Grocery Shopping Is Like Going to Church

by Rachel on March 17, 2010

I worked on my proposal all day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, in 8-12 hour stretches, so by last night, I was ready to step away from my desk to stretch my legs and clear my head. I could have done it by working out, but I knew that wasn’t what I needed. What I needed was to go to the grocery store.

Grocery shopping is like church for me (in the way that I wish it could have been during all those years of Catholic school). It’s my hour alone to calm down and breathe and connect to something bigger. Seeing all the colorful veggies and fruits just helps me remember that life is beautiful and it honestly makes me feel a little spiritual.

And while I needed a little love from a higher power, I also needed to go because hey, a girl’s gotta eat!

I was out of a lot of my important groceries. I was scraping almonds and walnuts from the bottom of the bag and the same went for butterscotch, peanut butter, and dates. Not only that, but I was feeling stuck in a snack rut. I had run out of English muffins, apples, and cottage cheese. I love almond butter on whole wheat, but seriously…snack time was getting a little sad.

The nice thing about Daylight Savings Time is that after dinner, the extra hour of daylight makes me want to be out and about! I took advantage of the light, the spring weather, and my full stomach to hit the grocery store. I picked up Jacki on my way. I haven’t seen her in more than a week, and we needed a friend date…and the only way we could make it happen was to have a grocery shopping date.

First we went to Wal-Mart, which is pretty much the main grocery store in town. I started with the essentials…


Muscle Milk Light (for smoothies), cottage cheese, and Jif all-natural PB! Then I restocked with my oatmeal pimping all-stars: dates, butterscotch, almonds, and walnuts.

Even though I was shopping on a full stomach, I was still hungrier than usual…and I hadn’t made a list. So I started to make those healthy impulse buys as I’ve been known to do. It started in the nut aisle, because I had been reading up on MUFAs all week.

Macadamias are apparently the most MUFA-packed nut, so I had to get them! Plus I never eat them, so that counted as a rut buster. Then I saw these babies, and I can’t resist anything that’s black pepper and garlic flavored…


Next we headed to Kroger, which has a really good section of organics and natural foods. I picked up my organic milk singles along with something I’d wanted for my oatmeal for quite a while…

dried blueberries

I’m on a mission to create blueberry-muffin oatmeal and I think these dried blueberries will do the trick! I also got some bountiful beautiful Granny Smiths and Honeycrisps.

I have tons of organic veggies I’m getting from Door to Door but I haven’t had enough good protein to pair them with, so…I needed that, of course.

I haven’t tried these before, but I like the Applegate Farms beef burgers, and I like that I can cook them in single servings; I know I won’t waste them. I’m going to fire up the grill to make one for dinner tonight with roasted butternut squash. So simple and healthy, but I’m pretty excited about it.

Then I got my special treat for the week…

I love cashews but I had never bought cashew butter.  I spread it on one of my fresh English muffins when I got home for a post-shopping snack.

Um, YUM! I love it because it tastes exactly like cashews. (I know this seems obvious, but that’s not really the case with almond butter.)

I realized that all my rut-busting foods are just variations on foods I typically eat every day. They are just small ways to make my oatmeal or PB + bread snacks a little bit more exciting. But sometimes, that’s all I really need to feel like I’m getting variety. I mean, I have so many MUFA options right now, it’s a little ridiculous!

All right, I’m off to make a MUFA-packed lunch and get back to writing. Have a great afternoon!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susanna March 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm

What a great blog! So glad I found you! Two questions- How do you roast your butternut squash? What oatmeal do you like?


2 Rachel March 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm

To roast my squash, I cut it in big chunks (not my fave task, I’ll be honest!) and then toss with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and then herbs de Provence. This is an amazing herb blend, but you can use really any herbs you like!

For oatmeal, I always just use plain old-fashioned whole grain oats! But if I am traveling and need instant, I go for Kashi Very Vanilla! :)


3 Julia March 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I’ve had great luck with roasting chunks of butternut squash in olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and a little maple syrup! I’ve heard honey does well too. Just thought I’d share :)


4 Kim March 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Holy hell, Muscle Milk in smoothies is just about the most genius thing ever.


5 Rachel March 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Muscle Milk tastes SO MUCH BETTER than protein powder! It just does!!


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