At the grocery store, follow these guidelines to maintain a rockstar diet. (def. cheap, quick, nutritious & gourmet) Once in a while I get a craving, and you know what? I follow it. Just don’t make it a habit.
1. Grocery List. Never go shopping without one. Devise a list that is 1/2 fruits and vegetables, 1/4 protein and 1/4 other things like canned soup, treats, oil, spices, etc. This ratio looks phenomenal in your shopping cart and will serve you well at home.
2. Price Check. Avoid corner stores where everything is expensive and packaged. At the grocery store, aim for each item on your list to cost less than $5.00. Exceptions: cheese, fish and free-range meat. These are worth spending on.
3. Buy organic fruits and vegetables when possible. Carcinogenic theories aside, most organic produce is superior in texture, flavour, and longevity: organic produce lasts WAY LONGER in the fridge. If you’re on the go all the time like me, you want food that will last, even if you forget it for a couple of days.
4. Buy Local. Whenever possible, look for your staple foods at your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s Market foods are, overall, cheaper, healthier and more eco-friendly than their grocery store counterparts, because they save on plastic packaging and shipping costs. At the grocery store, try to buy things from your province and country.
5. Avoid Wheat. This is not an absolute rule, simply a guideline. Traces of gluten or flour are not a big deal. Unless there is no available alternative, I swap wheat pasta for rice pasta. For bread and buns, I eat Sprouted Grain products.
6. Eat Sprouted Grain (SG). I can’t say enough about SG breads. They are way higher in nutrients and protein than ordinary bread – 6g protein per slice. Read up on SG bread here.
7. Prioritize Protein. I used to waste my life in the cardio room. Now I focus on strength-training with minimal cardio. I’m the leanest and lightest I’ve ever been. You must consume TONS of protein to maintain muscle weight, and even more to increase it, so put protein in every snack and meal. Favourite sources: SG bread, greek yogourt, cheese, nuts and nut butters, fish fish fish, veggie burgers & dogs, and free-range, anti-biotic-free meats. I also value a good, vanilla protein powder for killer homemade shakes.
8. Avoid Empty Food. Sugar is a bare necessity. Make sure everything you eat gives you more than bare necessities. Avoid empty foods like: soft drinks (especially diet pop), microwave meals, boxed meals, and diet foods (cut that blue label shit). Diet foods eliminate natural ingredients for fillers like sodium and modified corn starch. They are NOT satisfying, and NOT good for you.
9. Compare Labels. At the grocery store, if you’re ever stuck between brands, choose products that minimize sodium, and maximize protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre.