Grocery Shopping Made Easy – And How to Read Labels too!

Grocery Shopping Made Easy – And How to Read Labels too!

Oh the Grocery Store- there are SO many options. It can be overwhelming. I mean which brands are the best, which things do we really need, and why does it take so much time when you are trying to make smart choices??

Grocery store

Well this article is going to break it down a little bit for you. We are going to discover the best route to take when grocery shopping, which items to look for and which to avoid and why, and how to quickly understand nutrition labels.

First things first, not all grocery stores are created equal. However most are set up in a similar fashion. It is literally all for a purpose, if you do not believe me just look it up for yourself. Merchandising is a business and companies pay for where they are placed. Here is what I mean:

Grocery stores typically have the meat and produce and dairy going around the perimeter and the packaged stuff in the middle. However staples like meat, and dairy tend to be in the back…. why is that? Because it gives the consumer more exposure to other items first (i.e. when we go to the store for some chicken breasts but end up with a cart full of other stuff too).

Produce typically near flowers to seem fresher. It typically is fresh however, go for produce in the back of shelf or display because the older stuff typically gets put in front to get purchased quicker.

Baking goods, ingredients, and canned goods are typically in the aisles to again give consumers exposure to more stuff they do not necessarily need.

Another tid bit of info you may not realize is the shelves are also set up a certain way. Eye level is typically by the big brands that can shell out the money to be seen more. Smaller more local brands will typically be at the top, and kid appealing foods at the bottom.

Crazy right?

Knowing this though, what is the best route to take when grocery shopping? 

  • First off come in prepared- have a list- get actual recipes one day a week that you plant to cook prior and get only what you need, stay focused.
  • Try to go on the outside aisles only, you will be less tempted this way (just try to avoid the bakery lol)
  • Grab things toward the back of produce and meat etc, they tend to be fresher and newer.
  • Eat before going to the store.You know they have all those free samples for a reason right? If they get you to eat something…. and you like it…. more money for them because it is going in your cart.
  • If you are really dreading the idea of grocery shopping then use a service like instacart to get them delivered, if you always end up spending $10-$20 more just by buying things you see when you are there, then it is worth the delivery
  •  fee anyway.

What should you avoid/go for?

  • Go for Organic when possible
  • If anything else avoid the dirty dozen (the worst fruits and veggies to buy due to typical contamination levels from pesticides, antibiotics, etc.
    • These guys consist of – Strawberries, Spinach, Apples, Pears, Nectarines, Cherries, Grapes, Celery, Tomatoes, Potatoes (if eating skin), Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches
  • Avoid overly processed foods (have a ton of ingredients you cannot pronounce, more on this in the next section)
  • Hit the parameter of the store


What about those nutrition labels- if you have to buy something packaged then how do you know whether it is good for you??

Here are my main tips:

  • Opt for things labeled organic or Non GMO to start then look at the actual ingredient list…. NOT THE CALORIES
  • What is in the actual ingredients?
    • If there are more than 5-7 ingredients and you cannot pronounce some of them, then put that back and opt for another brand.
    • Be weary of words like sucrose, dextrose, barley malt, rice syrup and of course high fructose corn syrup.
      • These are simply types of added sugars. Alot of people will say to be weary if it is ose at the end however that may not always be the case.
    • If it contains any of these artificial sweeteners then try to avoid it –
      • sucralose (splenda), aspartame (Equal), saccharin (Sweet and Low) as these have been linked to numerous conditions over the years.
    • If it has a color with a number on it….. typically avoid it.
    • Pay attention to Added Sugars Listed on the label 
      • You typically will see sugar then added sugar. You want the sugar content overall to be low, but chances are if there are added sugars it is going to be even higher. **The daily recommendation for women the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25grams a day for women**** (some granola bars and yogurts contain that)
  • Look at the Macros (protein/fat/carbs)
    • Ideally you want a balanced ratio of all of this stuff.
    • Avoid things with Trans Fats
  • Look at the SERVING SIZE
    • This may go for more before you are consuming the product if you buy it but pay attention here. You may think you are getting 1 serving in a can for example and eat or drink it all….. but in reality there are 4 so you just consumed FOUR of everything listed on that label.


Try these tips out and see if you can’t master the grocery store like a boss. I got a FREE grocery list for ya too to be prepared with the best foods to keep inflammation down and feel better :).




5 Things to Help Late Night Cravings

5 Things to Help Late Night Cravings

We have all been there, its after dinner, watching tv or reading or doing whatever…. Then, hunger strikes and we do NOT understand why. Is it because we are bored?

Is it because we didn’t eat the right things?

Do we just have an undeniable sweet tooth that will never be cured?

It could be some of those things, but chances are it is more due one of the following- the foods we are eating, whether we are getting enough water, nutrient absorption and/or gut imbalances, lack of sleep and stress which can all lead to hormone imbalances and insulin resistance.

So lets it break it down a little bit and then I will give you some recommendations on what you can do.

What it could be:


avocado toastPoor food combining-

What we eat matters. Eating processed foods that lack proper nutrients our body needs can leave us feeling more hungry. Many processed foods contain sugars that combined with other fake ingredients our body cannot process cause blood sugar dis regulation which in turn affects hunger by leading to more cravings not long after we eat.

If we eat meals with proper proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats that also include vital micro nutrients (like those found in organic leafy greens and seeds) can make a huge difference in how we feel and process food. Not to mention eating processed foods lead to gut imbalances which lead to poor absorption of vitamins and nutrients when we do consume them.


We know we gotta drink water but did you know that not being hydrated makes a major difference in how we feel in relation to being full and satisfied?

For example, have you ever had someone tell you to drink some water you may be thirsty when you say you are hungry (but you really shouldn’t be?) Well there is a reason for that. When we are not getting adequate hydration our cells simply go after sugar (and make us crave it) for a quick fix for energy since we do not have enough hydration within our cells for them to function. Our body is smart and it knows sugar gives a quick boost- so enter the sugar craving. 


Sleep –

Lack of sleep causes stress hormones to rise. You can read all about that here. However when this happens it lead

to cravings. When there is a stress (like lack of sleep and repair)

to our body not only do our stress hormones rise but they also cause our appetite hormones to get imbalanced which leads to cravings and potentially overeating. 

Nutrient Absorption – 

I am going to focus on one in particular right here because many of us lack it. Low magnesium.

This is a nutrient our body needs to help with cellular energy and absorption of other vitamins and nutrients like calcium and vitamin k and d3. However most of us are low in it due to poor absorption in our gut and/or not eating enough magnesium rich foods . Being low in it can lead to insulin resistance  and fatigue which can both increase sugar and hunger cravings by playing with hormones such as our stress hormones which can signal our body to crave certain things for energy.

Other minerals that may mimic cravings due to our body lacking them are calcium, zinc, and chromium. Some of these may be simply due to dehydration while others may need to be supplemented.

So what are the 5 most important things you can do to help nix these late night cravings? 

1- Drink enough water throughout the day

    • Start your day with a full glass of water BEFORE anything else. Then aim to have atleast 2 more before lunch. Then 3 more before dinner, then two after. 
    • Avoid adding things with splenda or other articificial sweeteners to these glasses as they can strip the nutrients from the water you drink.
    • Opt for mineral based waters like The Mountain Valley (my favorite)

2- Eat a diet that consists of healthy proteins and fats

    • These two things combined with complex carbs (non starchy to spike bloodsugar) actually help regulate blood sugar and control cravings.

3- Get enough sleep

    • I know it is easier said than done, but sleep really is crucial to setting yourself up for success. It is when our body repairs itself, it is when our metabolism should be working and setting itself up for the next day. If you need help with some good sleep practices I have a freebie for ya here.

4- Relax

    • Do something every day to help yourself decrease stress. Again stress is so BAD for us and it is caused by so many different things in our life, not just from work. It is also caused internally with the foods we eat that are not good for us, the alcohol we may drink, the antiobiotics we may take and mess up our gut, the toxins we are exposed to in the air. Now do not take that to mean that you need to live in a bubble but taking some time out to really breathe and relax, take a walk, get a massage, read a book, take a bath, do something for you it can really make a difference.


5- Supplement or eat more vitamin and micro nutrient rich foods.

    • Eating things like spinach, kale, some grains and seeds, all these things can really help us and heal to where we can absorb other nutrients better. Supplementing with a probiotic to help the microbiome in our gut get more balanced and/or other things like magnesium and zinc can help too. Just make sure they are of a good quality like these.


Hopefully this can help you get off to a good start with feeling less hungry ALL the time. As always please check with your doctor before starting ANY supplement or changing anything in your diet as these are all ONLY recommendations. We are ALL different BUT we can always find solutions to help us feel better none the less. 


(Disclaimer- I may receive a small commission on some of the affiliate links posted in this article and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

Showing Up is Half the Battle

Showing Up is Half the Battle

We all know this, but we still find ourselves debating from time to time do we not?

We know all we have to do is make it to the gym, or choose the healthier of the two options for dinner yet we still debate and sometimes make the wrong choice.

 Why do we do this?

Why is it so hard for us to just do the thing we KNOW we need to do.

I know for me it is excuses, it is temptations, it is laziness. It might be the same for you too.

But something I do know even if I do not act on it all the time is we ARE better than our excuses, we HAVE the potential so laziness shouldn’t be allowed, we KNOW what we need to do but whether it is friends, family, social media, sometimes those things can influence our choices and not for our own good.

The good news is we ALL have the ability (myself included) to start today and make smarter decisions. To show up for that workout, to walk in the doors of that gym, start that program, choose the not fried option at dinner. We CAN do this.

Don’t let another thing hold you back today, prove yourself…. to yourself. I believe in you!


Train Smarter NOT Harder is now AVAILABLE – 12 weeks of plans to help you lose weight, increase strength and feel better with less inflammation!     Train Smarter NOT Harder 12 Week Program

When you are supposed to be “healthy” – but you are not

When you are supposed to be “healthy” – but you are not

You may know or you may not, I feel like a hypocrite alot. That is not an easy thing to say but I am saying that first and foremost….

Why do I feel this way? For starters because I work with people all day to get healthy to make better choices in relation to fitness and health and their overall wellbeing. Yet I am ALWAYS sick! (or so it seems).

I try to lead by example, I eat healthy, I do research, I try to get enough sleep, I try to listen to my body, I try to take all the right supplements….. yet here I am. Living with off and on RA flares, stomach issues that come and go, thyroid conditions, anxiety, and other hormonal stuff.

I was diagnosed with RA when I was in college and since that day I feel like my health has been an up and down roller coaster. My immune system doesn’t like a lot of stuff, my joints are ok then they are not which makes it hard to workout. After years of harsh meds to treat it and make my immune system calm down I think it has wrecked havoc on other things (like my gut and hormones and adrenals- which btw can all be affected by the gut being off).

I have done tests, I even had a gosh awful colonoscopy and was told I was, “ok”.

The more I learn about functional medicine and natural medicine and finding the underlying root cause verses just “covering up the symptoms” the more it intrigues me. The more I learn about the gut and how conventional medicines like antibiotics, steroids, birth control, and immuno suppressants affect it the more intrigued I am.

So here I am, taking that step and getting functional testing done. Working with a functional doctor here in Atlanta to look at it ALL. To see if my gut is really affected and part of the cause of my RA, my hormones, my anxiety, etc. It is fascinating to me and I am excited to find out. Not only because once we do we can start a treatment affecting the root causes of this stuff instead of what I have been doing for years.

Does this mean I am going to cold turkey stop all my other treatments? Absolutely not, I will work with all my doctors to figure out the best plan of action for me. Hopefully slowly weaning off all of this junk.

I want to take you guys on this journey. I want to share that I am human just like you and if you have anything similar going on I hope you can learn from it.

So stay tuned and be sure to sign up to follow along if you haven’t already with my youtube channel and email list to get latest updates on it all.

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