Clean Eating: Grocery Shopping

When you decide to start eating healthy, you have to tackle the monster of grocery shopping. It is daunting with all the fat-free, sugar-free, low-cal, and diet foods. Which vegetable do I pick? And how do I even use it? Well I’m here to help you out! First off, I’d like to say you can always email me from my contact page and I’ll give you free advice and answer your questions to my best ability. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll research it and get back to you. My main goal is to be a helpful resource for weight loss, fitness, wellness, and overall health. Mind. Body. Soul. Now let’s tackle that shopping cart mess.

I’ll show you what my grocery shopping loot looked like today. Hint: I used the Thrive Forward Food Staples list as a guide. Don’t mind my blurry phone pic. :/

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I shop mostly at Trader Joe’s and go to my local health food store for my specialty items. I don’t have a local farmer’s market so I do the best I can with the budget I have. The list goes as follows, just in case you want to eat exactly what I’m eating haha.

  • Organic Kale 
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Organic Avocados (4)
  • Organic Cucumbers (2)
  • Organic Fuji Apples (2lbs)
  • Organic Tri-Color Peppers
  • Organic Naval Oranges
  • Organic Button Mushrooms
  • Organic Meyer Lemons (2)
  • Organic Grape Tomatoes (1lb)
  • Organic Raw Almonds (1lb)
  • Organic Unsulfered Unsweetened Mango
  • Organic Unsulfured Unsweetened Tart Cherries
  • Organic Bananas (3 Bunches) (Ripen and Freeze for Smoothies)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Organic Hummus
  • Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus
  • Reduced-Fat Veganaise
  • Organic Popcorn
  • Silken Tofu (3)
  • Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries (Craving these, not normally on the list)
  • Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza (Vegan, Again, not normally on the list.)
  • Nutritional Yeast, Fortified (Buy once a month or two months, depending on usage)
  • Organic Green Tea (For Kombucha Home Brewing)
  • Organic Vanilla (Will last 1-2 months, for Chia Cereal/Pudding)
  • Gardein Orange Chicken
  • Gardein Buffalo Wings
  • One bottle Probiotic Coconut Pomegranate Elixir (Special treat)
  • 3 Cartons Silk Unsweetened Non-Gmo Almond Milk (30/Calories/Cup) -I forgot my almond milk, which I buy from Wal-mart because it’s the cheapest there.

And that’s the gist of it. This will last about two weeks for two people, except for the things like almonds, chia seeds, yeast, mayo, vanilla, and bread. Those will last up to a month or more. The produce will be gone and I’ll eat the frozen stuff and then go shopping again. Total cost was $123.12. So averaging out to under $5/day of organic food for two people. Who says healthy is expensive? Not me!

What Do You Make? I’ll make salads, scrambled tofu, dip the cucumbers in the hummus, snack on the tomatoes, carrots, almonds, and dried fruit. I’ll eat the apples and juice apples/oranges/spinach. I usually roast/grill my bell peppers and put them in a sandwich, wrap (still in the fridge from last shopping trip!), or my salads. I also dip them in hummus. The mushrooms will be grilled up. And that’s about it. Most of my meals are smoothies, salads, sandwiches, wraps, or appetizer plates of raw veggies and hummus! And when I’m feeling junky, I go for the Roasted Veggie Pizza, but even that WHOLE pizza is 750 calories, with very little fat (good fats!). I’m simple. Once in a while I’ll make some crazy recipe, but most of the time I’ll fail at that. I like to just snack on raw veggies, make dinners in under 10 minutes, and use my time wisely on other things. . . like helping You.

Not Shown Here; But I eat daily: For supplements I use Vega One, Vega Sport Protein, Pre-Performance Drink, Maca (starting tomorrow!), and Orange Dreamsicle Super Greens. I try and drink a VegaOne shake each day, either mixed into my breakfast/dinner smoothie or as dessert before bed. It has all the vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to get your digestion going and your body feeling great. I have 3 flavors now but always stay stocked on at least one. I use the protein powder after my intense workouts that last over an hour, or just as a snack to feel full before a meal or going out to eat. I’m starting my Maca powder routine tomorrow, adding it into my smoothie. I drink a smoothie either for breakfast or dinner, depending on how I feel. I attempt to drink one serving of the Orange Dreamsicle greens (seriously this stuff tastes amazing for a wheatgrass/chlorella/etc. blend) every night, but don’t always make it.

If it has a commercial, it’s probably not great for you. Have you seen any of these products in a commercial? No. They don’t need a commercial. You see them and know they are healthy. Kale doesn’t need a low-cal label. Oranges don’t need a “100% Vitamin C in Every Serving” ad. And bananas don’t need a big sign on them saying “great for smoothies and snacking.” They sell themselves, rightfully so.

Thrive Forward: Now if this is all too much to read and you’re feeling really lazy. Just look at the pictures and watch this video.

Busting Protein Myths in a Plant-Based Diet

Clean Eating 101
Busting Myths About Plant-based Protein

You know what really grinds my gears? When people tell me I’m not getting enough protein because I don’t eat meat. They assume I’m not getting enough vitamins, minerals, or iron. They challenge my diet and look down on me because I’m eating a huge plate of vegetables instead of the sausage and potatoes, pepperoni pizza,  or burgers and hot dogs. Little do they know, I’m eating a better protein source that has more vitamins and minerals than their plate!

If you’re debating going vegetarian or vegan this year, keep in mind the following truths:

Plants have plenty of protein. In fact, it’s better to get protein from plants than meat.  Why? Thrive Forward explains:

  • Low in saturated fat
  • Free of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in animal proteins
  • Alkaline-forming
  • Easy to digest
  • Better for the environment

Contrary to common belief, there are complete protein sources from plants, such as quinoa, soybeans, and Savi Seeds. Most of the time (but not always) you can eat a variety of plants to get a complete protein. (A complete protein means it contains essential amino acids. This just means your body can’t produce these amino acids on its own.) When you eat an assortment of foods, you don’t only get a variety of amino acids, but a ton of different vitamins and minerals. This helps you stay nourished, energized, and healthy. It is better for your body to get a rainbow of vegetables. Your arteries do not get clogged. Your fat level stays low. And your plasma stays clear.

“But I’m an athlete. I need 7lbs of chicken a day to build muscle.” This is entirely false. The leader of Thrive and Vega, Brendan Brazier, is an Ironman Triathlete AND a vegan.  You can build plenty of muscle using plant-based carbs, fats, and proteins. Look up vegan body builders; they are a whole culture of people who go against this belief.

Apply It–>Show Me How You’re Thriving 

I’m challenging you to replace your next meal with a plant-based protein source instead of the animal-protein. Try black beans, quinoa, brown rice, mushrooms, kale, spinach, hummus (chickpeas + sesame seeds), or even a Gardein product.  Don’t just take out the meat you’re using and consider that a veggie meal. Replace it with something delicious! Get creative! Take a pic and post a link below.

I love to make a sprouted grain bread sandwich, with hummus, sprouts, and grilled/roasted veggies. Use some fresh avocado or Chipotle Veganaise. Have some chopped raw veggies on the side, like baby carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Thrive Forward Program

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Thrive Forward

I want to help you in every way possible. Something great has come along that is assisting me and I want to spread the joy.

Brendan Brazier has launched a fully FREE, educational, video series to teach you everything you need to know on leading a healthy plant-based whole-foods diet. It reminds me of taking an online course in college, yet everything is free and well organized! The forum is Twitter and Facebook

A little about the creator:

“Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. He is now a successful performance nutrition consultant, the bestselling author of the Thrive book series and formulator of the award-winning Vega line of plant-based nutritional products

Recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition, Brendan has dedicated his life to spreading the word about an ethical, environmentally-friendly, and healthy lifestyle through plant-based foods. Brendan currently works with elite athletes all over North America, including athletes in the NFL, MLB, NHL, UFC, PGA and several Olympic athletes. He has appeared on CTV and CBC in Canada, and NBC, ABC, and FOX in the United States.

Thrive Forward, Brendan’s latest endeavour, is the next generation of Thrive in 30— his original free online program that helped over 70,000 people harness the power of clean, plant-based nutrition to feel their best.”

 This program is not about counting calories, worrying about your weight, or fretting over a latte. It shows you a complete step-by-step overhaul to your health, from how to shop to how to sleep.  The subjects are as follows:

I highly encourage anyone and everyone to watch these videos, read the references, and make the recipes. Share this with your family and friends. Share it with the world. We need better nutrition, facts, and myths busted out there. These videos will do that. I’ll be posting my personal experiences on Twitter, so keep an eye out for my photos of shakes, trail mixes, kale chips, and more. If you look now, you can see plenty of links already!

Have fun!

Best Health,

Nicole

rainbow salad
Rainbow Salad – Click for Recipe

 How are you thriving forward this year? Are you trying to eat cleaner, increase your energy, or buy locally?