Clean Eating Experiment: Grocery Shopping

Last night, the Boyfriend and I went grocery shopping. I quickly decided that I would try some clean eating recipes this week that were simple enough to shop for and easy enough for Boyfriend to make while I was writing after work. We rushed to Trader Joe’s and fought through crowds for the basics: eggs, cheese, milk, vegetables. But then we got to the stuff neither of us had really come across: coriander, Italian parsley, whole wheat pastry flour. Standing there in the middle of the grocery store, we were stunned with the reality of how limited our knowledge was on cooking things at home. Growing up, both of us had parents that cooked (although now I wonder how clean their cooking really was). When we entered college away from home, we ate the freeze-dried, processed food the dorms served us. And when we graduated and moved out on our own, we just ate the local fast food. Or, in my case, we ate whatever the latest crash diet I was on insisted we ate.

We went to TJs and our local Ralphs to find all that we could and called it a night. It was exhausting. Our bill came out over $100. Boyfriend almost had a heart attack when he saw that, but I pointed out that a) when we eat out—which is often—we spend easily $15 on a skimpy meal that won’t keep us satisfied and b) all but two of the items on the long grocery list were under $3.

That night, we went back home and I made homemade mac’ n cheese using whole wheat noodles, courtesy of The Gracious Pantry. It was interesting—it wasn’t the processed Kraft stuff, but it was okay enough for us to chow down on it throughout the night and into the next morning (I’m eating some as I type). We had to add a lot of salt to it, though, and that makes me think that I might shelve this recipe for every now and again. But it also makes me think of how addicted we are to high sodium foods.

In the end, the grocery shopping was an interesting experiment. It wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t frolic up and down the aisles tossing things in my basket. Boyfriend hates grocery shopping and I hate doing it alone, so that meant we where both not in good moods when we got home. There were dishes in the sink that need to be taken care of because I actually cooked, not microwaved.

But I’m very proud of myself for actually taking the first step in changing our diets for the better. I’ll be sure to let you know how tonight’s Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken comes out. :)

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