Yesterday, I asked you to determine the “big fires” that you noticed in your food log. Today, I want you to take some time to prepare a grocery list for your next shopping trip. As I mentioned a few days ago, Sunday may not be the perfect day for you to do these things, and that's okay. Still go ahead and prepare this list so that you can use it when it's a good time for you.
When going to the grocery store, we first want to shop for color, which is usually in the perimeter of the store. Typically, when you look in the center aisles, not much food is refrigerated and it is usually very processed. The perimeter is where you tend to find refrigerated and perishable items, which have much better nutritional content. Fruits and vegetables, yogurts, eggs, milk and other things of that nature are very nutritious for you.
With these things in mind, make a list of the meals that you would like to cook for the week. It can often be easy to use the same ingredients with a slightly different twist for each meal. For example, if chicken is going to be the protein for your lunches, you can buy five chicken breasts and some mixed vegetables and then season each of them differently so that each of those five meals tastes a little bit different.
When you've determined what your meals are going to be, create your shopping list with those ingredients. Remember, consider purchasing food for only about 80% of your meals and snacks throughout the week. You must leave room for the unplanned things. For example, let’s say that you are going out to dinner with friends on Monday and Wednesday and you also have different dinner plans on Friday and Saturday. So, our food prep will involve planning meals for breakfast and lunch everyday in addition to dinners for Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. This leaves openings for those planned outside meals for this week. If you don’t have any plans as of now, perhaps leaving one lunch and one dinner “open” is a good starting point.
Once you have gathered a list of what you need, you are ready to tackle the grocery store! Be sure you avoid the center isles whenever possible. If today is a better day to shop than tomorrow, go get after it! Otherwise, know that you will be getting it done tomorrow!