I feel like I am preparing myself for a life altering experience, talking myself out of doing the usual mindless shopping that I do in the grocery store where I pick up the same few things week after week.  This week it will be different! I have never prepared to go food shopping before, usually I am just out and will swing by or I will run out of something, see what else is missing from the fridge and go.

This is very different it took a lot of preparation, I think as this becomes more of a routine it will become quicker and more mindless but this week it was WORK! First, I had to look at my schedule and see what was on it for the week, did I have any club meetings, study groups, big tests that I would need to spend the night before in the library?  Fortunately I had a pretty free week .

checking my schedule

checking my schedule

Then I needed to plan my meals for the week.  I read through a few helpful blog that got me in the mindset of what I need to think about when making a meal plan.  First pick my main proteins, decide on a few vegetables, add in some healthy grains, snacks for the week and then some.  I tried to work with the few things that I had left in my pantry. I knew I had quinoa, organic chicken breasts and some vegetables, so I tried to make some meals out of those and then add in the new items I was going to have to buy.  I figured by including what I already had that could still make the cut for unrefined, I would be saving myself some money.  I was prepared for this to be an expensive trip as it was my first start at this, but I was trying to save some money where I could.  I found this great tool, an hourly chart and you could use it as a daily meal planner, so I filled out 7 of these, to get me through my first week .  Then I filled out this, a grocery store list separated into aisles, so that when I got to the store I wasn’t running around aimlessly and overwhelmed.

daily meal plan

daily meal plan

grocery store shopping list

grocery store shopping list

I read a helpful post about how to shop for unrefined foods at the regular grocery store.  Some of the tips I knew, when selecting seafood select wild not farmed, try to stick to organics, avoid items that list enriched wheat as a top ingredient and try to limit products to having a list shorter than 5 ingredients.  With all of these helpful tips in my mind and my meal plans and shopping lists I was prepared for the store.  I  kept it in my head to stick to the outside parameters of the super market, as that is where most fresh whole foods are, and to not be tempted by the chips and the snacks.  I was off!  

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