NANCYANNE55   78,684
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Sugar is NOT My Friend!

Monday, April 21, 2014

I won't say I gave up refined carbs for Lent, since I am not Catholic, but I will say that I gave them up for approximately the 6 weeks before Easter in an effort to become more of what I believe God created me to be.

I'm a firm believer that God calls me to be a good steward of this body He has entrusted me with. The truth is that I hadn't been doing a good enough job of that in the eating department. I didn't particularly like the idea of giving up refined carbs (white flour, sugar, white rice, etc.), but I really did feel that to do so would do nothing but good things for my health, so I relented and committed.

I found myself surprised by a bunch of things in the process, and have arrived at a conclusion as a result. (You will probably guess the conclusion, but I'll save it for the end of this blog, anyhow.)

Surprise #1- Giving up refined carbs was not as hard as I thought it would be. I was anticipating/dreading horrible cravings and withdrawal-type symptoms. Really, these were minimal. This was a relief.

Surprise #2- I lost NO weight in the process. Some of you may recall that I'd started a "Journey to Size 6" blog series at the beginning of the year. In case you noticed it dropped off (only 1 person mentioned it), I stopped the series because a.) I was stuck at a plateau and I saw no reason to report the same results every week, and b.) I was giving up sugar and I didn't want to advertise it. To sound like a holy roller for just a minute, I wanted this to be between me and God, not something I used as a point in a blog. So I shut my yap and put my nose to the grindstone. Still, I thought by giving up such non-nutritive food I might have a weight loss to report, and I do not. I am EXACTLY the same weight that I was at the beginning of the 6-week period. Turns out, you can get ample calories without processed carbs. Imagine that!

Surprise #3- My joints didn't hurt as much. I have arthritis in a knee, and some aches and pains in my upper right side due to past injuries. (These have nothing to do with weight lifting, by the way. I always hurt myself by doing normal stuff like walking down the street or talking on the phone.) Anyhow, I started noticing about a week into my "no refined carbs" period that I wasn't aching as bad. It never went away entirely, since the arthritis and injuries will always be there, but dang! Did it get a LOT better! I started doing some research and turns out that arthritis is a inflammatory condition. As a matter of fact, most prior injuries are aggravated by inflammation. Refined carbs are inflammatory foods. So it makes perfect sense that my condition improved.

Surprise #4- There is sugar in all sorts of stuff I normally eat and consider healthy. Case in point: I was munching away on the organic whole-grain bread I always buy. Suddenly it occurred to me that it takes some kind of sugar, whether white or molasses, to feed yeast so that it can rise. I took a look at the bag and, sure enough, "Organic Cane Sugar" was listed in the ingredients. Dang. This meant that bread also exited my diet.

Surprise #5- Sugar-free "treats" (i.e. candy) give me gas. Not worth it. 'Nuff said.

Surprise #6- Fried foods don't necessarily contain refined carbs. I had pretty much given up fried foods prior to my "no refined carbs" implementation, but suddenly I found myself gleefully filling in the carb gap with french fries. Thankfully I was able to identify this as problematic and knock it off in fairly short order, but I can see where that could have caused me to emerge from this whole thing with diminished health and a higher body fat percentage.

If you are paying attention, you have noted that in addition to the refined carbs, I also wound up giving up bread, sugar-free "treats" (which really left me nowhere to go at the movies but water, since I also don't drink soda), and fried foods. My very satisfying consolation was that I knew none of these "sacrifices" were bad for me.

Surprise #7- My sleep improved. A LOT. I have often had issues with waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep for an hour or more. The only bonus to this is that I got a lot of recreational reading done. A few days into giving up refined carbs I was sleeping like a baby every night, not needing naps during the day (I used to nap like I was 85), and loving it! You know how much more you can get done when you aren't staggering through the day and have an entire extra hour in the afternoon to accomplish things? I didn't associate this with sugar until last night, which I will explain in the next paragraph.......

So, on Easter I allowed myself to eat refined carbs again. It actually kinda started the day before, because I was baking for Easter dinner and took a few licks and tastes. I could feel I was starting to mentally "let go", knowing that the next day I could eat whatever I wanted. That night I wasn't sleeping as soundly as usual and woke up several times aching where those old injuries are. I didn't make the connection until last night. I'd eaten plenty of goodies over Easter Sunday. My upper body was aching so bad that I went to bed thinking maybe I should have taken a Tylenol PM. I slept fitfully and finally woke up for real at 1:30am KNOWING I should have taken a Tylenol PM. The pain was easily twice what it had been the night before, and I was simply NOT sleepy. I read for at least an hour before I was able to go back to sleep.

And, turns out that when you haven't had refined carbs for a while they cause gas, too. I am certain that didn't help my sleep state, either. emoticon

So now I sit here, aching as I type, occasionally stopping to rub out or rotate my shoulder. I was hurting so bad when I woke up this morning that I foam rolled first thing. I almost lost my cookies when I lifted weights this morning, and all I had to eat for breakfast was the smallest bowl of oatmeal imaginable. I'm pretty sure that this is my digestive system continuing it's rebellion.

Obvious conclusion? I'm going back to my "no refined carbs" rule. I've always been able to reason myself out of things like drug use and bulimia (neither of which I have ever done) because I could see nothing truly good that would come of it other than momentarily pleasure or relief. The negatives far outweighed the benefits. And now I see the same applies to refined carbs.

Now, I'm not going to go checking Organic whole grain bread labels. But when it comes to things like desserts and white bread, it will do nothing but benefit me to cut them out of my diet almost completely. If something is new, or it's a holiday and I know I won't see this food for another year, I'll try taking just a bite or two so I have have a taste (I can't imagine not having tried the fabulous German chocolate our exchange student's family sent). Honestly, I could have done that yesterday and been just as happy and a lot less miserable.

My point is not that everyone should give up refined carbs. We each have our own fitness path. But maybe my experience can give someone else an "aha" moment and help them to avoid pain, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BERRY4 4/24/2014 12:30AM

    You have hit close to home...and I very much respect your personal journey shared. I want you to know you challenge me to do better AND to be better.

Thanks for spelling things out so what you observed...outcomes! You helped me take the next step in realizing that even though I would not take a dose of poison if offered, I have been very quick to do the sugar thing without thought of poisoning my body.

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    I'm glad it's working out for you! I don't eat quite the same as you, but over the past year I too changed my nutrition in ways that brought me surprising health benefits, like more energy, less cravings, less allergies, and less sinus infections. In the past year, I can't even remember catching a cold--if I did, it only lasted a day or two and was too mild to remember. The lack of cravings was a big surprise for me, too. Something else I found recently is that omega-3 foods are great for my skin. I normally don't pay much attention to my skin, but my face is practically glowing now instead of dry and scraped up from shaving. Everyone focuses on weight loss, but it's amazing what other improvements can happen from eating healthier.

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FAITHMABE 4/23/2014 10:32AM

    Thank you for sharing your insight. You seem to be in tune with your body. I am glad you experienced less pain and surprised by your revelation about it didn't affect your weight.

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MRS.CARLY 4/22/2014 6:45PM

    Refined carbs do the exact same thing to me! I went home for Easter and ate lots of stuff I don't normally eat and I have a migraine, I've been so tired and exhausted all day, and just basically overall do not feel good.

I feel your pain! Sugar is not good for the body or soul.

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PSCHIAVONE2 4/22/2014 4:41PM

    That is awesome. I have started to limit the refined carbs and sugar. It's the fructose in the sugar I am trying to avoid. My doctor told me it made my liver fat. My trigger finger went away within 3 weeks of sugar limitation. But this is where I become a complete lunatic. I will not eat any bread because I cannot ensure that the wheat is non GMO. I do eat cereal carbs in the form of whole Groats, Farro, Amaranth, and other ancient grains. I do allow myself to eat anything I want every other month. I am usually sick the day after so even that kind of eating has been becoming more limited as time goes on. emoticon

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LEWILL1982 4/22/2014 1:36PM

    I noticed that as well, when I went Paleo for awhile. It made such a difference for me, less aches when I run, less soreness when I lift weights. Its enough of a difference to make you want to stick with it. I never had problems sleeping. I also noticed that I had less phlegm, if you want to call it that, during my work outs or when running. I don't fee the need to spit nearly as often. I stick with the Paleo plan pretty closely during the week, allowing for a little flexibility on the weekends, mainly in the name of cheese and a beer or two!

I noticed that you stopped posting your Journey back to size 6 blogs, but I couldn't figure out how to ask or say something without sounding like a nag, so I decided silence was best, haha.

Comment edited on: 4/22/2014 1:36:50 PM

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ROCKMAN6797 4/22/2014 2:29AM

    Interesting discoveries. Who would have a thought that sugar and pain were so closely associated.

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CHANTENAY 4/21/2014 10:06PM

    It's interesting, I read a news story about a family that gave up sugar too and got the same results you did. They slept better and her kids missed less school. But there was no mention of weight loss. I was surprised by that, then thought about how the other benefits are plenty reason enough to change my eating habits. I need to cut sugar out to avoid diabetes. It does contribute to diabetes by raising insulin levels which causes one to pile on the pounds.

Great blog. Thanks for writing with your report and observations.


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    Sleeping like a baby and having less pain! I'm glad that you had that conversation with your body- and I too love that you don't preach but that you share. emoticon

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HDHAWK 4/21/2014 6:43PM

    I did notice you hadn't posted any results, I just hadn't said anything. Old age and I probably forgot! I feel the same way about sugar and carbs. I'm surprised at how easy it is to cut way back on them and not miss them much. Good luck!

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/21/2014 6:42PM

    Congrats kiddo! I am totally with you on the refined carbs....and pretty much all processed never know what gets sneaked in there. My rule of thumb is to not eat anything with more than 3 ingredients in it.

I noticed the same thing about joint pain when I cut down the disappeared after I drastically cut down.

Find some good snack substitutes. I like almonds or pistachios in the shell....peeling them takes time and cuts down on the amount I eat. Nut butters are good too...I like almond butter and Smucker's Peanut Butter

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REALRADIANT1 4/21/2014 3:50PM

    Thank you for always being so brave and sharing your ups, downs and struggles.

I have been off of refined carbs for a year and 3 months. I started at 181 pounds and I got down to nearly 150 by June of last year. My goal is 138. However, over the last year, every time I get close to 150 pounds, I freak out and gain some weight back.

Back in January, I had gotten down to almost 150 and I've had such a rough go of it the last few months and now I weigh 161. And this is all without eating refined carbohydrates.

However, I am back on my weight loss food plan for 4 days now.

I've been getting in touch with the subconscious fears that get triggered every time I get close to 150. I've been doing a lot of work on that over the last few months and I finally had a breakthrough that finally allowed me to get back on my weight loss food plan.

I'll keep praying for the willingness and the strength to let go of every pound that is not truly who I am.

Thank you for all your blogs. I don't have to courage to be as public with my struggles as you do. But your blogs are a huge inspiration for me.

I'll be praying for you too.


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    CONGRATULATIONS! BEST WISHES in reaching all of your goals. I don't eat sugar either, but it took me a while to actually give it up. When I would eat sugary foods, (while I was going through the giving them up stage), I would notice how HORRIBLE I would feel. Finally, I asked myself, "Is this really worth it?" I decided a few sugary treats were NOT worth the awful way I felt afterwards. That was over 20 years ago, and I still haven't forgotten that feeling.


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    I enjoy your blog posts. I identify with lots of what you say because I gained back weight and my body seems more reluctant this time to release it.

I think it's great when we find healthy changes that work for us. Our individual bodies react differently to things but it's very helpful when we share what works for us.

Thanks for being candid and always willing to share your journey.

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CHICA_BORICUA 4/21/2014 2:22PM


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MLHAYES17 4/21/2014 1:29PM


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OPTIMIST1948 4/21/2014 1:00PM

    As always - love your writing and analysis. I also love the "non-preachy" message that I hear. Namely "This worked for me...but you are your own best judge." While you may not have lost weight, clearly you have gained in knowledge which is always a plus.

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Stability Ball Crunch Tips

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

When doing ab curls on a stability ball (the big ones full of air), make sure you extend back over the curve of the ball, and only come up to where your head is just barely above parallel with the ground.

I see so many people start with their torso parallel with to ground (or higher!) and wind up almost sitting up on the ball at the top of the movement This pretty much negates the advantage of having a ball. You'd get a more intense ab contraction if you did regular ab curls on the ground.

Additionally, keep in mind that the closer together the legs are, the harder the move is. So legs together from heel all the way to upper inner thigh is the most advanced method of doing stability ball crunches.

Also, as with any ab exercise, keep the abs tight and engaged throughout the movement. When you don't let momentum take over and instead actively use muscle all the way through, the exercise becomes both more challenging and more effective.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for the tips! I've been so busy I almost missed this blog in my friend feed but I'm glad I found it!

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IRP1114 4/5/2014 4:20PM

    Thanks for posting! Great tips ; )! I need to use my stability ball more often!

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JAZZID 4/2/2014 10:12PM

    emoticon advice. Thanks Nancy. emoticon

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KIMCOLLINGS 4/2/2014 1:53PM

    Great advice!

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ROCKMAN6797 4/2/2014 9:35AM

    Good tips, thank you very much!
BTW, I made your ham and egg enchiladas last night and they were delicious!


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Links to Some of My Recipes

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I had someone tell me this morning that they searched Spark Recipes and couldn't find the link to my Chicken Noodle Casserole I'd just posted. Thought I'd do a blog with live links to some good, healthy recipes I've posted here on Spark and used regularly (most are my own that I created!):

Chicken Noodle Casserole:

Chili with Corn:

Ham and Egg Enchiladas:

Taco Soup:

And for some protein-rich snacks (Please note that I say "Or other non-calorie sweetener" next to the Splenda in the recipes that call for it. I've been criticized for using Splenda, but I've never claimed to be a clean-eating purist and have always given an option in my recipes.):

Chocolate PB Protein Brownie:

Cinnamon Swirl Protein bread (LOVE THIS!):

No-Bake Oatmeal Protein Balls:

And lastly, Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Protein Bars:

If you make any of them, I would REALLY appreciate it if you would leave a comment on the recipe. None of mine have comments yet. emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XXJDXX 3/28/2014 4:29PM

    My mouth started watering when I saw the pumpkin spice pumpkin protein bar recipe. I'm on it!

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ROCKMAN6797 3/28/2014 7:28AM

    The recipe for Ham and Egg Enchiladas sounds very interesting....I think I am going to give it a try!
Thanks for sharing!

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PENNYPEARLS 3/27/2014 11:31AM

    Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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My At-home Workout Setup

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Most days I work out at the gym, but on Friday I was doing my "Strong Curves" workout at home. I have a rather unconventional set-up to make it work, and thought I'd take some pictures to show that you don't need extensive equipment or copious amounts of space to get a good workout in.

My exercise equipment has migrated it's way into my son's room. (Looks better in a boys room, as I am a very aesthetic person.) We have a "no shoes on the carpet" rule at our house that I try to follow. This wasn't a problem, since I rarely worked out at home.

When I started the "Strong Curves" program earlier this year it occurred to me that many of the workouts could be done at home. This was a savings in both the time and gas money departments. The only problem was, how was I going to manage without walking on the carpet much in my workout shoes?

Finally it hit me: The entry way! We have a pretty large entry, and it's accessible to my son's room though French doors. (His room is technically a "study".) Moving the weights (which only go up to 30 lbs, but can be a real hassle when I have to tote them), out to the entry isn't much work at all. For floor work where I need some "cush" under my upper body I lay on the carpet and put my feet on the hard floor. To keep the bench from scooting in moves that would push it around, like bench push-ups, I put it on the carpet. Additionally, there is a mirror in the entry that helps with checking my form.

Here's my "workout room" on Friday. Note the exercise ball peeking out from behind the hall table:

And here is the view from the entry into my son's bedroom, where you can see the positioning of my weight rack and it's adjacency to my "workout room":

And lastly, his room re-assembled with the bench holding his "stuff" and the weights all in place. The ball is kept in the closet:

With the glass panel in our front door I feel sorry for the UPS guy if he ever shows up while I'm lifting........

This is not my dream home-workout set-up. I'd like to have dumbbells through 75's, a barbell, weight plates, and a classic bench-press bench, at least. Oh, heck... The fact is that I wish I had an entire basement to set up a complete home gym with all kinds of equipment. Dream on, eh? But it's what we have space for, so I make it work.

The point is that you don't have to have an "ideal" set up to get fit. Maybe you don't have a space this big. I haven't always. In my house in Ohio, which was 1200 square feet with four bedrooms (yes, you read that right), I only had weights through 10 lbs and a very small living room. I scooted the coffee table out of the way and got busy exercising in that very limited space. Before I had weights, I worked out with cans from the cupboard.

Did you know that rear lunges, push-ups, and bicycle crunches makes a full-body workout in a 3x6-foot space? Try doing a circuit of those, 10 per set, 5 or 6 times and tell me you didn't get a great workout!

Here are a couple of blogs I did years ago about getting started with a home workout, if you want more:

This one is on Equipment To Start An At-Home Exercise Program:

And here is one on Getting Stared Lifting Weights:

You don't HAVE to have formal weights, a bench, and an exercise ball to get a good workout. You DO have to have a little ingenuity and determination. Look at it as a game. "How do I make this work?" instead of "This just can't work!".

As my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Ladd, used to say. "Can't means won't".

Will you? Or won't you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETLIPS 3/26/2014 10:01AM

    I also had a teacher tell me that and will revive it again. I loved reading this and glad I stopped by. Today, I am visiting folks that I are my Spark friends. Have a wonderful day.

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BOPPY_ 3/20/2014 1:07AM


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ALANDSE 3/19/2014 10:17PM

    Your looking great! Keep it up. I like your weight room. U.S.Marine emoticon

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MARINEMAMA 3/14/2014 6:01PM

    It looks greT!! WTG using the space you have!

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    I have that dream too but it is true that you can get a great work out in a very small space. I knocked a shelf out of a closet under the stairs- no I don't work out in there emoticon but I was able to put my ball and things in there and bring all that out in the living room instead of going down into the basement. It has made a difference in that I am ready to go. I am following along with some great DVD's but I know at some point I would like to have a personal trainer check what I'm doing to see if it is right
NOW- emoticon I have a Cory Everson workout that my son has put on my computer in the kitchen and I was home doing that and the fed ex guy came up to the stairs and knocked at the door and looked in...and well I was sweating and braless- er so next time I will make sure I have a curtain in front of the door or get that workout on a DVD. Love Corey- used to have a Rachel McLish years ago too....

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RGOCEAN 3/4/2014 9:41AM

  When you need to do it your figure it out and make it work as you did for Friday. If I was the UPS guy I would drop the package off fast and go to after seeing that you are in better shape than me!

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HUSKERLAND3 3/3/2014 10:17AM

    Nice set up

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    Sounds like a great space you have there when you need it.

Planning a home workout today too as we are snowed in:)

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HDHAWK 3/2/2014 6:59PM

    I only work out at home. We have an unfinished basement which isn't that pretty but it's a good place for a gym!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/2/2014 6:55PM

    Where there's a will there's a way!! Sounds like you've got a real nice set-up (is that a glass door to the bedroom?)

I have been keeping a running log of my ideal home gym set-up. Once SWMBO and I settle down and figure out where we want to live for the rest of our lives, my dream is to have a home gym set-up somewhere....either in the basement, the garage, or a shed in the backyard. To help me plan, I have a whole Pinterest board set-up with ideas;


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MISSYGEEN 3/2/2014 2:05PM

    Great idea. I have a closet where I put my workout equipment (weights, resistance bands, tennis rackets, etc.) oddly enough, it is the most organized closet in the whole house. thanks for the ideas.

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IDICEM 3/2/2014 1:26PM

  What a great use of space! Thanks for sharing your solution. It gives me ideas.

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    Sounds awesome. I am thinking that boys do not need that big game room upstairs completely for their entertainment, I can sneak in some at-home goodies. Right now all I have are DVD's, hand weights up to 10 lbs, and a yoga ball. I want to invest in some resistance bands and learn how to use them properly.

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BEKESGIRL 3/2/2014 1:22PM

  I appreciate you sharing how you make exercise work. I'm encouraged by the idea that 3x6 is all that's needed to do a full body workout.

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FLYER99 3/2/2014 1:20PM

    What a wonderful blog. This gives great insight into how things can be done with a little "thinking time" and planning. I applaud you for that. Two years ago I sold my home and moved into an apartment. My apartment is fairly large with two bedrooms and I don't have as much space as you, but I turned my smaller bedroom into kind of a workout room.

I can't do many exercises due to some osteoarthritis. I have a list of exercises to avoid. But I work around that. For me, I do a lot of walking and weight aerobics. The point being, I guess, is that not only do we have to work within limitations of space, but also of what our bodies are capable of enduring.

I love reading your blogs and thank you so much for the effort you put into writing them. They are very informative and encouraging.

Have a beautiful day!


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Grocery List Template

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sooooo...... I just did a SparkPeople Radio interview and said I would put a template in for my grocery list. Well, it just figures that SparkBlogs don't let you upload documents. So I've done the next best thing and copied and pasted my grocery list here. Now the whole world gets to see our menu for this month. :-)

A few things to note:
1. Yes, I'm uber-organized. Call me OCD, if you'd like, but this makes menu planning and getting in and out of the store as quick and easy as possible for me.
2. My grocery list consists of two pages with two columns each. I need it this big, since I only do my "big shopping" once a month. I've indicated below what goes on which column.
3. In the radio interview I said that I shopped every 2 weeks. That was then, this is now. There used to be 9 people in our household and we got paid in the beginning and middle of the month. Now there are, on average, 4 people in the household and I get my portion of the household budget once a month. I'd rather just get it over in one fell swoop. (Side note- When I was shopping twice a month for 9 people, the grocery portion of the list was still about this same size. Can you imagine doing this every-other week?)
4. This is not the ONLY grocery buying I do. It's the stuff I can foresee needing at this point. We run out of fruit, milk, eggs, etc, and I have to run back to the store for them throughout the month.
5. You will note there are 15 meals planned. We typically go out for both lunch on Sundays after church, and pick my son (who is a mentally handicapped adult) up for dinner on Wednesdays (fast-food someplace where I can get a salad) before church. This leaves 22 nights in a 30 day month unaccounted for. But I've found that when I plan for every night I think we will be at home I always over-buy. It never fails: Not everyone is home, or we wind up going out for some reason, or there's a big "odds and ends" night (or two) to clear out perfectly good foods that aren't enough for a meal. (I heat it all up, set it out buffet-style, and we all dive for whatever we want before someone else gets it. Whatever doesn't get eaten gets pitched for once and for all. I've done this for years) 15 meals insures I don't overspend.
6. This list is for our local commissary. You will note I have what is on the aisle after the aisle number. After years of trying to recall which aisle the canned milk was on on, this made it easier for me to put the needed items in the right place and not be correcting my list in the store.
7. Yes, I plan on having "leftover" nights. I make enough to get us through 2 nights and then reheat the next night.
8. The numbers you'll see at the bottoms of the columns are the items in that column. I've found if I triple this, it gives me a rough estimate of how much the grocery list will cost.
9.This menu is NOT absolute! Anything is subject to change if I get to the store and see a really good deal on a healthy food. I'll scratch out something on the list and sub the better deal in.
10. Obviously, a pen comes with me and I cross items out as I put them in the cart. This makes sure I get it all. (I hate running back to the store for something I forgot!)
11. Yes, we have a pantry and a deep freeze. Without them, this much shopping would never work: The list would be shorter, and the shopping more frequent.

And now, without further ado:

Page 1 Column 1:

1.) Baked potato Bar w/
Bacon Bits
Sour cream

2.) Tuna Spaghetti w/ Angel hair and Kalamata Olives

3.) Honey Soy Marinated Tilapia
Creamy Avocado Pasta (x2)
Green beans

4.) Southwest Turkey Meatballs (to try- use canned corn and tomatoes, parsley instead of cilantro)

5.) Pizza (Frozen- Yes, I let the kids have this once a month!)

6. 7.) Taco’s (2 ground beef, 2 cheese)
Corn pudding

8.) Bean soup with ham and noodles
Bread machine wheat bread

9. 10.) Make-ahead Lasagna
Bread Machine Bread

11.) Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
White Beans, Spinach and tomatoes over linguini (to try folder)

13.) Bourbon St CP chicken (to try folder-x2)
Brown rice
Candied Carrots

14.) Easy Sweet & Sour chicken
Chow Mein noodles

15.) Sandy’s Casserole (To try folder)

Page 1 Column 2:


2 parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
5 Tomatoes
2 Onions
Large Carrots
Salad lettuce
4 baking potato
Chopped garlic
10 ounce bag spinach
2 avocados
Small iceberg

Aisle 2- (baking, sauces)

Peanut Butter- Girls
Smart balance mayo
No-Stick Spray
Baking powder
Cocoa powder
Flour- regular
Baking coconut oil
My coconut oil
Olive oil
Corn meal
Apricot jam
8 ounce bottle Russian dressing
Large sliced olives

Aisle 3- (soup, fruits, veggies, meat, Italian, milk)

Pears in fruit cups
Unsweetened applesauce
Chicken granules
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Angel hair pasta
12 ounces linguini
9 ¼ ounce tuna
2 cans diced tomatoes w/basil, garlic & oreg
2 cans white beans
Onion soup mix
Small Whole-Grain Elbow macaroni
2 large cans chicken
2 cream chicken soup
Can sliced mushrooms
2 large evaporated skim milk


Page 2 Column 1:

Aisle 4- (Ethnic, milk, rice, beans, coffee, candy, toppings)

Bag white beans
Chow mein noodles

Aisle 5- (breakfast, juice)

SF Syrup
Regular syrup
Small apple juice
Lemon juice

Aisle 6- (crackers, cookies, bars, soda, popcorn)

Fruit snacks

Aisle 7- (Snacks, chips, water, batteries, light bulbs)

Baked Chips


3 pounds lean ground beef (1, 2)
2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 ground turkey breast
12 boneless chicken thighs

Aisle 8- H&B aids-

Pain killer/anti-inflammatory
Fish oil
My shampoo
My conditioner

Aisle 9-(Baby, TP/paper towels, tape, dish)

12 Toilet Paper
Regular dish detergent


Page 2 Column 2:

Aisle 10 (laundry, cleaning, paper, pet treats)

Trash bags

Aisle 11- (deli, dog food)

Ham for soup
Turkey bacon
Lunch meat
Dog food

Back wall dairy-

1 eggs
15 ounce ricotta
Organic half and half
1 gal milk

Side wall dairy-

6 greek Yogurt
Smart balance
3 butter
1 String cheese
1 Cheddar sticks
5 C shredded cheddar (1,2, 2)
4 C shredded mozzarella (4)


green beans
Corn- small
2 broccoli
Tilapia- 2 nights


4 loaves


Easter basket Stuff


I hope this is found helpful!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOY-EVELYN 3/17/2014 12:39AM

    I enjoyed your interview. Your success is truly inspirational! Thanks for sharing your method of grocery shopping. Well done! May you continue meeting your goals successfully. Hug, hug -- Evelyn

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 3/3/2014 8:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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    I plan meals and I am inspired to share!
I do go once a week but we buy so many fresh veggies(we go through about 6 avocados in a week and 3 bunches of kale etc...) that I need to and #1 DS is home right now so I need to do even more of that as he is vegetarian- and to me that means he needs to eat plant based not carb based emoticon
I know if I have a list and a plan I save money and time!
So- emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/28/2014 6:09:56 PM

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 2/28/2014 10:31AM

    I organize my grocery list the same way. We can get in and out in under 1/2 an hour this way:) No over spending and nothing off the list ends up in the cart:) Less temptation because I cannot stand running to store mid week.

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FLYER99 2/28/2014 9:19AM

    What a wonderful idea. I love sorting the list by aisles. I can never remember where items are. This is awesome. Thank you and I'm going to give this a shot because I am terrible at grocery shopping.

When is your SparkPeople Radio interview? I download all of the podcasts in segments and I find it's easier that way than to try and listen to the full show. I find the new host is really good.

Thanks for the list. I will refer to it often.

Have a tremendous day!



Comment edited on: 2/28/2014 9:20:43 AM

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/27/2014 7:29PM

    This is why my wife doesn't let me shop....I walk around the store and pick up things I think look cool or that we might need.

The last time she sent me out for a gallon of milk, I came home 2 hours later with $150 bucks worth of goodies!

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HDHAWK 2/27/2014 7:22PM

    I'm uber organized too. Love the list!

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TKADEEPBREATH 2/27/2014 6:28PM

    Very cool. .... I'll do this some day soon and follow your model. DH tends to pick up items I already have. He loves to shop so I'm lucky cuz I don't.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I used to keep my list on a crumpled sheet of notebook paper, but now my local grocery store has a mobile app that lets me keep an electronic shopping list, add sales items to it from their weekly ad, and it tells me the aisles where the foods are located.

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LEWILL1982 2/27/2014 3:04PM

    That's amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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MBSHAZZER 2/27/2014 2:57PM

    OMG, you take it to the next level!!! I applaud your organizational skills! I suppose that when you had 9 people in the house, you had no choice, and now it's second nature.

Also, I'm coming for dinner! YUM!

I am by myself most of the time. I usually go to the grocery store 2x per month, sometimes 3 to fill in with fresh fruits and veg. However, being only one person, I can definitely do oatmeal for dinner and no one complains! :-)

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    Wow ... I have yet to master the art of meal planning ...

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