Seeing as though I have just got back from holiday, my fridge and food cupboards are completely bare which means I had to do a big food shop this morning to set me back on track. As I needed to buy all of the essentials I thought that it would be a good idea to share them with you to get and idea of what I like to fuel my body with.
Without doubt, nutrition is the hardest thing to get right in regards to achieving your body composition goals. There are so many conflicting views of what the ‘ideal’ diet is, that there is no wonder people get confused and give up. It seems that everyday the media is reporting a different food group which is going to harm us or cause us seriously fat gain, one day it might be carbs which are demonised and the next red meat, then the next diet drinks, the list goes on. The best plan is the one you can stick to, and see yourself eating for the rest of your life. Can you seriously see yourself eating cabbage soup everyday for the rest of your life or avoiding bread and pasta like the plague? Probably not.
This is why I follow flexible dieting.
Flexible dieting means that you have a set number of grams for each macronutrient to hit for the day, and you can choose whatever foods you like in order to reach your targets. Macronutrients are the three main food groups – protein, carbohydrates and fats, you need all of them to function optimally, but the quantity that you need of each will vary person to person depending on your goals, training, body composition and many other factors.
Does this mean that I try and fit in as much chocolate and ice cream as I can every day? No. But it does mean that if I fancy some one day, then all I have to do is allocate my macros accordingly to fit it in.
90-95% of my daily intake of food still comes from whole “clean” foods. (I hate labelling foods clean or dirty, as no food is essentially “bad”, it is just the quantity which you eat which may be the problem!) Lots of lean meat, vegetables, dairy, fibrous carbohydrates, fruits and fats make up my meals. I am not eating chicken, rice and broccoli out of tupperware boxes for every meal, I do like to get creative and stop my meals from being boring.
Yes it does mean that I weigh some of my foods out, I do look at the nutrition label on all foods before buying and eating them, and I do use an app on my phone to track everything. But this takes minutes and it simply becomes a routine. Consistency is key.
Flexible dieting means more variety to my daily meals, which allows me to stay on track with my body composition goals.
Right, so lets get to the main purpose of this blog post! My supermarket food haul.I have tried to split up my purchases by the dominant macronutrient and then just a few miscellaneous items at the end!
The main source of my protein intake is lean meat and I get the majority of this from musclefood.co.uk. I simply put an order in once every 4-6weeks, then when it arrives i portion it up and freeze it. The quality is much better than what you get at the supermarket and the price of buying in bulk saves you lots of pennies! My go to sources are; chicken, lean steak mince, turkey and beef. I still have a freezer drawer half full from before I went away so there wasn’t any need to buy any more this morning.
I also supplement with protein powder from myprotein, but again I have some of that in the cupboards.
So today I just bought:
Eggs – have these for breakfast pretty much every day!
Fromage Frais – is cheaper and actually has better macros than greek yoghurt, I like to mix this with protein powder at the end of the day as a base to my flexbowls. I also use it to make the coleslaw which I have as part of my lunch.
Cheese – my fats are a bit lower at the moment as I begin my reverse diet which is why I have the reduced fat version. I just got regular cheddar today but I love blue cheese and feta as well.
Deli Ham – like to have in my eggs in a morning
Spanish meat selection – I love chorizo and pancetta, they add great flavour to meals. A regular source of fat as well as protein in my diet. The macros are surprisingly good as well, for one slice of chorizo it is only 1.2g protein; 0g carbs; 2.4g fat.
Yoghurts – Weight Watchers layered yoghurts are great as unlike a lot of yoghurts they are high in protein per serving. I have also recently discovered the Alpro soya with coconut yoghurt which I really like.
Coconut milk – I haven’t had this in a while, but got into the habit of having pancakes on holiday so picked some up so that i can make my own macro friendly version at some point when I crave them!
Sweet Potatoes – sweet potato wedges are probably my favourite can source! Seasoned with lots of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and chilli.
Butternut squash – again my favourite way to have this is chopped and roasted with seasonings.
Rice – I really like these packets of rice just because they are so quick and easy. The sundried tomato flavour one in my favourite. I do tend to only buy them when they’re on offer and stock up though as they are relatively expensive in relation to regular bags of rice which you cook yourself.
Oats – Mixed in with chocolate protein powder is one of my favourite meals which I can’t wait to reintroduce now that my carbs are higher!
Mini Wraps – these size wraps have half as many carbs in them as the regular size so is like have 2 for the price of 1 and you feel like you are eating more! I had some amazing fish tacos on christmas day and i can’t wait to replicate these at home.
Sandwich thins – this is the first time i have picked these up but they were on offer. I have popped them in the freezer as I know I won’t eat them all that quickly. Will probably use as a bun for a burger or just toasted with some eggs.
Cinnamon and raised bagel thins – these have less carbs than the regular sized ones, and I actually prefer them as they don’t seem as ‘doughy’. Love having them toasted with some nutella and sliced banana on top as a snack at the end of the day on a high carb day.
Vegetables – vegetables are still classed as carbohydrates and I do count them in my macros. I try and have at least 2 servings with every meal, but is usually more. I also try and consume a rainbow of colours as this means I am getting a broad range of all the nutrients as different colours indicate different nutrient profiles! These are just some of my favourites!
Plum tomatoes – find them sweeter than regular tomatoes which I like
Spinach – think I must have spinach in 90% of my meals across the week! Super nutrient dense.
Cauliflower – such a versatile vegetable, I like to have it roasted, as cauliflower mash or blended up as cauliflower rice!
Beansprouts – volume vegetable which i like to add to stir fries and the coleslaw which I make.
Sprouts – I thought they would all be gone now that Christmas is over so got a little over excited to see that Morrisons still had lots of stock in!
Red Onion/shallots – add so much flavour to dishes
Fruits – I don’t tend to eat as much fruit as I do vegetables but I normally get in 1-2 servings per day. Berries are full of antioxidants and my usual source. i normally have some frozen ones on hand as well in case I want to make up protein ice cream or smoothies.
Lemon – use as a seasoning especially on chicken and fish
Lime – a must if having mexican or thai food!
I didn’t need to buy too much of these as I already had my store cupboard basics such as Olive oil, Coconut oil, almonds and cashew butter.
Hummus – I love this morrocon spiced one which morrisons do, it has raisins and caramelised onions in it. Super tasty. I do like to make my own from time to time also.
Dark Chocolate – What better way to get fat into your diet than dark chocolate! The higher the cocoa % the better. If I could only eat one type of chocolate it would be milk chocolate, but I know that the higher sugar content means it isn’t as good for me so 1 or 2 squares of the dark stuff will have to do when needed!
Diet Lilt – diet drinks are one of my go-tos if I have sugar cravings. I try not to drink too much but a glass every now and then is not going to do any harm whatsoever. Scott Baptise did a great article on sweeteners and why we shouldn’t be scared of them here.
Fruit Squash – spices up water every now and then
Jelly – at less than 10calories per pot I like to have these in the fridge and tend to use them in my flex bowls at the end of the day.
Red Jalapeños – I love spicy food so these get added to quite a lot of my meals!
Sundried tomatoes and sundried tomato paste – essentials in my cooking to add flavour to meals. Love sundried tomatoes in sauces or to stuff chicken with.
Passata – use this as a base to most of the sauces which I cook; chilli, bolognese, topping for homemade pizzas etc. An absolute store cupboard essential.
This probably makes up the majority of my shopping trolley each week! Like I said I did already have a lot of other items which I consume on a regular basis such as meat, oils, protein powders, popcorn, hi-fibre bran, green tea, ketchup, hot sauce etc; so didn’t need to buy them this morning.
I hope that this has been useful. If you have any questions just get in touch!
Love Abi xxxx
P.S Hope you all had a great Christmas and Happy New Year!