Amanda Fisher Coaching

I help women get crazy strong - physically AND mentally - through strength training, sustainable eating habits, and a heathy mindset.

Category: Meal Prep (page 1 of 4)

How To Grocery Shop Like A (Mom) Boss

A really awesome question came in a few weeks ago. What does our grocery shopping look like? Where do we shop? How do we buy fresh foods and get them to last? Lots of good questions!

And, that question was actually really timely. I was about to grocery shop. And since, have again, and took notes of how we have been doing this. We have kind of a template it seems, which was super helpful to put together.

We usually do two main grocery shopping trips each month, give or take. We fill in the cracks in between trips if we need to, but to be honest, we are getting this shopping thing down, and try not to do that other than for milk or something like that. We utilize a variety of stores for grocery shopping. We do the Sam’s Club thing, we use a larger grocery store if we are out and about, and we also use the local grocery store. We are lucky to have my father in law raise our beef and pork so those things don’t end up on our shopping list. We also buy eggs from a local Mom Boss in my neck of the woods, and use farmers markets when we can (but….that’s like three months of the year maybe because Minnesota is tricky, lol).

Full confession, I’m not an awesome meal planner. I totally don’t menu plan, but rather have staple things on hand and make things from there. I did menu plan for awhile, and I think I just got so used to creating meals that we just got efficient at shopping.

Need Help With A Healthy Eating Menu?

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Guess what? Grocery shopping is not sexy, BUT. BUT. BUT. We cannot eat the food we don’t have on hand, right? So….it’s a little necessary for most people.

I’m going to lay down some hacks for helping you grocery shop economically AND sanely, so you don’t have to spend hours in the grocery store (unless you want to).

  1. Order your groceries online if possible. This helps you stick to your list and also doesn’t allow you to wander aisles aimlessly and throw stuff in your cart you don’t need!

  2. Include things in your cart that you actually like to eat. Don’t buy stuff you don’t really love just because it is supposedly a health food. Health foods are foods that make YOU feel good and that YOU love to eat.

  3. Take a big pass around the outside edges of the store. Spend the bulk of your budget in the produce, the meat counter (if you don’t know a cool farmer), the freezer section, etc. Wade into the aisles when you need to, but be wary of all the food labels telling you how healthy they are.

  4. Super secret hack that I think everyone who buys those big ass tubs of greens should know…...after you open the container, get a longer life out of those greens by putting a paper towel in the top of the container before you close it up. Keeps the moisture out of your greens so they last LONGER!

    I talk through how we navigate shopping to eat lean AND spend less here:

    Eating healthy gets a bad rap for “being expensive” and for “being complicated.” I call bullshit on both those things. If you struggle with the expense part of it, build yourself a food budget that is realistic and go to town on it. Give it a few months trial run and see how it goes.

    If you struggle with feeling like healthy eating is complicated, I’d love to hook you up. I’ve put together a FREE #20under20 Meal Guide AND Bonus Menu and Shopping List Helper to go with it. I’d love for you to give it whirl and tell me how it works for you!

My Big Four Nutrition Habits

If you have ever found yourself questioning every choice you make every stinkin’ day about food, this post might be helpful for you.

If you cling to a meal or diet plan that has you white knuckling on willpower by the weekend, only to find yourself eating foods “off” your plan on Saturday and Sunday, this post might be helpful for you.

If you constantly are starting over or “on” again on Monday, this post might be helpful for you.

If you are just trying to find your own way of eating, this post might be helpful for you.

If you are here for a diet template or meal plan, this post most definitely is not for you.

You guys, I get it.  Wanting to cling to a meal plan or specific budget of calories every day seems safe.  And even sane and sustainable.  But, if you’ve ever done it for a length of time, you have probably found that it isn’t….at least for the long haul.  I think both methods can be used effectively to teach a few concepts, but I don’t think that we can live that way day in and day out.  Because those things take away our ability to choose how to eat day in and day out, in any given situation, by telling us how to eat day in and day out, without regard to any given situation.

So I thought I’d share the basics of what I teach my clients, in some way or another, to get them incorporating truly simple AND sustainable nutrition habits into their lives.  It just so happens that I also follow these habits.  And it also just so happens that these habits can be personalized as much as needed to each and every individual as well.  And, I want you to know that it goes without saying….but, I’m going to say it anyway….there is no “on” or “off” the wagon with regard to these food habits.  In fact, I’d love it if you just went ahead and burned the wagon.

So, let’s make a list of the big four nutrition habits that help you get on a path towards health, possibly a leaner body (depending on your goals), and on a path of eating in a sustainable fashion for YOU:

  1. Protein and Produce.  When each meal I eat contains a serving of protein and a serving of produce, I know that I’m feeding my body something that has vitamins and minerals PLUS promoting the retention of lean muscle.  I tend to feel more full and satisfied when I do this as well.  I’d prefer that most meals are protein and veggies, BUT sometimes  veggies don’t happen, so there is fruit.  AKA, protein and produce.  I dial up and dial down servings based on hunger, activity, and goals, but #pandp keeps me on a good path, yo.
  2. Listen for hunger.  Literally, I eat my meals when I’ve felt hunger for 30-60 minutes.  That may or may not correspond with regular meal times, depending on the day.  More importantly, what it does do, is gets me listening to my body.  I begin to understand when I’m feeling hunger, what that actually feels like, and then when I begin eating…I learn what it feels like when I’m getting satisfied and have eaten enough.  Also, over the long haul, I begin to understand what types of foods keep me satisfied for longer, and what foods leave me hungry again in an hour.  By the way, eating a meal after feeling hunger is often the most satisfying meal ever.  Try it, and you’ll understand that I mean 🙂
  3. Eat 3-4 meals each day, without snacking.  Seriously.  Even if you cling to 6-8 small meals a day, give 3-4 meals a try.  There is no “stoking” your metabolism each day with more frequent, smaller meals.  In fact, often times it becomes easier to overeat because you are thinking about food so often.  Those that eat 3-4 meals per day eat slightly larger meals, and don’t have to think about food (or rely on willpower) so often each day.  They also don’t feel like they skimped on meals.  And, they have a chance to feel hungry before their next meal, keeping them in tune with hunger signals.
  4. Sprinkle treats into your week.  Seriously.  Nothing takes the edge off more than a nice treat.  And if you sprinkle a few in each week, you begin to learn a “treat balance,” and begin trusting yourself around your food choices.  This habit has been key for me to eat just ONE CUPCAKE, or even half to three quarter of it, and feeling satisfied, versus feeling like I need to binge eat them.  I enjoy these treats, and never feel guilt about them.  And to be honest, because that treat need is satisfied, I’m also super friggin’ motivated to eat all the nutritious stuff too!

No lie, these are my Big Four.  They work, and they are sane.  And you can do them when you are 90 years old, or when you are 25.  They are here for the long haul.  By the way, you can dial them up or down, too, depending on your goals, your activity level, your gender, your body, ANYTHING.  There are other ways to get lean, and slay these same habits, these just tend to be the way they work for me and a lot of my clients.  Which is why I share with you.  At the end of the day, you have to like how you eat, or it becomes something that’s temporary and temporary isn’t sustainable.



Again, I understand the burning desire to “take control” of your eating by following a specific meal plan, approved foods list, and all that.  In my experience, even though it sounds nice and controlled, it generally leads to feelings of deprivation and lack of trust around food choices….and when THAT happens, it seems the wheels fall off the bus and control is the last thing that’s actually happening, you know?

If you’ve been reading what I write for some time, this isn’t different.  It’s signing up and taking this journey for the marathon, not the sprint.  We are literally learning how to eat for life, instead of learning how to eat for 60 days so we can meet a goal, and then unwind all that progress over the next 60 days.

If I do anything with this blog, I hope it’s helping people get OFF the diet rollercoaster and into a real and healthy relationship with their nutrition and food choices. So if this was helpful for you, I’d love your comments or thoughts via my Facebook page!  I’d also love to know what you’d add to this list!  And of course, if you have a girlfriend that needs to hear some of these things, please feel free to share.

KISS – Meal Templates!

Dude, does planning your meals seem like a monumental process?  

Like…..what should you eat?  Where is the protein?  How many carbs, but not TOO many carbs, because Dr. Oz says you shouldn’t eat too many, right?  And veggies!  Don’t forget those!  But, wait….I’m supposed to eat healthy fats, right?  What are those?  Where do those go?

So, then, we get overwhelmed and give up.

Or worse, plan a brand-spankin’-new meal for every night next week….

…..only to discover, those meals require ingredients that we don’t have, or don’t use.

So we hit the grocery store and spend a mint on all these ingredients we will probably never use again.

Money down the drain.

Blah, let’s not do that anymore.

Meals DO NOT have to be complicated.  They just don’t.  In fact, in most of my nutrition coaching experience, those that keep it simple actually ENJOY eating and creating new combos.  Simple combos.  And reach their goals faster, too.

Alright, so let’s talk about what makes a meal, yes?

Because I am a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach, I tend to enjoy their guidelines (and follow them myself, with tweaks as needed).  I like how they build their meals, because it WORKS.  It is SIMPLE.  I feel FED.  And it is generally STRESS FREE when you get the hang of it.

Each meal, for ladies, includes the following:

  • A palm sized serving of lean protein (you know…chicken, lean beef and pork, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, seafood, etc), or about 20-30 grams of protein
  • A fist sized serving of vegetables (shortcut – eat the ones you LIKE)
  • A cupped handful sized serving of starchy carbs (whole grains and whole grain breads/pastas, fruit, oatmeal, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, etc.)
  • A thumb sized serving of fat (avocado, nuts, nut butter, healthy oils, some cheeses, etc) if you protein choice if VERY lean, or skip the fat if you are eating a less lean protein choice that meal

Each meal, for gentlemen, is about DOUBLE what ladies enjoy….or TWO palm sized servings of protein, TWO fists of veggies, and so on and so forth.

But how many meals do you need to eat?  Well, this depends on YOU, YOUR hunger, and YOUR activity level.  Most individuals do well on 4-6 meals per day with a serving of each of the groups above, or 3-4 larger meals per day, with more than one serving of each per meal if necessary.  My recommendation is start around four servings, see how it treats you, and work your way up as necessary.  Eat your first meal of the day, and don’t eat the second until you feel hunger for a bit (30ish minutes).  Then eat again.  Repeat this process as needed through the day.  **If you have been on a diet for your entire life, the feeling of hunger might not be familiar to you…..and so I recommend finding a credible (certified!) nutrition coach or Registered Dietician to help you sort this one out.**

Of course, there are ways to customize this if needed.  Those pursuing specific athletic goals generally need MORE food to fuel their athletic endeavors.  Those desiring to put on some muscle will need to eat a SURPLUS of food over time above the level they need to maintain their weight.  Those desiring to lose weight or fat will need to eat at a deficit over time.  Those that desire to maintain their weight…..just need to find the level of eating that allows them to stay status quo on the scale.  Can we get more complicated than this?  YES if we NEED to.  But, I like to start with this approach because it allows people to learn how to put together meals THEY like and MOST people get a lot of mileage out of this approach before complicating it further (if they ever need to).  Of course, like everything, there are exceptions to every rule.  But the basics, well….they serve MANY.

It is VERY easy to get lost in details.  Should I eat more carbs?  Less carbs, but more fat?  Really, my short answer is you have to find a way that YOU like to eat.  Some people enjoy eating more fat than carbs.  Some people want to eat carbs and skip out on fats sometimes.  Most of us can under-eat protein pretty easily, and I find that addressing protein first helps shake out a bunch of other things to work on.

So, let’s keep it simple.  What does this LOOK like?  Here are a few examples:

  • Ground beef, 85% lean (so I won’t add an extra serving of fat to my meal), seasoned with salt and pepper, sauteed onions and green peppers, and white rice (dash of soy sauce over the whole mix for good measure)
  • Grilled chicken breast over romaine, with extra fresh veggies (onions, mini peppers), with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan and a bit of Caesar dressing, with a bowl of sliced bananas and strawberries on the side
  • Pork chop, half or whole baked potato (depending on the size) topped with butter, steamed green beans (from frozen)

You see?  We don’t have to complicate this.  You can easily adjust these meals based on YOUR needs.    I want to add too, that some individuals do best learning how to eat a specific target of  calories or macros if they come from a background of chronic dieting….they literally need to learn how to eat an appropriate level of food with a “budget” of calories so they know what “enough” means.  Others learn best by eyeballing portions like I’m chatting about here.  If you’ve been a counter of calories or macros for some time, I encourage you to drop that for awhile and give this way a try.  It might give you a mental break, if nothing else, from all the numbers.  Remember, simplicity works, and when we can take away 100 details and break it down into just a few, this all gets easier…..and the easier this is, the more LIKELY we are to roll with it consistently, right?

Need some help putting together meals that are healthy, tasty, AND are on the table in less than 20 minutes?  Check out my FREE meal idea guide!

Click to access!

Is this post helpful for you?  Share it with someone who could benefit from it.  If you incorporate this into your life…..please keep me in the loop on how that is going for you, because I really want to know.  I enjoy hearing how others incorporate stuff into their lives.  It helps me learn 🙂

Need help sorting through this stuff and UNcomplicating YOUR nutrition needs?  I LOVE helping people do that kind of stuff.  Email me at tmwellnessrevolution at gmail dot com.  I do a face to face (or Facetime/skype!) session with YOU, plus follow up with you for six weeks to find YOUR level of eating that helps you rock your life AND reach your goals.  

Further reading:  The Best Calorie Control Guide Infographic from Precision Nutrition

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