Grocery Geek: Eating Healthier, I think

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This week ends hubs’ and my third week of watching what we eat a little more carefully. How this translates into real life is that he doesn’t grab lunch at any old place anymore. I don’t just stuff bread and cheese for a meal when I don’t have a plan ready to go.

Instead, I’m stopping at Sprouts on my way home from a 2-hour drive in 95-degree heat to make sure we have enough vegetables. Wow! What happened to the girl I once was?

Well, hopefully, she’s getting a little more fit!

Food is a huge deal to both me and my husband. HUGE. It’s a hobby, if you will. We love to eat — both for nourishment and as a form of entertainment. I’m thankful that this new eating plan hasn’t put a crimp in either.

I don’t think either of us really thought we were overeating. It took a week to get over the withdrawals; we were so used to feeling FULL after a meal. We had to retrain our bodies that FULL isn’t necessarily the goal. It was eye-opening to say the least. Now we’re doing really well and seeing some changes on the scale, too.

We’re also saving money by having take-out less often. Hubs is packing a lunch more often. And our dining fund isn’t emptying as quickly as it used to.

And we’re eating well at home, too. Instead of putting gobs of cheese on the pizza, I’m measuring it out and finding out that we can do with a lot less than we were previously. I’m better able to stretch our ingredients this way, too.

Yet, even though we’re saving money from our dining budget, we’re probably going to take the grocery budget to the max. The freezer is still full and the snacks and cheese that I bought to last the month are looking like they just might, so that’s good. But, we’re going through milk and veggies! So, we may go over this month.

Here’s the grocery round-up for the week:



I picked up veggies, yogurt and pasta at Sprouts on my way back from LA. Not pictured, two gallons of milk.

Total spent $31.


Ralphs had a really great sale on pasta ($0.49/lb) so I bought ten boxes in addition to bananas, eggs, yogurt, sour cream, coffee, jalapenos, cilantro, and ice cream cones.

Total spent $31.


We needed more milk. While I was at Walmart, I got the random ingredients that are pricier elsewhere: taco shells, sauerkraut, and garbanzo beans. Exciting, I know.

Total spent $17.

Abundant Harvest Organics

The produce box was full of beautiful things: corn, edible loofah, peaches, plums, peppers, radishes, potatoes, avocados, watermelon, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, tarragon. I froze the corn and beans and pickled the zucchini. Report later on the latter.

Total spent $41 (includes delivery).

This week we spent $120. More than I might have wanted, but some of it was stockpiling for the future (frozen veg and pasta). I put the produce box on vacation next week so that we can catch up. Yes, I’ll probably buy some produce at the store, but not as much as the box might provide.

Total spent month to date: $718


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  1. I am very curious….what is the very long vegetable (between the watermelon and avacados) that looks like a cucumber. It is huge!

    • @Leah, that is an edible loofah, aka Chinese okra. My research did not show anything too promising.

      • @Jessica,

        (big smile) That wasn’t what I was picturing when you mentioned an edible loofah! I will be interested in knowing what you do with it and what your family thinks of it! Your journey in learning about new produce has inspired me to try new produce as well!

  2. Have you lost weight on this new eating plan? Do you feel better physically? (I am guessing the answer is yes on both counts!)

    • @Melissa@Mom’s Plans, hubby has lost 12 pounds, I’ve lost 3. I am still having pain in my hip muscles that is unrelated to my recent diet changes, so I don’t think that I can tell if I “feel” better. My clothes fit better, though!

  3. We made a Sam’s run yesterday on my day off. Bought prepackaged Mandarin oranges for lunch boxes, clementines, apples, bananas, humus, milk, sliced turkey and cheese. Amazing how that $90 went out the door in a hurry in our quest to pack healthier lunches.

  4. Pure curiosity – how much milk do you guys go through a week? (My family growing up, 5-6 people depending on who was home, would go through just under a gallon a day.)

    • @Molly, I think we’re up to at least six a week. This is a new phenomena for us. Part of it is the diet for hubs, part is my teen son drinking gallons of it, part of it is that I’ve served more cereal lately.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    When we went vegetarian (no meat, but we eat fish and eggs and milk) we experienced the same thing! After meals we stopped feeling “full” and started feeling “just not hungry anymore”.
    With this crazy heat we’re having, now’s a great time to make yogurt. I incubate mine outside so I don’t have to mess around with any coolers or crockpots or whatever. I made a whole gallon last time so I could use it to make frozen yogurt. It turned out so creamy and yummy – and I don’t have an ice cream maker!

  6. My one child was significantly overweight a few years back. After exploring what was going on and being careful to focus on being healthy and not body image. What we found was that he LOOOOOVED the taste of the food so much he’d keep coming back for more. Not because he was hungry. Once I realized this I was able to help train him and use this phrase for all of us: “Eat until you are not hungry, not until you are full.” So when he asks for seconds and I’m skeptical I ask, “Are you actually hungry?”

    Looking forward to seeing what recipes you come up with given that with us back to school, the crazy schedule of summer over, I’m trying to get rid of weight gained from surgery last winter (grrrr).

    • @Carla, that’s such a hard lesson to learn. My mouth says eat more, but my tummy disagrees. And many restaurant portions are way bigger than we “need.”

    • @Carla, I say the same thing to my son, even though he doesn’t have a weight problem. I’ve been working on portion control myself for the past few months, and I’ve definitely noticed that a very small meal can satisfy most of the time, whereas I used to eat a full plate. One thing that really helps me, too, is to use very small dishes. If I fill up a small dish, I feel like I’m getting a full dish, and I usually notice that it really is enough. You may get hungry a bit sooner, but I still think I end up eating less overall. I remember hearing that trick on Oprah years ago, and it has been helpful. Now I buy cute, tiny little dishes and fill them up and feel happy because it’s full and it’s cute. 🙂

  7. i just have to say that since reading you blog (about 2 mos now) i have COMPLETELY changed how the whole family eats. thanks to your whole look at food my hubby has lost a good amount of weight (swanky office job has let him pack on a bit) and i have found that i feel so much better no more chronic fatigue. from the smooties which i love to just really LOOKING at whats in our food. many things i thought were good for me arnt and i found a whole new love of cooking at home. and freezer cooking and budget planing. we only have one grocery here and i have to drive to the next town down the freeway to hit a small walmart. so my choices are limited, but when i actually save up my recpipts and added them up WOW how much i was piddling away by running to the store for this or that and then buying atun of random things. just thanks for opening my eyes up to a world i never knew was out therw!

  8. Wish I could give you some of my jalapenos from my garden. Picking like 15 at a time!

    • @Laura, I wish you could, too! You know you can chop them fresh and freeze them OR roast them and then freeze them to use later in the year. Yum!

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