and cream/milk
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa nibs
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Hot sauce and spices
  • Tea and coffee (organic coffee)
  • Raw honey (real raw honey)
  • Salsa ( no corn or wheat ingredients)
  • Chia, hemp, whole seeds (soak chia seeds overnight in water or unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk to have a porridge like texture)
  • Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

References:
Lopez-Bote, C. J., R.Sanz Arias, A.I. Rey, A. Castano, B. Isabel, J. Thos (1998). “Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs.” Animal Feed Science and Technology 72: 33-40.