Today I went to the Virtual Grocery Store class given by our nutritionist and creator of weight loss program, A Lighter You. The class is like a trip through the grocery store. Dan made it easy for us to know exactly what to buy by giving us the brands that are the healthiest, lowest in calorie content and taste the best. He also advised us on what we should be eating the most of and what to avoid.
Here are some of Dan’s most important tips!
- Eat a variety of veggies by buying them fresh, dehydrated and frozen.
- A step below fresh, dehydrated and frozen are canned vegetables. However some veggies that are especially good canned are tomatoes, hearts of palm and roasted red peppers.
- Fermented vegetables like pickles and kimchi are a great way to get a dose of veggies and probiotics. The higher quality fermented foods are put in water with salt which creates the vinegar that ferments it. The lower quality are vegetables just put in vinegar which is not considered fermented.
- Eat sea vegetables which have lots of minerals like magnesium and calcium.
- Frozen food: brands Amy’s and Kashi are the best options while Healthy Choice is an okay option. Make sure the serving size says one.
- Frozen pizza: instead of buying frozen pizza, the best solution is to try to make it on your own. However if you need some frozen pizza options, the Roasted Veggie pizza by brand 365 of Whole Foods is the best that Dan has found. It’s vegan and very low in calories, but you can add your own cheese or meat. The other frozen pizzas are very high in calories.
- Frozen breakfasts: Dan recommends Garden Lite’s Spinach Soufflé, Wegmans Golden Sweet Potato Pancakes and Van’s Lite Waffles.
- Frozen desserts: Artic Zero ice cream is the best at only 150 calories. Otherwise frozen fruit bars are good, the brand Soy Delicious, frozen fruit with yogurt or cottage cheese is the healthiest option and Greek non fat frozen yogurt (various brands) are also a good choice.
- Condiments and dips: Salsa is a great low-calorie option. Hummus, guacamole, olive tapenade and yogurt are also good options, but watch your portions.
- Pasta and pizza sauces: Buy higher end brands because they use fresher tomatoes and less sugar and oil. Dan’s favorite is Bio Nature Organic Strained Tomatoes.
- Make your own condiments with good quality vinegar (recommends the Alessi brand) with mustard and a little olive oil.
- Dressings: Best brands are Boathouse Farms and 365 Organics.
- Soups: Boxed soups taste fresher than canned. Pacific is a good boxed brand.
- Cereal: Dan doesn’t recommend eating cereal because it’s heavily processed and are empty calories, but if you must, he recommends Nature’s Path, Kashi Go Lean and Grape Nuts. As far as oatmeal, look for the ones that look like pebbles (they are the whole grain,) soak them overnight and they will cook in 5 to 10 minutes.
- Snacks: Dan recommends getting your own popcorn popper because fresh popcorn taste way better than microwaved. As far as microwaved popcorn, he says the Paul Newman brand is the best.
- Sweeteners: Anything sweet tends to stimulate the appetite, but if you must use a sweetener, Stevia is the most natural. Agave is controversial and Dan doesn’t recommend it.
- Drinks: For low-calorie drinks, Dan recommends Blue Sky Free, Kombucha and Diet Hansens.
Another way for you to bring the Ranch home!