Rewriting Your Grocery List

4 Jun
How I get down at the grocery store

How I get down at the grocery store

When I began my weight-loss journey, working out was the easy part. I knew how to walk and run. I’d seen people use gym equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines. I’d ridden a bike before, so a stationary one wasn’t going to be that much trouble.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the dietary change that came with my new outlook on life. Several times in this blog, I’ve mentioned my love of Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich and Popeye’s biscuits. Like every red-blooded American, Chipotle is my friend.

But even that wasn’t my biggest problem. I know how to cook. Growing up, my family didn’t eat out much. My parents prepared meals. Sure, every other Friday we might order pizza for movie night. But we usually had chicken or pot roast or chili or something else ready to eat in the fridge. Hell, my friends have even told me they frequented my house not to visit me, but my refrigerator.

So I took those culinary lessons with me into adulthood. I don’t mind cooking, I just don’t like doing it all the time. But with my new weight-loss plan in full effect, I had to adjust my thinking about meal preparation.

It wasn’t just cooking more often for myself. It was also cooking different food for myself. I can hook up a lasagna, but that’s not ideal when you’re trying to shed pounds. I discussed before the changes that came with eating vegetables. But I’m also a meat eater. My go-to meat dishes were perfect if I were trying to become a linebacker. Pot roast, roasted chicken, fried wings, etc., aren’t the best menu options when you’re trying to become svelte.

What I appreciated about the “Extreme Fat Smash Diet” was that it still allowed me to eat meat. I just had to cut down on my intake. Most important, the lesson I had to learn quickly was how to cook it differently. Cooking a whole bird is great if you’re cooking for a family, which I used to do. It can be hard to break that habit. But the weight-loss journey is traveled alone. And because I was living alone, my meals had to be prepared for one.

I was fortunate enough to find the American Heart Association’s “Low-Fat, Low Cholesterol Cookbook.” High blood pressure and high cholesterol are big in my family, as are heart disease and diabetes, so finding that book became good for more than just weight loss.

With the guidance of those two books, I started looking at my meats differently. I could still eat meatloaf, but I was using lighter fare to prepare it. A little tomato paste, some quick oats and tiny molds and you’ve got individual mini-turkey meatloaves.  A little butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice and you’ve got some pretty tasty sauteed tilapia fillets.

It’s not that eating meat was a necessity. It’s just that I like having the option. Just as finding the great vegetarian recipes that I’ll prepare over and over (pepper and white bean soup, spinach and black bean enchiladas), having meat options keeps my palate from getting bored and my cabinets interesting.

My regular staples of chicken wings, spaghetti, sauce and ice cream have changed to chicken breasts, spinach, chicken boullion and apples. My cupboard is always stocked with canned beans, tomato sauce and paste and a box of rotini, which I don’t even use that often. My freezer has tons of frozen spinach and broccoli, fat-free frozen yogurt and frozen fruit.

One of the fun parts of this journey was exploring new tastes. When doing your shopping, take the time out to try something different.

What do you like to prepare now that you’d never had before?

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One Response to “Rewriting Your Grocery List”

  1. Wilfred dyson June 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Keep up the good work OG meat eater

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