I read a tweet that a friend of mine responded to recently that said “What are the 5 items you don’t leave the grocery store without? It made me think about how the 5 items I most frequently eat now have changed so much from the 5 items I ate 5 years ago and even more so from the 5 items I ate most 10 years ago.
- Turkey breast (no preservatives – whole breast from Costco)
- Runners Up: Lettuce/Spinach, almond milk, whole-wheat bread, natural peanut butter, Coach’s Oats, red peppers (both fresh for salads and cooking and the jarred roasted variety for sandwiches), chicken, mushrooms, tomato, fruit (all kinds), Fage 0% Greek yogurt, goat cheese, almonds, whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, black beans, whole wheat or corn tortillas, salsa, tuna, salad dressing, fresh veggies for steaming (broccoli or asparagus most often), and a Toberlone chocolate bar.
- Sourdough bread & sliced deli turkey (i.e. nitrate and sodium filled mix of meat and soy)
- Diet Coke (empty calories that will make me hungry later)
- Lean Cuisines (unsatisfying salt bomb)
- 100 calorie pack cookies or granola bars (corn syrup and artificial sweeteners)
- Yoplait non-fat yogurt (artificial sweeteners)
Although most of the items I ate throughout the week were low calorie (a typical day would consist of non-fat flavored yogurt with a banana for breakfast, a turkey breast sandwich with fruit and a 100 calorie pack of cookies for lunch, a sugar free vanilla latte for a snack, and a Lean Cuisine for dinner, Weight Watchers bar for dessert), most things I ate were processed. I was afraid of fat and tried to eat as little as possible. I ate an abundance of artificial sweeteners in my food and I was drinking 2-4 diet sodas a day. Additionally, my canned soups and Lean Cuisines were packing tons of salt and in the end weren’t satisfying. I’d often eat a Lean Cuisine for dinner and then dig into my Baked Lays stash for a snack while I watched TV with my roommates.
Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners lead to binges later on. The mind tastes the sweetness but doesn’t get the calories it expects and instead makes you crave carbohydrates and sweets later on. I definitely believe that this was a big reason for my weekend splurges, not to mention that I’d restrict my calorie intake during the week so much that by Friday there was no way I was saying no to a late night burrito (especially if all I ate for dinner was a meager Lean Cuisine).
My Grocery List 10 Years Ago
At least my 22 year old self was eating healthy five days a week. My 17 year old self rarely touched a vegetable or fruit. My grocery list (purchased by my mom, not me) back then was more like this:
- Rootbeer or Diet Coke
- Bread & butter
- Sugary cereal and 2% milk
- Plain noodles and tomato sauce
- Deli turkey and white bread