Grocery Geek: More Diet Changes

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We continue to tweak our family’s diet, adding more real food and eating good and cheap.

This week makes the second week in a row of some diet changes for the adults in our family. Hubby and I both realized that we were carrying around a little too much baggage, overeating a little too often, and not really operating at maximum capacity.

We started tracking our meals in the Livestrong Calorie Tracker app (lite version, aka FREE) and have had an eye-opening couple weeks. After the first few days our bodies are adjusting to eat lighter meals than we were used to. We’re drinking more water. And we’re shedding a few pounds.

As James Brown would say, “I feel good.”

Checking the nutrition facts on everything has really been a lesson. Who knew that my very favorite meal at Red Robin was over 1000 calories?!

While we’re “watching” what we’re eating, we’re also becoming more mindful of what we really enjoy and which meals satisfy, provide great nutrition, and don’t bump us over our limits.

Take the salad above, for instance. It doesn’t look like I was deprived at lunchtime. There’s plenty of fresh produce, some good protein in the Costco oven-roasted turkey, and the pièce de résistance? That one ounce of Maytag bleu cheese. That was amazing.

It was a beautiful meal.

Diet Changes, Kitchen Changes

Since we’re instituting a few new meal changes, my grocery shopping and cooking have been different. I’m reading labels. I’m measuring more. We’re running out of vegetables!

Hubby is zeroing in on what meals work for him before work and while he’s away for the day. I’m thrilled at his motivation. (This was all his idea.) He’s ten years older than me, so I love it that he’s mindful of his health and taking care of himself.

I intend to keep him around for a good long while.

So, my shopping was a little different this week. Probably not obviously so to the outside eye. But, where I previously might have shrugged when we ran out of vegetables, I went out and bought more this week. Thus, I spent a little more than I might have planned.

No-GMO with Trader Joe

Hubby has found that eating breakfast before work is just the ticket to helping him manage his hunger. Trader Joe’s store brand cereals (and all their store brands, actually) are GMO-free, so those are the ones we are fitting in the cart. The cereals range between $2 to 3 per box and can last him through several meals.

Here’s how the TJ’s run broke down this week:

bagels $1.99/6
milk $2.79/gallon
bananas $0.19/each
cereal $1.99 to $2.69/box
red wine vinegar $1.99
eggs $1.49/dozen
organic baby carrots $1.49/pound
white whole wheat flour $2.99

Total spent: $33

Sprouts for great produce and bulk items

Health food stores don’t always have the greatest of prices, but Sprouts rocks it on produce and bulk items as well as meat and dairy sales. There are some items that aren’t landing in the produce box that we really enjoy, so I’m buying those at Sprouts.

I was pleased to find Talenti sorbet on sale. The Roman raspberry has a mere 120 calories per serving making it the sweet treat that will fit the diet! Yeah! (Don’t forget to enter the giveaway here.)

brown rice $0.69/pound
bleu cheese $4.55
Talenti sorbet $3/pint
cilantro 3/$1
avocados $0.77/ea
organic broccoli $0.99/pound
organic red bell peppers $2.50 each
organic leaf lettuce $1.25 each
organic celery $0.99
organic green onions $0.99
sliced mushrooms $1.99

Total spent at Sprouts: $28

The produce box rocks.

When I first started subscribing to our weekly produce box, I think my family was lukewarm to it. But, now they’re practically on fire. We’ve discovered such wonderful tastes and foods.

We were stunned when I cut open that melon to find out it had yellow flesh?! See:

It disappeared in a matter of hours. I had refrigerated it for a day or two so it was amazingly delicious.

I’ll be honest, the peaches are killing me. There are just too many of them; everyone’s getting weary of peaches. If such a thing is possible. I may have to can them and just see how we like them that way.

Everything else has been well-received and devoured. The produce box from Abundant Harvest Organics has proven to be a boon to my kitchen.

Total spent: $42 (including delivery to my doorstep)

So, there’s my grocery geekiness for the week. I spent $103 for the week, bringing our monthly total to date to $598.

How are things in your kitchen?

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  1. May favorite way to use the peaches is to freeze them. Peel, slice, put in freezer safe containers (toss with citric acid to prevent browning – optional). Cover with a simple syrup (as light or heavy as you like) and freeze. When you defrost them, serve them while they are still a teensy bit frozen. The sweet icy crystals are divine!

    • @Alison, This is what my grandmother would do and it was such a wonderful treat when we were kids when Grandma would give us a small bowl with her half thawed peaches for a snack.
      Its what Im doing with my few extra peaches.

  2. I make peach crumble and freeze it then we can enjoy it in the middle of winter, we also drink a lot of peach smoothies!

  3. Your plate looks great!! Eating real food is awesome, is it not? 🙂

  4. I freeze my peaches as well. I love to add them to oatmeal, along with blueberries. I add them frozen to hot oatmeal and it helps to cool the oatmeal down fast for my boys. They are also great in homemade yogurt.

    • @Jen,
      I was going to say to freeze them, too! I keep a stash of (store-bought) frozen peaches for smoothies and oatmeal. For a delicious oatmeal treat, I use peaches, blueberries, vanilla almond milk, and a dash of cinnamon. No need for extra sugar, and it tastes like dessert for breakfast!

  5. Jessica,
    Canned peaches from home are NOTHING like the ones you buy at the grocery store. I use a light syrup and my family considers them a real treat!

  6. I freeze fresh peaches, too. They are so much better than frozen peaches from the store. I don’t add syrup or sugar. Just dip them in boiling water to loosen the skin, peel and chop, and freeze in usable portions.

  7. There’s nothing better than a home canned peach in the middle of January, in my humble opinion.

  8. Ouida Lampert says:

    Like so many others, I freeze peaches too – but in individual pieces so that I can throw them, frozen, into the food processor (with a bit of coconut milk – or heavy cream – and a kiss of vanilla) for instant soft-serve “ice cream.”

  9. I use an app. on my i-touch to keep track of calories. When I first started I too had an eye opening experience when I discovered my favorite sundae at culvers was 900 calories, for a sundae not even a meal! I later learned their lemon ice I believe it called is around 160 calories and just as yummy! That is a huge calorie difference.

  10. That salad looks delicious. I have been focusing on eating more “real” food too – fruits, vegetables, and anything that’s natural and whole. It really makes you feel so much better! All those artificial ingredients are just so bad for you and make you feel miserable. Your produce box sounds amazing. I have to do a little research around our area and see what kind of programs they offer around here and might subscribe to one myself.

  11. Christine A says:

    Extra peaches canned now sounds like great gifts later (for the Holidays)!!! 🙂

  12. Dried peaches are amazing if you have a dehydrator to make them in. I cut mine in very thin slices. Amazing in oatmeal, granola, granola bars, just as a snack, etc.

  13. I have an idea freeze the peaches and in a couple months use them to make peach ice cream. A low fat kind I mean.

  14. Freeze the peaches or can them!!! I like to make homemade peach pie filling to have around in the winter for peach crisp or pie on winter days! But also, we like to eat home canned peaches with waffles or pancakes. Also, I make a really great pieced peach jam or peach/plum jam is really good too!

  15. Here’s a great smoothie “non-recipe” that could get rid of some of your peaches.
    Plain yogurt, milk, frozen pineapple, peaches slices (frozen or slightly frozen if you wish), banana. If you leave out the milk and use a food processor, or use just a tiny bit to get the blender started, you get a wonderful soft-serve frozen yogurt type dessert. Yum! Tip: fully frozen peaches are too hard for my blender. Defrost them a little if they’re fully frozen. You could also add mango, I guess. I haven’t tried since I’m allergic.

  16. I have a hard time cooking at my house since my brothers moved in. they are both on disability so it is challenging. One has chrons disease and swears he can’t eat tomatoes, won’t eat mushrooms, and can’t drink milk (he does silk). The other one refused to eat tomatoes (he will allow tomatoe sauce, no pieces), and most vegetables except celery, broccoli, caulaflower, cabbage, onions, and carrots. Because of his disability you can’t change his mind no matter what you do. Now that they both moved in with my granddaughter and myself the budget is tight. I am having to learn how far to make it reach. The only thing that made it in the garden this year (heat and drought) is the tomatoes so I guess I will be making homemade tomatoe sauce and figuring out what to make with it and then make George something else to eat. I never had to deal with picky eaters before so it is new to me. Anybody else have to deal with picky eaters?

  17. I feel the same way about the green beans! I have to pickle or can them because my husband and my two toddlers just can’t eat that many. Was happy to see zero in last weeks box 😉

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