Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Supermarket Sweep

Today, I want to give you the meeting summary from my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

Outsmart the Supermarket 
Here's how to navigate to the best-for-you choices. Article By: Janis Jibrin, R.D.

You're driving home from work, your stomach is rumbling, and you still have to make a stop at the supermarket. As you walk down each aisle, foods you had no intention of buying — from snacks to full-fat potato salad to frozen lasagna — are suddenly irresistible. Sound familiar?

Arm yourself with strategies that will help you avoid temptations and get in and out of the supermarket faster, with the right stuff in your grocery bags.

Plan ahead
Take five minutes to plan menus for the upcoming week. Create seven lunch and dinner menus (fewer than that if you eat some meals out). Keep in mind the week's events: Working late on Thursday? Make it a take-out night. If the dishes you plan don't include vegetables, estimate how many salads or cooked vegetables you want to accompany the meals. Also, plan on a few snacks and get enough cereal or breakfast foods.

Create a list
This isn't the list you hurriedly make as you rummage through your fridge and see that you need more milk or you're out of eggs. Nope, this fool-proof list comes right out of the seven-day menu plan strategy.

Make your list market-friendly 
To make shopping easier and faster, organize your list according to the sections of the store. Shop at specialty markets? Then organize by market. Here are some basic categories:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Refrigerator cases (dairy, juice, eggs, etc.)
• Meat, poultry and fish cases
• Canned foods, condiments and oils
 • Grains and cereals
• Breads
• Frozen foods

Grab a snack beforehand
You've heard this a zillion times before, and it's still true: Shop hungry and you're more likely to succumb to high-calorie foods. If you don't have time for a whole meal, munch on a quick, healthy snack such as a handful of nuts or a small bag of baked chips before you grab your cart and go.

Hit the supermarket once a week
If possible, shop on the same day each week and spare yourself some aggravation by avoiding the busy times: weekday evenings or weekends (by Sunday, the produce is usually not so hot anyway). If you work during the day, go after 9 p.m.; if you have a more flexible schedule, go during the day.

Make a produce pit-stop
Shopping once a week may be too little for fresh produce, so dart into the market mid-week to replenish your supply of fruits and vegetables. In the summer months, save time by stopping off at a roadside stand.

These lists will take the guesswork out of supermarket shopping. And with the right foods on hand, you'll have a leg up on preparing Weight Watchers recipes and minimizing food temptations.

Fridge staples
• reduced-fat or fat-free hard cheese, such as parmesan
• grated cheese
• cream cheese
• cottage cheese

• mustard
• ketchup
• light or nonfat butter
• light or nonfat margarine
• low-fat salad dressing
• low-fat sour cream
• light mayonnaise

Cooking essentials:
• bottled minced garlic
• fresh lemons and limes to squeeze for juice

Diet beverages:
• flavored waters and seltzers
• soda
• light juice cocktails
• sugar-free lemonade mixes

• hummus
• black bean dip
• fat-free or low-fat sour cream-based dips

Eggs/liquid egg substitute

Fresh Fruit:
• whole items such as apples and plums
• cut up melons and mixed fresh fruit salad

Fresh vegetables:
• whole items for slicing and dicing
• bagged salad mixes
• Cut-up vegetables for dips

Hot dogs and bacon:
• Canadian-style bacon
• light turkey or pastrami bacon
• reduced-fat or fat-free hot dogs

Luncheon meats:
• deli-sliced turkey breast
• lean ham
• roast beef

Meat, fish and poultry:
• lean beef
• skinless fish
• lean ground chicken
• turkey breast

Meat alternatives:
• soy dogs
• tofu
• tempeh
• seitan

• skim
• 1%
• buttermilk

• tortillas
• wonton wrappers
• fresh pastas

Yogurts/smoothies (low-fat or fat-free varieties)

Freezer staples 
Breakfast items:
• whole-grain waffles • pre-made pancakes

Frozen desserts:
• light and fat-free ice creams, muffins and cakes Frozen Entrees (light breakfasts, lunches, dinners and side dishes)

Frozen Fruit (for baking and making smoothies)

Frozen Starches (low-fat/low-calorie potatoes and squashes)

Frozen Vegetables (whole, cut-up and sliced for soups, stir-fries and other entrees)

Meal kits (Asian stir-fries that include already cut veggies and light sauces)

Meat substitutes:
• veggie burgers
• soy products

Meat, fish and poultry:
• lean beef
• skinless fish
• lean ground chicken
• lean ground turkey breast

Soup (bean-based, broths for cooking)

Pantry staples
Baking mixes/needs:
• angel food cake
• spice cake
• reduced-calorie pancake and brownie mix
• light or fat-free, sugar-free pudding and gelatin mixes
• sugar and/or sugar substitutes

Beans and lentils (canned and dried; kidney, pinto, black, chickpeas, etc.)

• light whole-wheat or whole-grain breads
• reduced-calorie hamburger and hot dog buns
• pre-made thin pizza crust
• reduced-fat crackers

Canned fish (tuna and salmon packed in water)

Canned vegetables and soups:
• pureed pumpkin for baking
• chopped chilies
• canned artichoke hearts
• fat-free broth
• reduced-fat tomato-based soups

Canned fruit (packed in water or their own juice)

• high-fiber varieties
• dry oats and farina
• instant flavored oatmeal

Dried fruit/vegetables:
• cranberries
• raisins
• apricots
• sun-dried tomatoes
• dehydrated vegetable snack mixes


Oil, vinegar, cooking spray and other bottled sauces/dressings
• teriyaki
• reduced-sodium soy
• reduced-calorie syrup
• olive-oil flavored cooking spray, etc.

Pasta, rice and other dry grains: • whole-wheat pasta • brown and wild rice • bulgur • couscous

Peanut butter or other nut butters/nuts

Savory snacks:
 • light popcorn
• baked chips
 • portion-controlled cracker packs

• dried herbs and spices
• prepackaged seasoning packets

Shelf-stable vegetables:
• whole onions
• heads of garlic
• potatoes

Sweet snacks (reduced-fat and fat-free candy, cookies and chocolates)

Tomato sauce and paste:
• bottled and canned
• plain and seasoned

Popular getting-started must-haves 
• Canned, fat-free refried beans (for burritos, quesadillas and vegetable dips)
• Flavored mustards (such as tarragon, dill and honey mustards for sandwiches, potato and poultry toppings)
• Flavored salsas/canned seasoned tomato products (for potato toppings, vegetable dips, poultry and fish, Mexican-based dishes)
• Frozen veggie burgers (black bean, Southwestern- and Indian-flavored and soy burgers)
• Grapes (wash and freeze for a frozen treat)
• Gum
• High-fiber crunchy cereal (to snack on or mix into yogurt)
• High-quality dark chocolate
• Highly flavored vinegars (high-quality balsamic vinegar and herb-infused vinegars)
• Highly flavored cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano, crumbled feta, blue cheese)
• Highly flavored oils (toasted sesame, walnut, extra-virgin olive oil)
• Light crackers/cookies (look for pre-portioned snack packs)
• Light or fat-free whipped topping (for dessert toppings or as a dip/topping for fresh fruit)
• Light or nonfat sour cream and plain yogurt (for making dips and sauces; plain, fat-free Greek yogurt is nice and thick — perfect as a chili/stew topping and thicker creamy sauces)
• Low-fat microwave popcorn
• Mini packs of low-fat cottage cheese
• Pistachios in shells/tamari roasted almonds
 • Whole-wheat pitas/tortillas/wraps (use for sandwiches or slice, season and toast for homemade chips)
• Soy chips/baked chips/flavored rice cakes
• Spaghetti squash (bake and remove flesh with a fork as a pasta alternative)
• String cheese
• Sugar-free, fat-free pudding and gelatin
• Sugar-free, fat-free fudge pops, ices and ice cream bars
• Sweet potatoes (for homemade oven-baked fries)
• Whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat couscous


Heidi said...

thanks for this!! it will be a good start to keeping me on the right track. i am aiming for a nice 2lbs per week.

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