i have lost 140 lbs in 9 months which is great & i feel good about myself, that is not what is going on. see for the past 12 yrs i have been in a wheelchair do to a car wreck & others have done my shopping for me so i have ate what they bought for me. but with the weight loss comes an increase in mobility & so monday for the 1st time in 12 yrs i went to the store (aldi's) by myself, took public transportation since i don't drive. but the trip in some ways was a bit overwhelming. the first thing i noticed as i walked in was some romaine lettuce, like what does it taste like, do i get it? i stayed away from the isles that had the bad stuff like crackers, sweets, trail mix, stuff like that but even the healthy stuff like meats, veggies and fruits so many choices. i don't eat red meat but even chicken & turkey do i get white or dark, big or small packages? then next week they have chicken on sale in bulk for 55 cents a pound. do i get this? i mean mangoes are on sale, are they good for you? even yogurt has many brands, flavors and choices. do you get fresh veggies & fruits that are on sale or the frozen stuff? are chicken burgers any good? then i looked at salad dressings & got one that had no carbs, sodium or fat & only 2 grams of sugar but i tried it & it tasted like vinegar & sour wine & gave me a bad stomach ache. yuck! i looked at some healthy cereals & they has 12 grams of sugar in them, nope. sorry for this long post. any help would be appreciated. thanks
I have been grocery shopping several times a week for over 60 years.
I am going to recommend that you try the application Paprika.
It lets you download recipes from the internet. Then you create a weekly menu using those recipes. After that, you use the app to add the needed ingredients to your grocery list. Then you go to the store knowing exactly what you need to buy. With the paid version of the app you sync that list to your phone. With the free version, you print out the list.
It you want to do it by hand instead of the app, then make up a menu of what you are going to eat, then make a list of exactly what ingredients you need to buy and what you already have in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry.
Going into a store without a list is very overwhelming. When I go to Aldi's I bring my shopping bags with me and make sure I have a quarter for using the cart. Buying food in bulk often becomes wasteful, because you have items that you have no need for. It adds extra work to freeze or store them and they often end up in the garbage.
Before you buy a salad dressing, look it up on the internet and see what people are saying about it. Most of the time, I make my own with vinegar and oil. For things like yogurt and strange fruits, I buy one and see if I want more.
Congratulations on this big step for you becoming more independent. I know a lot of people use a taxi when they have no car and want to do a big shopping trip. You could look into Uber and Lyft. Enjoy the new freedom.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
First off congrats on your weight loss. It's great that you are getting out and are more mobile.
Check with some of your local supermarkets to see if any have nutritionists to help with food choices. I've seen that recently on my local news. They can help with selections especially with fresh fruits and veggies. What about your local community center - maybe they offer some nutrition classes. Do you cook? What about an introductory cooking class.
You don't say what type of surgery you had but I assume you want to stay low carb (low sugar) and fat. Remember that fruit tends to be high in carbs but it's natural so it's considered a complex carb as opposed to pasta or bread, which is a simple carb and converts immediately to sugar in your system. If you want to try a mango, buy one and try it. If you want to see if you like romaine lettuce, buy some. Do any of your local grocery stores have salad bars? Great way to try different things without too much of an investment. Buy a kitchen scale so you can learn how much is a serving.
Sounds like you have to decide what you like and what you don't. Start small. Never buy big packages until you're sure you like something.
Janet in Leesburg
Oh bless your heart - I take for granted that stuff like this is brand new to some people! Don't worry though, your life will be enriched with these new skills.
First of all, I'm glad to see you're open to try new things! This is like a whole new world opening up for you.
The bulk chicken packages are a wonderful deal. I can get 10 lbs of leg quarters (leg & thigh connected) for $6. That is fabulous, and there's so much you can do with them, and easy to bake with a little seasoning for about 40 minutes. Try combinations like rosemary & garlic or worsteshire/salt/pepper. Even if you boil them and bag the meat up for a meal later, you cannot go wrong.
On the topic of chicken, which is better is all a matter of preference. White meat is a much denser protein and some find it difficult to eat the first couple of years. If you like boneless breasts, try banging them to 1/2 inch thickness before you cook them. Breaking the fibers makes them more tender. As a rule, though, dark meat is juicier. I never liked chicken burgers much. I'd go for the beef.
Fruit has natural sugars, so while a little is a nice treat - treat it like you would a candy bar (only a treat).
Think of your favorite foods to eat, then look up recipes for them and start playing in the kitchen. IMO, the more you make yourself, the more control you have over what you're eating. That chicken salad you were wondering about is a very easy thing to make (with that cheap chicken deal!). You'll never pay $4-5 for a tub again.
There is room on this earth for all of God's creatures..
next to the mashed potatoes
Congratulations on your weight loss! That's wonderful progress!
Does your surgeon's office have a nutritionist you could meet with to discuss meal plans? I think a professional could give you some very good guidance and help you work out shopping lists.
That said, you should be going for protein-forward meals, low carbs. Things like breakfast cereals, even "healthy" ones, are best avoided; your meal should be 3 - 4oz of protein with maybe a bite or two of veggie if you've got room. Many people really don't eat fruit either, even though you'd think it sounds healthy.
Don't worry about salad. It's going to take up space in your stomach that would be better served with dense protein.
I would suggest getting some small packages of a variety of different types of protein so you can experiment with what you like best. Chicken thighs and breasts, ground turkey, sausages, chicken or turkey burgers, that sort of thing. I'd go with small packages for now until you learn how to prepare and freeze the larger portions; no sense buying something in bulk if you end up not liking it!
Yogurt is a good protein source. Look for something with 10g protein per 100 calories if you can (Greek yogurt tends to fit the bill), and it's best if you can make sure that sugar/honey/corn syrup/whatever are not in the first three or four ingredients.
Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Derby Strong!
VSG 2013, lost 150lb - RNY conversion 2019 due to GERD
Excellent idea about asking the nutritionist to help you prepare some sample meal plans. Also, they can often recommend specific brands that meet your nutritional needs and that their other patients have liked. For example, my nutritionist has a giant bin full of empty (washed) food containers. Ask her to recommend a product, and she'll pull out one or two sample products so you'll recognise them on the shelves, plus she'll discuss the nutrition labels with you. Other patients of hers, like myself, have contributed containers to her bin that they particularly like.
A lot of grocery stores will deliver these days, which might be more convenient for you. And even if you prefer to shop in person, looking at the catalog on the store's website would allow you to browse the different brands at your convenience, and make your choices before you go to the store. If the nutrition information for a product isn't on the store's website, it will be on the manufacturer's website.
Frozen fruit and veggies have a lot of advantages. You know it will be ripe when you want to eat it, it's pre-chopped (easy to add fruit to a smoothie or veggies to a stir-fry), it won't spoil and go to waste. If I know I'm going to use it that evening or the next evening, I often buy fresh, but otherwise I buy frozen. And when I do buy fresh, I prefer to go to the small fruit and veg shops that we have here and let the proprieter guide me to the yummiest things. (I still remember the delicious yellow tomatoes I got a few years ago.)
Why not make a list of things like salad dressings, and ask on here what brands people prefer? There are loads of people on here who have compared the nutrition labels and taste of the products already, so I'm sure you'll get some great recommendations. I'd help, but I'm not familiar with the popular brands in the U.S.
Your story reminded me of the first few times I went shopping in Ireland. Most of the brands were different than I was familiar with, so I had so many decisions to make, and it was exhausting. Even if I decided to just pick the cheapest laundry soap, or the first one I saw, that still was a decision. As I found a few brands I like for the important things, it reduced the number of real decisions I had to make, so shopping became less stressful.
And then after VSG, I felt ovewhelmed again because there were so many decisions to make and so many nutrition lablels to read! I wasn't sure how well new foods would be tolerated by new new stomach, nor how they would fit in my diet. So on each shopping trip I tried one or two new things (to avoid getting to overwhelmed), and before long shopping was fairly stress-free.
One final tip: if there's a product you want and the store doesn't carry it, ask the manager to add it. If their suppliers carry it, they will almost certainly add it for you.
I shop at Aldi too. Their quality has improved a lot over the years and the prices are usually good. I just tried the Cornish hen yesterday and it was good. It was only 22oz and cost a few dollars. I've been wanting to try fish since I hear its great for the diet.
The main thing I look at on the food label is sugar content. Many items will advertise healthy or low fat but for me, sugar is the main enemy. Years ago I cut sugar out of my diet and switched to aweetner. Along with eliminating soda from my diet I lost 45 lbs within a few months.
I tend to feel out of place in stores a lot too. Standing there reading nutrition labels males me feel awkward but I know it will one day pay off.