Thursday, January 12, 2012

Insights from a trip to the grocery

When I travel for a few days, I usually leave the refrigerator fairly empty, as my husband doesn't won't okay, can't cook (job security for me) and I don't want to come home to spoiled food.  The confluence of my return home and my decision to follow a South Beach plan meant I needed to stock up.

It's not like I didn't shop while I was at my daughter's. Heh. And never mind that I brought oat groats, wheat berries and brown rice home with me. Until I watched my daughter eat over the weekend, the idea of South Beach never crossed my mind. The grains are hidden in the pantry for now, but will be useful in a couple of weeks.

I went to Tiny Kroger yesterday without a list. I knew I needed vegetables and cheese, and thought I would have a look at other products that might work for me.

As both of you know, I enjoy cooking. I'd rather cook from scratch than open jars or cans (with the exception of mushrooms – canned mushrooms are so convenient).

So why was I in the pasta aisle, reading nutrition labels on jars of Alfredo sauce? It's like a low-carb worm has taken over my brain. Once I got past the produce bins, everything I picked up had a bar code. That's generally not how I shop, cook or eat.

I took a moment to reset my attitude and made my way to the dairy department as quickly as I could.

I want this South Beach experiment to support my desire to cook fresh, whole foods as much as possible. When I looked at my receipt, I think I did okay. The bulk of my purchases were vegetables. I also bought low-fat sausage and pepperoni, vegetable juice, mayonnaise (which I could make myself, and probably will from now on), cheeses, sour cream and yogurt for my husband. (I prefer plain, which is quite easy and so cheap to make, while he likes the slimy flavored low-fat sugar-free kind. No offense if that's what you like, too! Heh.)

There are plenty of recipes out there for tasty SB meals, and it looks like there's a lot of chopping and prepping and cooking-from-scratch involved. We had this cauliflower dish (I subbed fresh mushrooms for the olives) last night and it was beyond delicious. And I don't even like cauliflower.

So I think I'm on the right track, at least as far as meal prep goes. I know that a lot of people complain about the amount of cooking there is when you start a plan like this, but I think it's just what I need. And I'm very fortunate to not be working full-time, to only be cooking for two, to have a well-stocked freezer and to think that cooking is a creative hobby, not a loathesome chore.

As for reduced-fat Alfredo sauce, every label – even Newman's Own – had a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. When the time comes, I'll be making my own. Or going without. It's not like Alfredo sauce is a regular part of my menu rotation.

I hope the blog doesn't get boring or uninteresting (if it even was interesting to start with). I'll try not to make it all-South-Beach-all-the-time. But as I begin the program, it's inevitable that I'll be nattering on about it. Let me know if you get bored.


gingerzingi said...

A lot of people like SB and have been very successful with it - it's definitely worth trying. I think one reason it works is that it's so sustainable; there is plenty of delicious food and you probably won't feel deprived at all. I can tell you that after a couple weeks on the primal diet, I didn't miss grains or sugar AT ALL. They both seem to produce self-perpetuating cravings.

Grains are such an easy "filler" that sometimes it was hard to put together a meal. Take out the rice or pasta and there's not much left! So I've found it more expensive, not less, to eat this way, because there's no inexpensive bulk ingredient in the meals. On the other hand, I'm probably satisfied with smaller portions of real food.

Good luck with it, I predict it will work very well for you!

denise said...

I'll echo Ginger's "Good Luck" - hope it works out for you. I will be looking forward to your posts to see how it's going.

I'm on a short three week plan that's supposed to jump start weight loss, but it's not working very well. Why, you ask? Probably because I'm not really following it! :-(

I'm not nearly as into (or good at) cooking as you are, so not sure SB makes sense for me, but I may give it a crack if you do well (no pressure).

That way I can let you blaze the trail, learn all the tips and tricks, and pass them along to make it easier for the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

Not bored....keep on....I hope it works for you VERY WELL. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

That cauliflower recipe is delicious!!! Thanks for sharing. I just ate too much! SW Virginia