Saturday, March 3, 2012


Every time I hear the word 'Groceries', I think of Eat, Pray, Love (of which I loved the book and the movie). If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you a snippet of a grocery shop with me, and a 'why' for each item I bought. Obviously I already have groceries in my house and this isn't absolutely everything that I have in my house, but a good snap shot. I do a big fruit and veg stock up every week and then try to get the other basics that are running low. I love grocery shopping but sadly now don't get a lot of time to do it! The below is from last weekend....

From the Fruit & Veg Shop

Bananas - As filling as a muesli bar, much healthier, easy to carry around, natural antacid for the tummy if feeling a bit off.

Green Apples - Good for digestion, full of fibre, easy to carry around. I prefer the taste of green apples and like that if I don't finish them and they are getting a it old, I can stew them to eat for brekky with my muesli.

Strawberries - I have berries on my breakfast every morning. I do not go a day without eating berries. If you don't get organic strawberries, make sure you wash them as they are some of the most porous fruit and would have soaked up every chemical they may have been sprayed with.

Bunch of Rhubarb - Diced up and stewed in water, tastes amazing with the berries in the morning.

Fresh Spinach - Used as an alternative to lettuce in sandwhiches as it contains more nutrients than an iceberg. I also do everything I can to get more iron in me. If I haven't eaten this fresh after a few days, I put it in curry, risottos, cook it up for breakfast or cook it with a little garlic to snack on after work.

Pomegranate - Another one that's amazing with berries in the morning. Absolutely packed with antioxidants. I've said it before and I'll say it again - eat the real fruit, do not drink the juice!

Snow Peas - Great raw in a salad or cooked up in a stir fry. Best when you keep the crunch and have been shown to have antibacterial properties!

Eggplant - Pretty much whenever I make M a meat dish with sides, I make myself some grilled eggplant with the same. Tastes reat grilled with sauces on it, or in chucnky cubes through a tomato based pasta sauce (and makes you want less pasta!). If you feel like a parmigiana that's a little less heavy, eggplant is also your friend!

Pumpkin - Do I really need to explain? Tastiest stuff ever! Soup, roasted, mashed.. my favourite! Try keeping the skin on when you roast it (make sure you wash it), I eat most of my pumpkin skins. Packed with Vitamin C, A and E and low calorie. You can't go wrong. If you have left over mash, use it as a face mask.

Sweet potatoes - Another no-brainer. I always replace white potatoes with sweet potato (except for gnocchi, though I have done half-half). Really yummy mashed up with chilli through it, or cubed into a curry.

Swedes - Love to peel them and make them into chunky swede chips to roast with some rosemary. Actually have a little calcium in them.

Broccoli - Full of vitamin C, fibre and even a little Selenium, (which many of us don't get enough of). Great in stir fry, but make sure you use the step as well! Just like strawberries, broccoli will soak up everything it's sprayed with, so wash it properly.

Parsnip - Great roasted, or boiled up with some carrots to make a mash.

Mix of button and field Mushrooms - Mushrooms are a wonder food for me. Packed with protein, stupidly versatile, full of nutrients and low in fat. I can't resist them sauteed in garlic!

Bag of Almonds - Vitamin E and protein rich, as well as other excellent stuff. Chopped up in oats or muesli and as a snack. Also great whizzed up into little Bliss Balls (recipe soon!).

Bag of Walnuts - Again with the protein, one of the best nuts you can eat, absolutely packed with antioxidants. I eat them plain as a snack, but remember to always stick to a small handful / 6-10 nuts, or the calorie intake starts getting too high.

Beetroot - Always go for fresh, the canned stuff is just full of sugar. Best roasted or in a risotto, but I also like to julienne it raw into a salad. Yum yum. (soaked in a little lemon juice if the raw is too raw for you).

Big bag of Oranges - Oranges get rid of sweet cravings for me and I eat one after dinner when what I really want is a giant piece of cake. Orange rind is also yummy in muesli or toasted muesli, but best do it just before consuming or it will go off.

Lemons - I don't care if there's not much to back up any benefit, I love a squeeze of lemon in my morning water. It feels refreshing. I also use it to season food, especially fish, and put wedges in my sparkling mineral water.

Fresh Garlic - Everyone jokes I can't cook with garlic. Why should I? Antibacterial and the tastiest stuff on earth.

Onion - See above.

(I always go to Coles)

Loaf Burgen Rye for Digestive Health i A long time ago after reading a lot of labels, I felt this was the best one. To be honest I now forget why. I love it, anyway.

Packet of Rye Mountain Bread - I bought this for the first time after seeing Janella Purcell recommend it on the tele.. it's yummy, healthy, low in calories, and so ridiculous versatile. To be honest, it's not amazing for wraps because it falls apart, but as a side, or toasted with salsa or dips, or even as a case for mini quiches, yummy!

Bags of Rolled Oats - Loaded with fibre, controls blood glucose levels, filled with antioxidants, helps lower cholesterol - the list goes on! Also handy that they're the tastiest things ever (in my opinion), and super cheap. I use them in muesli, as bircher muesli (soak in water or milk for at least 15 minutes, preferably over night), and in lentil patties etc (you could stick them in your meatballs). Love them, eat them for breakfast every single morning.

Box of Weetbix - I buy these to have with my oats as I like to try and get as much iron in as possible and Weet Bix, unlike Vita Brits, are fortified with iron. They also have some sugar which makes me sad, but it's about 3% and I think it's worth it for the iron.

Sanitarium Natural Peanut Butter - If you haven't already, stop eating the regular peanut butter and switch over to natural! Add salt and sugar to the natural if you like, I don't care, just get the hell away from hydrogenated vegetable oil. It is so bad for you.

Sparkling Mineral Water (plain) - There are only a handful of things I drink, (water, non-mixed alcohol, tea and coffee), and this is one of them. With a lemon wedge and some ice, this is what I have when everyone else is having fizzy drink. 13 teaspoons of sugar in a drink? No thank you.

Popping Corn (for the popcorn machine) - Buy a pop corn machine - they're about $20.00, and do as I do, pop your own! Even if you do add salt, you can control the amount and forgo the butter. I like to flavour it with cinnamon or paprika, and I think you can eat 3 cups of it before you get near 100 calories, which is a lot of pop corn.

Dorito's Salsa (hot!) - For a commercial dip, this is OK, and M likes it. Always better to make your own but I'm OK with saying I eat this. I love spicy food.

Vitawheats - I'm addicted to plain Vitawheat biscuits. 4 biscuits is around 100 calories and they're just moreish. I think it's the crunch.

Lindt 70% dark chocolate - We all know the benefits of dark chocolate over milk. Always go as dark as you can get or can handle.

Carnation 'Lite' Coconut flavoured Milk - To use in curries. I can't bring myself to drink real coconut milk, it's just too fatty, so fatty in fact it just makes me sick.

Cans of chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils - This is the vegetarian in me getting her protein. Lentil patties, chickpea and sweet potato curry, minestrone with kidney beans, beans in a tomato sauce, tagines, the list goes on... cheap, low in fat, high in fibre, stabilises blood glucose levels, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and they're cheap! I buy the ready ones in the can as I am often too busy to cook them up from dried, but make sure you rinse them as they usually contain some salt in their water.

Tinned tuna (plain and Serena's 'lite' chilli) - A little tin of protein and versatility. Some studies have even shown they help to reduce stress and improve mood!

Less Salt Soy Sauce - I use soy sauce in a lot of dishes, it's just nice to reduce salt where we can.

Wholemeal Fettucine - I love pasta, like a lot, and there aren't any super health benefits to wholemeal pasta, and it's still high in calories, but it just tastes so good! Just the better option.

Brown Rice - I like rice, and I don't see any reason to eat the white stuff that is stripped of all it's nutrients and bleached. Brown rice is packed with awesome things. Did you know women who eat whole grains have been shown to weigh less?

Arborio Rice - Brown rice can't make risotto and occasionally, I like risotto. Still a lower GI than the white stuff!

Free range Eggs - Protein, some B12 for my vegetarian self and insanely versatile. I go free range as I would never support the caging of any animal.

Milk (I drink Zymil) - I like milk, I find Zymil as I like the taste better and I feel it's lighter. I am not lactose intolerant and don't pretend to be. Plus I personally can't stand soy milk and really believe it's a hyped up product that isn't as amazing as everyone seems to think it is.

Farmers Union Greek Yoghurt - Tastiest yoghurt ever. Always plain, none of this stuff covered in jam. I have this for breakfast every morning. If you don't like how un-sweet it is in the morning, try adding some pure maple syrup, agave syrup or cinnamon.

Smoked Salmon - Oily fish is just plain good for you, and I don't tolerate slabs of salmon very well. Best with some cream cheese and chives on a cracker, or in an omelette. Yummy!

Organic Tofu - As I said, I don't particularly subscribe to the hyped up health benefits of soy, but I do like the taste of tofu in a stir fry. It makes it more filling when I don't want noodles or rice, too.

Fresh Mussells - Just plain yummy, and such a cheap sea food compared to others. Pack B12 as well which is good for my almost-vegetarian, (shall I call it pescetarian?), self.

Frozen Peas - Just handy, some protein and vitamins, and green in any dish that lacks (I always have green!).

Frozen Beans - As a side dish or stirred through a stew or curry.

Frozen Spinach - Easy source of iron and even some calcium, I cook some on top of my side serve of vegetables for dinner, or put through curries. Frozen just so I always have some available as I try to eat some spinach every day.

Tub of Pantalica Low-Fat Ricotta - Protein, calcium, just plain tasty (and I don't like cottage cheese). Yummy on bread with cinnamon or a bit of pepper, or honey if you're feeling indulgent. Great in pasta or with eggs, or alone!

Milell Parmesan Cheese - The best parmesan cheese in the supermarket (please stop buying the dried Kraft stuff, it's not cheese, people). Yes, it's one of the highest fat cheeses, but a small peice is very satisfying due to it's rich flavour, and it's also one of the, if not the highest calcium cheese. I can't stand that people are scared of eating a little cheese each day. Don't be scared of sall amounts of fat, be scared of sugar!

Black Peppercorns - For the grinder, flavours everything. Not just a seasoning, it has been shown to help reduce gas and bloating.


How does that not put anyone off?

Chicken breast (I remove the skin myself) - Stupidly versatile and lean. Stick to a serving the size of your palm.

Scotch Fillet - As you know, I personally would never touch red meat even if I wasn't vegetarian, but M loves a steak.

Lean Mince - Mainly to make M meatballs. I may be healthy and vegetarian and blah blah blah, but I am willing to cook things others like, as long as they are aware of what they're eating!

Fish Shop

It's been a weird transition, but I now officially am a full-blown fish eater. It feels good.

Salmon - This is M's favourite, just seared in the pan with salt and pepper and lemon juice to finish. So many benefits, including that it's great for your heart and prevents damage to your eyes.

Barramundi - My favourite! Like all fish it's high in heaps of great things, including protein. Many people don't realise that white fish that isn't known as 'oily' (like salmon, still packs a lot of omega fatty acids. Yummy.

Raw prawns - I love prawns and prefer to cook them myself. Unless you eat them excessively, (like anything), you are not going to get high cholesterol from them. If you already have a cholesterol problem then yes, keep an eye on how many prawns you eat, (and the rest of your diet).

So that's my groceries for a week!

Things I never buy include soft drink, sweet biscuits, fresh herbs (as I grow them and they charge a fortune for them in shops!), frozen meals.... there'd be much more.

Is my list similar to yours?
Do you put a lot of thought into your groceries?
Is there anything there you never buy?
Is there anything you always buy and consider a very healthy staple and you're wondering why I didn't buy it?

Phew, that was big!

Stay well,
Nat x

All images from Flickr


  1. I'm writing my grocery list for the week as I read this! Man, your fridge must look like a health store, I'm so jealous.

    I always put thought into my groceries and I plan my list depending on what I want to cook for the week. Because I still live at home, mum does the bulk of it for the whole family but I'll often buy bits and pieces that I want to use. I ALWAYS seem to be buying spinach. Literally every time I go to the shops, which is usually every few days, I'll buy a bag of baby spinach. Like you, I use it instead of lettuce and I also put a handful in my berry banana smoothies for added nutrients xxx

    PS I had no idea bananas were a natural antacid!

  2. I've been meaning to share some recipes with you, and they include some of the above ingredients anyway!
    (try a different method to cook the eggplant other the deep frying, it's far far too much oil) (you can also cut back the oil/cream/butter)

    I used homemade yoghurt and paneer. Served both with brown rice and some papadums, yum! (even tastier reheated the next day too)

  3. yum your grocery list is amazing! I do a big shop every sunday, and try to go to the markets for fresh fruit and veg.

    My bf and I love salmon, broccoli, soda water, sweet potato and salads and those are ALWAYS on our weekly list along with milk, bananas and frozen berries for our morning smoothies.

    We still buy salad dressing, I try to stick to straight balsamic. If I want sweets I'll try and bake them myself... occassionally chocolate (yes milk) makes its way to the trolly!

    Now we're in darwin, I think Barramundi will be a fave of ours too.

  4. Phew! what a fantastic, comprehensive list. I love it. I always my ground flaxmeal, I love the crunch on my yoghurt with oats and berries at breakfast. I love sirena tuna in oil!! favourite. I'm trying to have more tinned salmon, though for the omega 3 benefit & environmental costs (an issue about which i'm still trying to become completely learned). Your list is the bomb! I'm totally craving roasted pumpkin & sweet potato for dinner now, with other roasted veg :) seeing as I'm home alone for dinner i might just do that!
    Heidi xo

  5. Jane - it's not as freakishly healthy as you'd think, I still live with s soft-drink loving, bacon frying, pringle addicted boy. How he listens to all my rambles and still eats that stuff I don't know!I don't plan groceries or meals at all, I love being tested on what I can invent with what we've got, as as long as there's fresh produce, some grans and some protein I am always OK. Oh and garlic and onion..

    Bec - the eggplant recipe looks yummy as! And the whole blog of the other link is now being scrolled through, thank you :)

    Ali - I can't stand salad dressing apart from balsamic, but the boy loves his Praise French Dressing... so that's in my fridge. I bake my own sweets but yes, I too eat milk chocolate. 80% of the time, my diet is clean, that's what matters to me :)

    Heidi - thank you! Sirena is the best tuna, I love the chilli one too. I don't know anything about the environmental benefits of choosing salmon over tuna - you will have to blog about it! I love roast veg, I often just eat a plate with some chick peas for dinner. I also love being home alone for dinner so I can eat whatever I want.. mmmm..