An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What's in Your Shopping Cart?

This past Saturday I did my weekly grocery shopping, and as I was checking out the cashier made a comment about all the healthy items I was purchasing: whole grain bread, Ezekiel bread, three different kinds of yogurt, non-sweet breakfast cereals, skim milk, vegetables (bok choy, napa cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, lettuce), fresh spices (basil, ginger, parsley), fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries, lemons, pears), meat (chicken, turkey breast), Quinoa pasta, olive oil, raisins, cheese (mozzarella, laughing cow), and nuts (cashews and almonds).

Lately I have been very, very conscious about our healthy eating habits. We are not a junk food family; we rarely eat out and prefer, instead, to cook with fresh ingredients. And I have learned that healthy eating is not just what to avoid (something we have no problem with), but also what to include in an overall healthy diet.

So, I have made a conscious effort to serve more more protein and a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates at each meal. Fruits and vegetables are the main source of our vitamins, nutrients and enzymes. And for optimal health we also include healthy fats such as fish, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils.

We've also discovered wonderful new foods and ingredients: fresh ginger, toasted sesame oil, flax seed (for nutty flavor and fiber), and Greek yogurt.

Then, there is nothing like eating fresh foods. I make our own hummus (store versions contain preservatives), trail mix, granola, chicken nuggets, and Chinese food (a new family favorite: Asian noodle bowls). I don't get bagged lettuce (I wash my own), pre-cut fruit (too much handling), or even pre-cut meats. And I prefer to chop/press my own garlic instead of using minced garlic from a jar.

Of course, there are moments. As the cashier was finishing up, she triumphantly rang up a bag of BBQ potato chips and some chocolate chip cookies. I smiled.

Hey, nobody's perfect.

grilled panini and insalata caprese


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I believe it's time for me to come to you for cooking lessons.


You are SuperMom!

tiziana said...

Brava Maria, sono d'accordo con te, bisogna usare cibi freschi e sani però anche un po' di patatine, cioccolata o dolcetti vari, fanno bene all'umore e rallegrano la tavola.
Bella la "caprese" (pomodoro e mozzarella) e l'aranciata S.Pellegrino.

Ua said...


- Your grumbling sister

Ua said...

What? You don't MAKE your own pasta???? Hahahahahahahaha

Lisa said...

Mmmmm... Toasted Sesame oil makes everything good! YUM! We're trying really hard to do the same -- but still have some bad old southern cooking hang-ups to get over... ;0) We love Graham Kerr's cookbooks for healty eating!

Mary Louise said...

Now you have plenty of basil to add to your caprese salad?!

Suburban Correspondent said...

Okay, now I'm hungry.

Kathleen@so much to say said...

My kids haven't taken to insalata caprese, but we love it. Perhaps someday... :)

Sarah said...

LOVE insalata caprese. Also, there is no better smell in the kitchen than fresh pressed garlic, I'd have it no other way!

I started eating greek yogurt when I was pregnant, and I love it. It's great to use as a sour cream or mayo substitute too!