Last week, someone emailed me asking me if I could give some insight into what my weekly grocery trip looks like. With the 8th week of Zone closing up, shopping for this type of eating has become second nature, but I remember how confusing it was at the beginning, so I wanted to share my answer with all of you.
Side note: February has been not even close to as stellar as January was with Zone eating. I’m not so sure I will be posting before and after pics again, but I am determined to get back on board in March as the proverbial swimsuit season is upon us (not to mention the CrossFit Open! Yikes!)…
Anyway, without further ado:
Update: You can view a PDF of this shopping list by clicking here!
Recap: Every day, I eat a 3 block breakfast, 3 block lunch, 2 block snack, 3 block dinner, and another 1 block snack after I workout. This means that at each meal I am eating either 3 (or 2 or 1) blocks of protein, 3 blocks of fat, and 3 blocks of carbs. Over the course of 7 days, I need 84 total blocks of each protein, carbs, and fat.
However, I typically replace 1 block of carbs with 3 blocks of fat at each breakfast and dinner, bringing my required carb blocks down to 70 and my fat blocks up to 98. As I’ve mentioned before, 1 block of carbs is roughly equivalent to 3 blocks of fat calorie-wise, and I’ve found that this strategy helps me stay full throughout the day and also promotes fat loss by helping to keep your blood sugar more stable.
In case you need it, here is The Zone Diet in a nutshell:
7g of protein = 1 block, 9 g of carbs = 1 block, and 1.5 g of fat = 1 block (assuming that your protein source also includes fat, but if you are using protein powder or soy or similar, then you need 3 g of fat for 1 block). This means that for a 3-block meal, I need 21 g of protein, 27 g of carbs, and 4.5 g of fat. Obviously every food varies in its nutrient content, but here is my rough shopping list for a week (this list is just for me, but I’ve tried to be really specific about the quantities so it will be easy for you to adjust if you need to buy more or less):
Things you will definitely need to survive on zone: a food scale (I use this one) and a standard set of measuring cups and spoons.
Breakfast sausage links (1.5 oz = 1 block of protein, which typically measures out to be about 1 link)
Lox (smoked salmon) (this stuff is super expensive so I typically only buy it as a treat, but it is also a great way to up your Omega 3′s. 1.5oz = 1 block protein)
Spaghetti squash (1 cup = 1 block carbs–make sure you are REALLY in the mood for spaghetti squash because 1 cup is a lot of squash and 1 squash will make about 10 cups)
Butternut squash (1 medium squash = about 3 cups and 1/3 cup = 1 block carbs)
Salsa (1/2 cup = 1 block carbs)
Canned tomatoes (I am really obsessed with adding canned fire roasted tomatoes to everything right now, especially soup and eggs. Make sure the ones you get are sugar free. 3/4 cup = 1 block carbs)
Almonds (3 nuts = 1 block fat)
Salad dressing (varies, but keep in mind that 1.5 g fat = 1 block)
Avocados (we don’t get very good avos here in Colorado in the winter but if you have access, please eat some for me. 1 avo = 8-10 tbs and 1 tbs = 1 block fat)
I hope this helps put you over the edge if you’ve been thinking about trying zone! If you already do zone, what are your go-to items that I didn’t list?