A salad made from broccoli, apples, raisins, sunflower seeds, sweet red pepper, radishes, avocado & dressed with olive oil, turmeric, garlic, lemon juice features tasty Mediterranean flavors!
It’s Mediterranean Month!
If you want to follow a healthy eating plan from around the world, a smart choice is Mediterranean style. Flavors are fresh, fruits and vegetables are plentiful and the net result is very healthy ‘fuel’ for your body. When I lived in Italy 7 years ago from September – December, I was really excited about what I could buy at the grocery store and open-air markets. Boy, was it fun cooking there!
Grocery Shopping for Mediterranean Foods in the USA!
It’s all good news if you want to find Mediterranean foods in American grocery stores these days. Look around for simple foods that fall into basic categories such as fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seafood, yogurt. Then, don’t leave out 3 other characteristic choices: garlic, olive oil and red wine.
Planning A Mediterranean Meal & Shopping List!
1. Think of a Mediterranean style meal: Broiled fish with White bean or Chickpea Salad, Steamed Asparagus, Crusty bread, Figs.
2. Check your pantry: If you have a can of beans or chickpeas, use them. If you have dried figs, use them. If you keep olive oil and dried herbs as staples, use them. There’s no need to purchase what you already have on hand.
3. Write your list: Fish recipe – fresh or fresh-frozen fish of choice; fresh lemon; fresh parsley; Bean or chickpea salad recipe – fresh garlic, celery or fennel, parsley; Fresh asparagus recipe – fresh asparagus; Crusty bread – buy the day you eat it; Figs for dessert – pouch of dried figs.
A Healthier Grocery Trip!
Healthier groceries are the starting point for healthier meals and snacks. To feel better, improve your health and do so deliciously, a firm stand at the grocery store makes sense. Make the switch now by using this Mediterranean shopping list, and as always, keep it simple at mealtime! Please join me on Facebook for daily tips and shopping inspiration of the good-for-you variety!
What’s a Mediterranean food you’ll add to your grocery cart this month?
Fresh produce isn’t the only place to find fresh and healthy choices!
Fresh Produce is a Good Starting Point!
Just about every grocery store that I know puts the fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables in view where customers enter the store. It makes sense to get us starting our grocery basket with seasonal choices as well as nutritious ones.
Tip: Pick up 1-2 fruits and 1-2 vegetables here, as a rule.
Fresh Bakery Comes Next!
The smell of yeast bread towers over the fresh bakery and everywhere close to it. Did you know there are fans that blow the bread-baking odors all around to entice customers to buy more?
Tip: Pick up a bread with ‘whole wheat’ or other whole grain as the #1 ingredient. Then, ask the bakery clerk to slice it – unless it’s already in nice, neat slices.
Moving On toSeafood!
Fish and shellfish are smart choices if you are looking for extra lean protein. Try something different like scallops or mahi mahi instead of your usual purchase. If you’re buying fresh seafood, ask to smell it first to check the freshness. It should smell mild and fresh like the ocean.
Tip: Put a package of fresh frozen seafood in your grocery basket, for later. You can store it in your freezer for a few days, a few weeks or a few months.
A Good Nutrition Grocery Basket!
Remember to think about variety when you write your shopping list. It takes a little of everything — protein, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy — every day for balanced and satisfying meals. The US government makes quite a few easy-to-understand resources available for good nutrition. So, click here to check them out. If you need help putting together tasty menus then click here.
What new food will you try in this week’s grocery basket?
My grocery store tours begin with handy tips on fruits & veggies!
There’s no two ways about it, touring around the grocery store is an amazing way to learn how to make healthy choices and to remember them. In my career as a registered dietitian, I’ve had the chance to bring all kinds of people into my ‘hands-on nutrition classroom’ and to get them excited about what they learn. I know it sounds funny – a guided tour of the grocery store. But, if you can learn about paintings or sculpture at a museum tour then why not learn about nutritious foods at a grocery store tour?!
Many people struggle at the grocery store because, after all, it’s confusing, crowded and stuffed full of packages, shelf tags and signs that are basically overwhelming. A guided grocery store tour can change all that. Everyone needs and buys food, typically once or twice a week. What goes into your shopping basket goes into your home pantry, fridge and freezer. What goes there, ends up on your meal table or snack tray. So, by joining a grocery store tour and learning to make wiser choices, this ‘choose-buy-store-eat’ cycle will begin on a healthy note with every trip.
Getting adjusted to new habits is never fast or easy. With new grocery shopping habits, though, just imagine how your life can change. There are chronic issues such as pre-diabetes, diabetes and high cholesterol – all of which will respond to healthy nutrition that begins at the grocery store. There are other issues such as feeling out-of-sorts, tired, or unable to focus – all of which may respond to healthy nutrition that begins at the grocery store. It’s smart to get help from a nutrition professional no matter which health issue you face. It’s even smarter to get help before your health becomes an issue.
Nutrition & Wellness Professionals Step-Up!
If you’re a nutrition or wellness professional, it’s time to master the skills you need to help your clients choose healthier groceries. My new, one-of-a-kind Webinar Series is called Grocery Store Tour Success. I am partnering with Marjorie Geiser, a top notch coach for nutrition and fitness professionals to bring you this program.
Grocery Store Tour Success starts off with a Free Series Preview on Tuesday, January 29, 3 pm EST – don’t miss this! Let’s band together and make smarter, more confident grocery shoppers of our clients so they can enjoy good health and great food flavors – forever!
Click here to register for the Free Preview and learn what you’ll need to ‘nail down’ before you create, market and execute successful grocery store tours. Learn insider tips about how to fill your tours, how to build a relationship with a grocery store and how to manage your time so you’re prepared to lead awesome tours.
What would you like to learn on a grocery store tour?
* Learn to make homemade vegetable soup and practice often
September is Fruit & Veggie Month
Feeling great and staying healthy are 2 awesome reasons to power-up with fruits and veggies. Try plums, raspberries, acorn squash, turnips (at right, above), kohlrabi (at left, above), kiwi fruit, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, apples and pears. Then, try even more with bright colors and a ton of great nutrition.
Make a Goal to Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Be a leader for fruits and veggies! Eat one of each at every meal. Be a successful role model for your family, and kids. Show your friends by example that eating fruits and veggies is definitely cool. For handy help, check the details of my e-books with menus and recipes for ongoing success!
Adding nuts to your shopping cart and your kitchen pantry is a smart idea for everyone, unless there are allergies in the family. When you buy nuts, think about other healthy pantry items, too. Join me on Facebook, subscribe to my E-newsletter and invest in my e-books for a healthier kitchen and a healthier life!
Throwing away the remains of fruits, veggies, nut shells, egg shells into garden compost is a good sign!
What Lurks in the Fridge?
Is your celery or lettuce squishy and slimy again? Do you find a disgustingly moldy onion in your pantry too often? Do you forget to use up leftovers like spaghetti and meatballs and, when you discover them, they smell funny and unsafe? Do you feel like you are throwing away too much food?
What is it Costing You?
All of us throw away food once-in-a-while. But, throwing away food every week is too much – too much wasted space, time, and money. Estimates are that, on average, Americans throw away 30-40% of their food budget – which can cost you up to $1,000 or more dollars in a year. Just think what you could use that extra money for!
How to Waste Less and Save More!
1. Plan meals in advance of grocery shopping. Do a 3-day, or 7-day plan and write it down.
2. Look through your pantry, fridge and freezer before you make your shopping list, to buy only what you need.
3. Make a grocery shopping list that includes what you need for your meal plans, and everyday, healthy staples.
4. Keep it simple at the grocery store. Shop your list.
5. At home, put away perishable items first, then put away dry foods. Date perishables to remind yourself to eat them before they spoil. Work your meal plans.
Whole grains are flavorful, affordable & powerful nutrition!
Why Whole Grains?
Good nutrition is all about enjoyment and variety. Whole grains are a notch healthier as they provide more fiber, B-vitamins, folic acid and iron than their refined counterparts. Whole grains typically are lower in calories than other starchy foods and they can help fill you up, too. By powering up nutrients and powering down calories, you can lower blood pressure, reduce joint pain and be less susceptible to type 2 diabetes.
Grocery Store Tips
1. Come to the store with a list of whole grains to try. For starters, you might try whole wheat pasta, quick-cooking barley and brown rice. Next trip, you might buy quinoa, Old Fashioned oatmeal or farro.
2. Add ingredients to your cart that enhance the flavors of simple, whole grains when cooked with them. Garlic, shallots, onions, sun dried tomatoes, fresh and dried herbs can boost flavors, without adding sodium.
3. Bring a family member to the store to help you shop for whole grains. It will take the entire family working together to switch from refined to whole grains. Everyone, though, will benefit and improve their nutrition – deliciously!
Ready to roast: sweet potatoes, parsnips, red and green Bell peppers and red onions.
Color and Good Nutrition
Need some help getting out of a hum-drum eating rut? The easiest way is to gather a rainbow of colorful foods at the grocery store. Not only do colors please the eyes but they pack in powerful nutrition.
When I think of an artist’s palette, I really get going on combinations for my meal plate – what about you? A snack of blueberries and yogurt is a good start. A lunch salad with a variety of shades of green lettuces, shredded purple cabbage and tomatoes is beautiful, too. Or imagine this…a dinner stir-fry with sugar snap peas, mushrooms, carrots and red Bell pepper strips. Truly, a feast for the eyes and the body.
Simple and Nutritious
Simple and colorful meals are a smart way to make healthy eating a priority for you and your family. For everyday tips, tiny recipes and inspiration about healthier nutrition, join me on Facebook or check out my e-book bundle of Tasty Menus and Recipes.
Dark pink flowers mean ‘appreciate’, ‘gratitude’, ‘thank you!’
Fun at the Supermarket!
For years now, I’ve enjoyed helping everyday people better understand how to gather a healthy shopping basket at their favorite supermarket. If you’ve never walked through your store with a registered dietitian (RD), then perhaps it can be your New Year’s Resolution for 2012. For both the RD and you, there will be eye-opening discoveries at nearly every turn of the aisle. For you, there will be healthier groceries for a healthier kitchen!
For your trust and loyalty in reading my blog week-after-week, or once-in-a-while, I thank you very much! The most popular topics this year have been meal planning on a budget, exciting kids about eating healthier, identifying and cooking all kinds of fruits and vegetables, and the ins-and-outs of smart choices at the supermarket. I am looking for new topics to cover in my blog in 2012 and would love to hear from you. Again, thank you from Cindy and Market Basket Nutrition!
Jackie wants to be a strawberry because it’s her favorite fruit and so sweet. Jake wants to be cherries because they grow in a bunch and he likes hanging around with his friends. Rocco wants to be mixed vegetables so he can talk different languages with the other vegetables, and he doesn’t want to be eaten. Who knew kids could take on the personalities of fruits and veggies so creatively? Amazing!
Getting Kids Excited about Eating Right
Next time you’re in the grocery store, try asking your child(ren) which fruit or vegetable she/he/they would like to be and why? You’ll be surprised to hear the answers, and you might be surprised at their excitement, too. Young minds are open to just about anything – even making healthier choices for the family grocery cart. There’s no better place to start than with fruits and veggies.
Getting the Entire Family On-Board
Eating meals together as a family is an awesome way to connect with those you care about most. Dinner conversation can be fun and funny for everyone and it can help kids excel in school. Try these questions for some lively times:
Which vegetable would you like to eat for breakfast and why?
What fruit makes the biggest crunch when you eat it?
If you could be any fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?
Tips to Help You Create a Healthier Kitchen and Family
To stay in-the-loop for tasty and nutritious tips about meal planning, grocery shopping and simple home cooking, take a minute to LIKE my facebook page at Market Basket Nutrition and join the conversation. What’s in it for you? Everyday, easy
Sometimes putting easy strategies in place can save you a lot of money. Your grocery store happens to be a great example of this. Here are 3 tips that will add cash to your wallet while helping you put a nutritious meal on the table, day-after-day.
1. Buy more veggies and less meat.
2. Take a less-is-more approach to using coupons.
3. Become a believer in healthier choices of store brand foods.
Easy Strategies to Begin Using Right Now!
1. Buy more veggies and less meat. There is great economy and nutrition in vegetables compared to meat. The veggies you can use in multiple ways in your kitchen, like cucumbers, carrots, green beans and corn, will be your best-buys. Look for best-buy vegetables on a weekly sale in the fresh produce department or choose frozen or canned. By the way, don’t forget to keep track of what veggies are in the fridge so you can use them up before they spoil. This saves you money, too.
2. Take a less-is-more approach to using coupons. A high percentage of online and newspaper coupons are for processed foods. Typically, processing takes away from the nutritional value of foods, so using too many coupons can put products into your kitchen that are wasting your ‘good food’ dollars. Instead, opt for carefully chosen, unprocessed foods which are nutrient-rich and full of flavor. If you find coupon(s) for these, then of course use them.
3. Become a believer in healthier choices of store brand foods. Believe it or not, store brand foods can save an average shopper 20-30% on their full shopping basket of purchases while delivering top quality. The simple conclusion is that it’s really worth trying your local store brand. Be selective, however, because the best nutrition deals come with food products that use natural ingredients to boost overall nutrition.
Basic foods can fuel your busy life - healthfully!
Basic Foods & Your Grocery Cart
There are foods we eat as nature made them, and foods that we do not. Think about what’s in your grocery cart minus wrappers. Are there fruits, vegetables, grains like rice and barley, proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and plain yogurt? Or, do you have a cart-full of foods with processing added?
Think about what can be inside modern, processed food wrappers that may harm your health. For example, trans fats, caffeine, artificial colors and flavors are common but your body prefers basic foods. What grandma and great-grandma ate was, perhaps, best after all.
Shopping for the Basics
Stop 1 – Fresh fruits and vegetables, choose an assortment.
Stop 2 – Bakery bread, made from whole wheat flour and other simple ingredients.
Stop 3 – Meat, seafood, poultry, without marinade and without injected solutions of any kind.
Stop 4 – Canned fruits, veggies, pasta, rice and soup, made with the simplest ingredients you can find.
Stop 5 – Breakfast cereals, without artificial colors and flavors, fiber-rich and sugar-poor.
Stop 6 – Cookies and crackers, simple is best, or make them yourself from basic ingredients.
Stop 7 – Dairy foods, without added flavors, colors or sweetners.
Stop 8 – Frozen foods, limit frozen entrees, look for fruits and vegetables that are simply plain.
For Ongoing Information about Basic Foods & Your Grocery Cart
LIKE my facebook page and visit my educational blog every week!
Power-up with good nutrition for a successful year!
Good Nutrition Essentials for Back-to-School
Kids’ bodies run best on nutritious foods – as do adult’s. Kids feel better when they are pleasantly full – as do adults. Kids like to eat with family and friends – as do adults. Get the point? We all thrive on good nutrition in moderate portions eaten with those we care about.
2. Get the family together for meals at home – Put a quick breakfast and home-cooked dinner on the meal table as often as you can. Simple combinations of basic foods will nourish everyone best and keep cleanup reasonable.
3. Be a healthy-eater role model – Lead by example, every day and every meal. It’s as easy as sharing an apple while helping your child with homework or pouring a glass of 1% low fat milk for everyone at the dinner table.
Please LIKE my facebook page for everyday handy tips,ideas and recipes for your healthy kitchen!
No doubt about it – there is a ton of good nutrition in blueberries. Fresh ones from your backyard or the local Farmer’s Market taste best; however, even the frozen store brand at your grocery store are loaded with awesome nutrition. In one cup (fresh or frozen), there are only 85 calories, 4 grams fiber and 1 gram protein. All this comes without any fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol or sodium. Sound good? What’s even better is that hiding beneath its great nutrition is powerful antioxidant value in every serving of blueberries. To learn about selection and storage, click here.
Now, on to your kitchen…
Simple & Delicious Recipe for Blueberry Pancakes
Heart Smart Bisquick – 3 cups; Whole wheat flour – 1 cup; 1% Low fat milk – 2 1/2 cups; Large eggs – 2; Blueberries – 1 cup. Mix all ingredients together , adding blueberries last. Do not over-mix. Heat a flat skillet to medium and spray lightly with vegetable oil spray. Add batter to heated skillet using a soup ladle or large spoon. Cook about 3 – 4 minutes per side until pancakes are golden. Top with a little syrup or powdered sugar.
Do you set expectations for meals and snacks that are too high? Does your grocery cart overflow with foods that are perishable and/or require a lot of fancy preparation? Too often, do you end up throwing away half your perishables and not making that special recipe, wasting food and money?
Get Simple. Eat Well. Save Money.
1. Focus your menu. Build a week’s menu around 5 simple foods like cantaloupe, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, skinless chicken thighs and instant brown rice. Remember, grocery shopping can be fun!
2. Plan to eat well. Make whole chicken thighs on the grill with a pinch of mixed dried herbs and garlic powder. Or, stir them in a skillet with the fresh peas, a splash of soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. Get the rice cooking so that it will be done on time. Cut up the cuke and drizzle it with oil and vinegar.
3. Save money. Plan very carefully before buying perishables like meat, chicken, fish, milk, fruits and vegetables. Write down when and how you will use them up – before they spoil. Thin out other foods you keep in the kitchen. Buy simple foods and store brands every shopping trip.
Get this — Our bodies are about 75% water. Our brains are about 75% water. And, we lose a significant amount of water every day under normal circumstances and good health. How can we replace these liquids? – by choosing hydrating drinks. How can we maintain our well-being? — by choosing hydrating drinks.
What drinks are hydrating?
Water is a top choice as a hydrating drink. Beyond the water faucet or fountain, consider these from the grocery store: 1% or fat free milk, decaffeinated tea or coffee, 100% fruit juice and water – bottled with or without bubbles of carbonation.
What drinks are not hydrating?
Typically, drinks with caffeine or alcohol are considered dehydrating, rather than hydrating. These include regular coffee and tea, hot chocolate, chocolate milk, beer, wine and hard liquor.
How many hydrating drinks are needed?
Most of us think it’s a good idea to drink 8 cups, 64 fluid ounces, of liquids every day. To benefit your body’s hydration, this amount is a good start. If you are very physically active or live in a warm climate, though, you need even more. Try this hydration calculator to figure out your personal needs.
Here’s a hydrating drink recipe!
Cindy’s Healthy Softdrink is made by mixing together 1/2 cup of 100% purple grape juice + 1/2 cup plain seltzer water or club soda + a twist of lemon or lime. Refreshing, tasty and hydrating!
Good nutrition is all about enjoyment and variety. Fruit is a crowd pleaser as it offers variety, healthy carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. A big bonus in fruit is the natural sweetness as well as an abundance of antioxidants. These natural plant elements can strengthen all your health and help guard against heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and inflammation– a sweet deal!
Grocery Store Tips
1. Enter the store with a list of at least 3-5 fruits for your shopping cart. Choose 2 fruits that are in-season and then add 1-3 more colors to the mix. Remember, fresh, canned and frozen fruits all count so store them properly at home.
2. Try a new fruit often. Perhaps you will explore tropical mangoes or papaya, or an appealing apple variety like Cameo or Honeycrisp. Being adventurous means enjoying fruit every day.
3. Learn what’s local and ask for a taste at the store. Flavors are superior when fruits are in season. Check with your local agricultural experts, too.
Good nutrition is all about variety. Vegetables are a ‘must-have’ for variety, providing carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. The bonus in vegetables is an assortment of health-enhancing phytochemicals. These natural plant elements can strengthen your immune system or help prevent chronic diseases — very important!
Grocery Store Tips
1. At the very least, fill the top-front section of your shopping cart with vegetables. Include several colors, and mix-n-match the fresh, canned and frozen. They all count.
2. Try a new vegetable every shopping trip. Perhaps it will be fennel, beets, an artichoke or frozen edamame – soybeans. The more adventurous you are, the better the nutrition.
3. Learn what’s in season for your local area. Flavors and nutrition are best when vegetables are in season. Check with your local agricultural experts to learn more.