What should I try to include in my shopping list?

What to include in your shopping list!   Here are my thoughts and suggestions for the weekly shop!

Firstly, work out what you want to eat in the week ahead. Those who plan their dinners are less likely to fall back on the takeaway option or the visit to the local store for the highly processed pizza!  To start with, just plan for Monday to Friday and then start to include the weekend too.

The shop! The main part of your shop should be made up of a variety of fruits and vegetables. These are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and they are usually low in calories. I am sure you all know that we are recommended to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. Fruit and vegetables can be found in a variety of ways – fresh and frozen, they can be eaten cooked and uncooked.

What foods go on the list? Vegetables and fruits should make up the largest part of your grocery list. . We all need at least five or more servings every day. Choose a variety of green, orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables that everyone in your family will enjoy. Most of your grain and cereal products should be made from whole grains, not from refined flours.

Look for 100-percent whole grain breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals. Read labels to look for 100-percent whole grain or 100-percent whole wheat to get wholegrain products.

Your protein and meat choices should consist mostly of fresh fish, poultry and lean meats. Eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes are also good protein choices. Choose fresh and frozen ‘unbreaded’ meats and fish. Avoid breaded, deep-fried convenience foods that you put in the oven – these are high in fat and sodium.

Drinks! Keep drinks simple. Water, low-fat milk, juices and herbal teas are all good choices.

Dairy products should include low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. If you do not want cows’ milk, choose soy and rice beverages, calcium-fortified orange juice, or goats’ milks and cheese.

Be careful with dressings, cooking oils and condiments. They are sneaky sources of refined sugar and poor quality oils. Choose low-fat mayonnaise for your sandwiches and choose canola oil and olive oil for cooking.

Freeze it! Frozen foods are a convenient way to keep vegetables and meats / fish on hand. Avoid frozen pizzas, deep-fried appetizers, and breaded foods.

Canned food …easy or just full of sodium? Foods in cans and jars can be very convenient. Look for low-sodium soups, vegetables and sauces. Avoid high-fat gravies and high-calorie foods like canned spaghetti and ravioli products. For sandwiches, choose low-fat turkey slices or sliced roast beef. Avoid processed lunch meats, sausages and hot dogs. Don’t load up on high-calorie treats and desserts.

Snack time – choose fresh fruits, healthy nuts, seeds and whole grain crackers for snacks.

The main thing when shopping is to keep it to lean meat and fish, stock on a heap of different colours of fruit and veg and to have a load of fresh herbs to plop in to your dishes. Keep your diet varied, eat often throughout the day and keep portion sizes in propotion to you. Eat ‘what you need’ to avoid weight gain  and feeling bloated.

Blogs to come:

artificial sweeteners…

portion sizes…

healthy snack ideas…


What shall I have for breakfast today? Or shall I skip it?

I am sure you have all heard that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?

To me, all meals and snacks are important as we what we put in to our bodies has a direct effect on our energy and mood levels as well as affecting our energy balance between energy input (what you put in to your mouth) and energy output (how active we are).