I live in Los Angeles.
Los Angels is a beast.
Most of my patients currently live in Los Angeles county.
I also consult with some who live in other major cities in the U.S.
These are important facts because a big city’s traffic and hustle and bustle can drive a starved person home to a house void of food.
You can literally drive (or ride) directly past a grocery store and not want to go in for fear of greater delay in getting back home. This commonly results in a frustrated, tired individual fumbling in the door, flipping on their favorite guilty pleasure program on T.V., having a bowl of cereal for dinner. Or, they become take out queen or king or a rotisserie chicken connoisseur.
I mean, who really wants to cook after a long day of work, family and traffic?
I know, I know. This could be you and you don’t even live in a big city.
The fact is that if you don’t have a strong commitment to grocery shopping and eating healthy, it can seem like mission impossible.
Would you rather visit the dentist than pull into Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods? Do you prepare a home cooked meal once every blue moon? If so, this post is for you.
I’ve found that some of the biggest obstacles to eating healthy are folks loathing trips to the grocery store, not knowing what to buy and having a strong disdain for cooking.
To be honest (you may be annoyed with me), I got lucky in this department. I enjoy grocery shopping and cooking. However, I’ve consulted many who can’t stand either. Plus, as a busy working mom there have been many times when I've wished food would magically appear at my home, cooked and ready to eat.
There are some essential facts about fueling your body: 1) you have to eat 2) you have to drink water. Shocking... I know.
Since you do have to eat and fuel your body I feel it’s important to set some food standards for yourself. You deserve good, high quality food. Your body needs it for protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other co-factors.
If you want good output you need good input.
It’s also helpful that the food is tasty, right? Food can be pleasurable so variety and well combined flavors will work in your favor, especially when the food is fresh, nutrient dense and wholesome.
What’s not a fact is how you acquire food or who prepares it. Below I’ve listed some possibilities of how to get healthy groceries as well as ideas on how to acquire healthy meals.
Let’s make this easy- it just requires a little planing.
It all starts with a list. What do you want to eat? What does your body need you to eat?
I use “Notes” on my phone or sometimes just a pad of paper to make my list and shopping experience a breeze.
Listing foods under columns helps. It’s also helpful to know how long you want your groceries to last. I shop 2-3 times per week because I go to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and a natural market on different days.
My approach looks something like this (short example):
- Sweet potatoes
Oils, seasoning, flour, pasta
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Granulated garlic
- Coconut tortillas
- Banza Pasta (made from chickpeas)
- Navy beans
- Split peas
I like to be organized when I shop and work within a budget so I’ll also write the approximate costs next to each item to make sure I’m on track. This makes grocery shopping quick and easy.
Not up for going into a store?
There are a good handful of grocery delivery service options these days. My go to is Amazon Now but you have to have Amazon Prime to use the service. In my area I can order from Bristol Farms, Sprouts or the Amazon warehouse. The suggested delivery fee is a $5 tip. Below I’ve listed a few other options to consider.
- Thrive Market
- Google Express
- Yummy.com (parts of Los Angeles)
- Good Eggs (parts of Los Angeles)
- Fresh Direct (New York)
Cooking healthy meals
Now sometimes I’ll make a separate shopping list based on needed ingredients for a recipe. I often cook by taste and throw meals together but I love to find new recipes in cookbooks and on Instagram. If that’s not your thing there are a bunch of meal prep services, some of which I’m sure you’ve heard of.
You typically get a box delivered to your door containing a 2-5 recipes and the ingredients you need to make the dish. I know lots of folks who love this way of cooking because it takes the shopping and guess work out of preparing a delicious meal.
You can use this when entertaining company or make meals on a Sunday to have lunch or dinner ready for the week. There’s even a service that provides smoothie recipes and the ingredients needed to make your blended, wholesome beverage.
Below are a few meal prep companies to explore. I’m in favor of those that use organic and sustainable ingredients when possible.
You just want to eat
I hear ya, you can’t be bothered or really don’t have time to cook. Don’t result to 5 days of cereal dinners unless you really have to. My dad used to use Nutrisystems years ago and while he was pleased he didn’t have to cook, it was not ideal for him.
Now, there are lots of companies that focus on whole food, high quality ingredients and gourmet meals. Many offer organic when possible, as well as plant based, gluten free, vegetarian or Paleo. Check out the list below and see who delivers in your area.
Done for you, prepared meals
- Pete’s Paleo
- Sakara Life
- Zen Foods
- Factor 75
- Also ask around for local companies or nutrition focused chef’s who just take on a handful of clients at a time.
Well, there you have it. A few tips on how to make your grocery shopping as pain free as possible and several options for meal prep or delivery. If you're tired of cereal and rotisserie chicken, perhaps consider changing up your meal plan and get more of a variety of food on your plate.
I hope this post has been helpful for you. Feel free to share with others. Don’t forget to subscribe below and stay in the know about all the holistic goodness I love sharing with you.