By Carolyn Brown, MS, RD
I was “caught” by one of my Foodtrainers clients while grocery shopping the other day. Well, really, it was she who was caught; it’s a good thing she can blame her hubby and kids for some of the things I spied in her cart. But I too had a momentary “oh my god, what’s in my cart?” freakout. Do I practice what I preach? A few years ago while in grad school, if caught red-handed with French fries or candy or the like, I would jokingly say “do what I say, not what I do,” but things have changed. I guess it’s called adulthood (yikes). But it turns out my tastebuds have changed too, and a quick cart-scan verified I’m not a fraudulent nutrition nerd. Sure, I didn’t escape the chocolate aisle empty-handed, but indulgences are essential. People always say “eat like a nutritionist” but to make that happen, first you have to shop like one. So here’s a peek at my market trip to refill the fridge.
Produce: The majority of my summer “cooking” includes smoothies and green juices, so fruits, veggies, and herbs make up the bulk of my cart. I have a few basics but the rest changes based on what’s in season and what’s on sale (often they overlap). Organic is ideal, but I’m still a stingy 26-year-old.
In my cart: lettuce, kale, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, grapefruit, watermelon, avocado, cilantro
Seeds, nuts, nut milks: year-round essentials. Nuts and seeds have really healthy fats, including lots of vitamin E, great for your skin and hair. They’re great for on the go.
In my cart: pecans or pistachios, almond butter, almond milk, chia seeds, chickpeas or black beans.
Beans and grains: all are versatile in salads and for side dishes. Nothing like homemade hummus. And when there are so many options out there, regular old pasta just sounds boring.
In my cart: quinoa, amaranth, chickpeas or black beans, roasted red pepper hummus, popcorn
Meat, fish, and dairy: meat and dairy are one of the areas where if you can do organic, you should. Hormones and antibiotics are not something you knowingly want to get more of. When it comes to fish, try to stay wild (fish can’t be organic).
In my cart: organic chicken (if I’m lazy, organic rotisserie chicken), fresh turkey breast, Greek yogurt, half and half (for coffee), pasture-raised eggs, string cheese, wild salmon.
The extras: I’m a freezer fanatic – I use it for extra veggies and always have 1-2 frozen meal options in there for “safety.” I’m a fan of Organic Bistro, Amy’s, and EVOL. Then there’s the chocolate… but what used to be artificially flavored milk chocolate is now dark chocolate with almonds.
So, what’s in your grocery cart?