Effective Grocery Shopping

Monday October 10, 2011

A. Power Clean 


B. Buy in: 30 Bar-Facing Burpees

3 Rounds:

15 Power Cleans (145/95)

30 Wall Balls (20/14)

Buy Out: 30 Bar-Facing Burpees

Grocery Shopping

by Richard Haynes

For many of us at the box, we are approaching 10 days of the “No Bead Challenge.” I have heard a lot of comments from it being super hard to totally easy, craving bread all the time to craving healthier foods more and more, etc. Whatever your experiences thus far, keep up the great work at eliminating those foods on Doyle’s list, and it will be over before you know it.

The one thing that many of us have shared during this month-long challenge, and will experience more often, is the loss of convenience that many of the no-no foods bring. How nice is it to have something that holds your turkey, tomatoes, and lettuce together at the sandwich shop? Isn’t it great to have a wrap to bring together those chicken slices, beans, and guacamole at your local Mexican restaurant? Do you find it difficult to have something as easy (and non-perishable) as pasta to cook on a night at home? We all miss that, BUT, if you can plan ahead, you will find that the healthy choices become easier and easier to plan and prepare.

For many of you trying this for the first time, you may be having some trouble working your way around a grocery store, even one that you have been going to for years due to the change in what you can eat. By understanding how to work a grocery store effectively, making a list, and planning out your meals in advance, you will set yourself up for success along with saving a ton of time.

First and foremost, it is important to understand how virtually every grocery store is designed, and how that correlates to the right food choices. I want all of you to realize the number one rule of thumb when entering the store: WORK THE OUTSIDE LAYERS OF THE STORE. If you take the Whole Foods in Redondo, for example, right when you enter, you will see the daily special/in season fruits and vegetables for  purchase up front. If you hang a quick right, you pass by the worthless bakery and into their pre-made fresh food that includes all sorts of grilled veggies, quinoa, chicken breasts, fish, and other really tasty (and healthy/challenge approved) food. Directly across from that is a salad bar with some nice options along with some sort of protein from turkey meatballs to roasted chicken. Keep moving on the outside and you run into some solid yogurt options along with Fage that I like to mix in the mornings with almonds, Goji berries, cacao nibs, flax seed, and sometimes a few drops of organic honey. Continue from there to the back of the store and you will find the mother load of veggies and fruits. You need to live there! There you can pick up all sorts of amazing veggies that are going to form the basis of your carbohydrate intake…and you are going to need those carbs if you are expecting to have any energy throughout the day and for CrossFit, so don’t slack on them! You will also find barrels of quinoa, beans, and trail mixes along with nuts that make for great snacks. Work your way past this and you will get to the fresh fish, chicken, meats section. You need to live here too!!! This is going to be where you are to find your protein which is so essential for your muscles to recover after a workout. The grass feed meats are what you want to focus on as the fat from that is so so good for you and something we will get into with a later post. Finally, you cruise past some of the frozen meat options and some salsas and guacamole, and then you make your way to the cash register. You are done, no need to go to the interior for all of the non-perishable items with preservatives and that processed junk. The one exception would be to grab some caned fish (sardines!!!) for some quick Omega 3s and protein on the go and also some herbs, spices, and ingredients for dressings.

Now that you understand that you want to work the outside layers of the store, go visit you’re the local grocery store that you like to frequent, and see if this holds true. If it does (and most likely it will), then you are ready to start formulating a list before hand to fly through your shopping.

So before you leave for the store, you are going to want to make a list so that you can save a ton of time and take advantage of all the healthy options that the outside layers of the store provide. But first, try to plan out what you want to eat/prepare for the coming week. Here is what a sample might look like (assuming you are shopping Monday night after work):


Tuesday – 3 scrambled eggs with spinach mixed in while scrambling and a banana

Wednesday – Fage Greek yogurt with almonds, goji berries, cacao nibs, flax seed, and honey

Thursday – 2 eggs with salsa and left over chicken apple turkey sausage from Tuesday night

Friday – handful of walnuts, an apple, and some left-over turkey stir fry from the night before


Tuesday – Mix a half bag of spinach and half bag of herb salad along with some canned tuna after making your own dressing made of mustard, olive oil, and balsamic vinaigrette

Wednesday – (assuming you live/work in the beach cities) hit the Whole Foods in El Segundo for their buffet that is $2 off on Wednesday and grab a healthy serving of carnitas and a healthy serving of their collard greens cooked with olive oil bacon and garlic cloves

Thursday – Kale salad with avocado, walnuts, and sliced chicken breast

Friday –


Tuesday – Chicken apple sausages cooked in a pan or on the grill, throw some asparagus on the grill, along with some bell peppers…make more sausages than you need and put them in containers for later in the week

Wednesday – Salmon over a bed of quinoa, use the your spinach and mixed herb salad, add some avocado

Thursday – Stir-fry ground turkey, spinach, mushrooms with some teriyaki sauce cooked together, have a heaping helping of broccoli on the side steamed or throw right in with the stir-fry

Friday – Night out to a restaurant with healthy options with friends or significant other!


Apples, bananas, oranges, hard boiled eggs, avocados (eaten with a spoon or like an apple), left-overs from dinners when you purposely make too much, nuts/trail mix, yogurt, and yes, sardines! Although protein/Cliff bars/types of bars have not been outlawed, they have so much junk in them I am highly against them.

Now that you have a plan, here is your list:

Grilled chicken breast

12-pack of eggs

2 cups of Fage Greek yogurt

Goji Berries

Cacao nibs





Bell Peppers

2 bags of spinach

1 bag of herb salad






Flax seed



Trail mix




Olive oil

Balsamic vinaigrette

Teriyaki sauce


Canned tuna

Chicken apple sausages

Ground turkey

Salmon filets


*Feel free to purchase different types of meats and other veggies/fruits for great dinner combinations

Based on how many people you are cooking for may dictate how much you buy, but the more and more you eat healthy, the better you will get at estimating how much you need. Additionally, if you are pressed for time or work long hours, be sure to cook extra for snacks during the day, prepare tomorrow’s lunch while doing dinner, and make future meals that can be thrown in the fridge to just warm up in the microwave a day or so later.

If you know the store, work the outside accordingly, have a list, and think about what you will be eating over the week, I think many of you will find that you save a ton of time and find this challenge a little less inconvenient!