Did you ever watch the cheesy TV show Supermarket Sweep? Growing up I was obsessed with it (yea, I’m a little embarrased to admit that) — what can I say, I love me some grocery shopping! Katie & I think this show should be brought back, we’d totally rock the sweep. Come on universe, make it happen!
One of the questions we get asked most about being vegetarians is how we do our groceries: How do we shop in order to feel full & not miss meat?
The surprising thing is, we don’t miss meat; we don’t see vegetarianism as lacking anything. We get plenty of great, filling meals. Here’s how we stock up.
Eat your greens…hearty greens! You’ll be amazed how filling hearty greens like Kale, Arugula, Spinach, Watercress & Bok Choy (these are my fave but there are many others) are. I’m a firm believer of eating a salad a day; when its on a bed of hearty greens it goes a long way. Give these a try next time you’re in the greens aisle, cooked or raw these are delicious!
Don’t be afraid of fat — healthy fat. Yes, you read that right! Having healthy fats in your diet is not only good for you but helps you feel full for longer periods of time. Go ahead & drizzle some olive oil on your pasta. Add avocado to your sandwich. Sprinkle nuts on your salad. Fats (in moderation) are an important part of your diet…& lets face it, a little fat makes everything tastier. Ha!
It’s all about the Carbs…the Complex Carbs. What are complex carbs? Carbs that take your body longer to break down, keeping you full longer & helping your body turn them into energy fuel. As opposed to simple carbs which are more refined & take your body no time to break down, this means you’re hungry faster & don’t get as many nutrients. So instead of reaching for white flour or pasta, cakes or white bread (all simple carbs), stock up on beans, starchy vegetables, whole wheat rice & pasta, for example. You’ll feel fuller longer, plus they’re delicious.
Here are my tips:
Meal Planning! We’re on a pretty strict budget for groceries, so meal planning is REALLY important. But, it can also help you see what meals you may be protein deficient–you can see where your holes are, and see trends in your eating habits.
Make a List. I make a really detailed list for grocery shopping and carry a calculator. It can be tedious, but that way I know there won’t be surprises at the check-out. And it helps to make sure you don’t end up with a cart full of carbs/sweets (the cookie aisle gets me everytime!)
Fresh Produce. I typically buy all of my produce at a farm stall first (kind of like a co-op) and finish the rest at a traditional grocery store. It takes longer, but I feel better about where my food is coming from because I’m only buying what’s in season. It’s so great because I can go and buy whatever I want and I’ve never gone over budget because the prices are that much better than the grocery store. Sweet! Also, because the food is seasonal, I get excited about fruits and veggies again when I see ones I haven’t seen before–that helps me not to buy out the cookie aisle later…
And that’s a taste of how we grocery shop. We hope this post was helpful answering potential questions you may have about how to stock your vegetarian kitchen. If you have any other questions please contact us, we’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org