"Tell me what you eat & I will tell you who you are."

Lately, a lot of people have been reaching out to me asking how I lost so much weight, what I eat in a normal day & what I buy at the grocery store. I think most of you would be surprised to see just how much I actually do eat in a day. I eat pretty close to the same amount (maybe a little less) that I always have, except everything that I eat is healthy. That's the beauty of maintaining a healthy lifestyle; you do not have to deprive yourself of anything! This is a lifestyle that works! Here are a few tips I stick to when grocery shopping:

1- Spend most of your time in the produce aisle. Usually the perimeters of the store are where you should keep your focus (produce, dairy, meats, breads). Unless of course your food store is like mine & the produce is directly in the middle. All of those other aisles contain most of the processed foods that are harmful to our bodies. 

2- Carb up! Whoever told you that eating lots of fruits is bad for you, was wrong! Eating fruits that contain NATURAL sugars will give the body the carbohydrates & energy it needs throughout the day! Without energy, the body will be sluggish & accomplish little! Want more proof? Watch this chick's video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sUWFLArRPU

3- Know your produce! No matter what I go into the foodstore for, I always pick up the three following items: avocados, sweet potatoes & bananas! Avocados are a natural fat, loaded with nutrients, fiber, antioxidants & are so versatile in the kitchen. & they are proven to help lose weight! I usually eat half of one every morning on Ezekiel toast or throw half of one in a salad.

Sweet potatoes are so easy to prepare! I always just wrap them in foil & bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size. They are loaded with Vitamins (A, B6, C), potassium, iron & more! They also taste delicious! Whether baked whole, in wedges or mashed, you can even turn them into vegan "burger patties!" Personally, I like to eat mine with a little bit of almond butter on top! Sounds weird, but it is so amazing!

Finally bananas; I use a banana in my protein shakes almost every day. They are also an easy snack to grab when on the go. Bananas aid digestion, improve your overall mood & help with depression! As someone who has struggled with depression all my life, I have never been happier or healthier than I am right now & I attribute that largely to my lifestyle. I eat right & try to be active every day. Also, keep in mind, that in the eastern world, most medicines are derived from food & plants! Healing naturally!!!

4- Stock up on greens! The darker the green, the better it is for you! My salads typically consist of 3, 4 or even 5 different greens, lettuces, cabbages, herbs, you name it! The more the merrier! People tend to not want to buy lots of produce for fear of it going bad or not being used. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that you do use what you purchase! I've said it before & I'll say it again, cooking keeps me grounded & connected to this Earth that we call home. Too many of us rely on restaurants, fast food chains, our parents or significant others to do the cooking, when really, we should be taking responsibility for what we put in our own bodies. We should learn the primary act of cooking in order to nourish ourselves properly! Don't leave it up to someone else, who may or may not really know or care about food handling. 

5- Go out of your comfort zone & buy a product you have never worked with before! Every time I go food shopping, I try to buy one new item & focus on working with that during the week. Challenge what you know. There are so many foods out there & food combinations that we have yet to try because we tend to stick to what we know. Do me a favor & when you're in the foodstore this week, buy something you have always thought about trying or even something you have never heard of! You may end up liking it!

6- Buy meat & dairy in moderation. I say this because this has been what works for me. When I initially starting trying to lose weight, I cut down on my meat & dairy intake a lot. & now, I have cut it down completely! For the past week & a half, my boyfriend & I have been doing a 2 Week Vegan Challenge & in doing so, we have been forced to try lots of new foods & recipes! It has been so much fun & soooooo satisfying! Not only are we saving animals, but we are nourishing our bodies with the food that God put on this Earth! Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes & rice have become staples in my diet. Try to also keep in mind that eating meat and/or dairy in every meal is completely unnecessary! That has become such an accepted social norm now a days & is the reason why we mass produce meats/dairy & why the care for these animals has been thrown out of the window. Unless you are hunting these animals yourself each day, I personally see no need for the consumption. 

It's pretty amazing how disconnected we are, to where our food comes from. We are also so lied to by the media about how to nourish ourselves properly. You've heard all the advertisements before: "Hungry? Why wait? Grab a snickers!" "Drink Redbull, Redbull gives you wings!" However, none of those ads tell you the longterm affects that these products have on the body. My advice to you is if you're hungry, take the time to make yourself a nice meal. That time spent preparing whatever it is that your are making is your time to reflect, relax & once the meal is all ready to consume, you will feel like you accomplished something & you will feel more deserving of said meal.

Back to grocery shopping though- I went yesterday & just to give you all an idea, here is what I bought (this is to hopefully last me about two weeks):

1 large bag of quinoa

3 bunches of bananas

2 mini seedless watermelons

1 cantaloupe

3 lemons

2 limes

3 oranges

1 huge bag of organic carrots

2 bunches of kale

2 onions, red & yellow

1 head of garlic

1 bunch of cilantro

2 bunches of scallions

1 bunch of basil

1 bunch of mint

1 bunch of parsley

1 head of purple cabbage

1 box of organic spinach

1 loaf of Ezekiel bread

5 avocados

3 heirloom tomatoes

1 head of red leaf lettuce

1 box of pea shoots

2 cans of chickpeas

1 can of red kidney beans

2 red bell peppers

2 bunches of asparagus

1 head of cauliflower

1 pineapple

2 crowns of broccoli

1 piece of ginger

2 pints of blueberries

4 bags of frozen fruit (mango, strawberries, peach & pomegranate)

4 ears of corn

2 seedless cucmbers

3 quarts of coconut water

3 Idaho potatoes

1 bag of sweet potatoes

2 plantains

2 mangoes

1 package of beets

1 package of tempeh


Now, I have been on vacation for the past week & this is the first time I've been able to food shop since returning home/ committing to this vegan challenge, so I bought a lot! However, at least you can get the idea of what I usually buy. Also, for anyone that thinks that eating healthy is too expensive, that couldn't be farther from the truth! A lot of it has to do with portion control & learning how to cook with fresh ingredients, but I promise you that you won't be spending a ridiculous amount of money. Not only that, but since your overall health & mood will be getting better, you will start to feel so amazing! This whole lifestyle change has real made me come full circle in understanding how to take care of myself & just how easy it is to do! I have to start getting ready for work, but I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions & let me know what makes it in to your grocery cart this week! I love hearing from all of you!!


XO, Burst