My Healthy Costco Shopping List

My Healthy Costco Shopping List

My Healthy Costco Shopping List
Healthy food items I always buy at Costco

A few of you requested a healthy Costco shopping list of what I usually buy and I am so excited to share this with you!

Honestly it took me about a year to go to Costco when it first opened its doors in my city. I didn’t understand the hype or why I would need to purchase items in bulk.

But I was SO WRONG!

Costco is a membership-based warehouse store that sells a large variety of items in bulk. It also carries its own in-house brand, Kirkland Signature, to help keep prices low and budget friendly.

It is one of the most popular big box retailer stores in the country and they have a wide variety of healthy items and products that are fun and exciting to try.

They also offer a wide variety of foods for those with different dietary restrictions and preferences like gluten free, dairy free, organic, etc so it has something for everyone to enjoy.

I also always thought that buying items in bulk is mainly for big families, but honestly, it can be a time and money saver for most people, no matter the size of your household.

Purchasing specific products from Costco can save you time in your future grocery shopping because there are items you buy once and they last for months, like their coconut oil and canned foods (not to mention non-food items like toilet paper and paper towels).

Few things to keep in mind: 

  1. Make sure to have a shopping list ready otherwise you end up buying way more than you had anticipated and you save time when you know what you are looking for
  2. It’s almost always busy

Let’s get started!

My Healthy Costco Shopping List

Fruits And Vegetables

I don’t buy a lot of  fresh produce from Costco because it is difficult to eat it all before it goes bad. However, there are a few items that I always like to grab because quality and price is superior to other grocery stores.

Brussels Sprouts from Costco in healthy shopping list
Brussels Sprouts from Costco are a great deal. Fresh and enough for the whole family.

Brussels Sprouts

Organic Gala apples

These are small and delicious making them an easy snack for you or your kids.

Berries

Depends on the price but the blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are usually in better shape than other grocery stores and last longer.

 

Pantry items included in my healthy Costco shopping list:

Dave’s Killer Breads and Ezekiel:

They have great ingredients, are higher in fiber, and have whole grains. You don’t need to cut out carbs from your diet – I talk more about it here and here. Reading the ingredients and aiming for high-fiber options is a great start in knowing how to make better bread choices.

Nut butter/ almond butter/ peanut butter:

Great price and quality and are an easy addition to your smoothies, crackers, fruits and veggies. They also come in larger containers so you don’t need to purchase as often.

Coffee beans

I have been buying whole beans and grinding them at home for years now and let me tell you, it is life changing!

The coffee tastes so much better when it is freshly ground and it is so fun trying new coffee beans every time I go to Costco.

Coffee beans from Costco for my healthy Costco shopping list
Coffee beans from Costco are so fun to try. I love buying different ones for a change in taste, flavor and aroma.

Olive oil:

Great price and I appreciate that it comes in a dark bottle because even a few weeks of light exposure will accelerate the aging of olive oil. 

Protein/snack bars:

When it comes to protein bars, definitely take the time to read the ingredients. Most protein bars are equivalent to eating a candy bar.

That’s it fruit bars are a family favorite. Even though they are not high in protein, they are made with just fruit and I can easily add a protein or healthy fat option on the side like a greek yogurt or nuts. I am all about simple ingredients most of the time and these bars are perfect.

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers:

Great snack option with great ingredients. Add cheese and you have a filling and satisfying snack.

Coconut oil/ avocado oil:

I cook with either avocado oil or coconut oil and they come in large containers. They last for months so you definitely save money buying your oils from Costco. The reason I like using coconut or avocado oil during cooking is because they have a higher smoking point, which means it can be used to cook at higher heat and are great for stir-frys. They doesn’t have much flavor, which makes them a good option for cooking.

Chia Seeds and Hemp seeds:

Tiny but mighty! One serving offers loads of fiber and protein and are so versatile to use. Add them to your salads or smoothies to add fiber, protein and healthy fats to your meals. They also come in bulk and we buy them once every 6 months!

Pastas and grains:

Organic quinoa, Banza pasta and basmati rice – again, buy once every few months (some even up to 6 months) and you save time and money.

My Healthy Costco Shopping List: Frozen Foods

Alaska Salmon Frozen Burgers:

Love these when I want to cook something nutritious with little prep and effort.

Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon:

Sustainably sourced and helps you get your daily protein needs. Sockeye salmon provides 24 grams of protein per serving and it’s one of the top food sources of vitamin D. It is also one of the best sources of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids). 

Stir fry veggies:

Add a protein to this and you have yourself a 10-minute meal that is balanced, satisfying and healthy.

Frozen edamame:

Rich in protein and fiber and it takes 5 minutes to heat them up! Great price too and you get so many servings from one bag.

Frozen fruits:

I always have frozen fruits on hand for my smoothies and I don’t need to worry about them spoiling. Frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh, sometimes even more nutritious as they are picked at peak ripeness.

My Healthy Costco Shopping List: Refrigerated Foods

Greek yogurt Kirkland and Fage
Dairy finds at Costco

Kirkland Greek yogurt or Fage 2% Greek yogurt:

Greek yogurt is loaded with protein and is a personal favorite 

Sweet Kale salad :

This is a great option for those that want to eat more greens but don’t really have the time or energy to prep ahead of time. I love buying this when I know that I have a very busy week. It’s also delicious and satisfying.

Eggs:

You have a few different options here. Costco even sells hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator section. Easy protein snack or breakfast.

My Healthy Costco Shopping List: Canned Foods

I usually buy canned vegetables, beans and sauces from Costco. They are a very budget-friendly option and are easy to add to your meals.  Many people think that canned foods are not as nutritious as fresh and that is not true. Canned foods are just as healthy and are a great way to add nutrients to meals without having them go bad.

Here is a list of canned foods I buy from Costco:

  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Rao’s homemade sauce
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned tomato paste
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes

My Healthy Costco Shopping List: Meat Options

Seasoned rotisserie chicken

You can eat this alone or shred it and add it to soups or salads.

Costco Rotisserie Chicken is an easy protein option for busy moms
I buy this chicken a few times a month to help making meal planning easier

Ground beef

I portion this out and then freeze them into about 8-9 servings. It lasts a little less than a month and it’s a much better deal than buying it at other grocery stores. Quality, texture and color of the meat (we also love their steaks!) seem fresher than other places.

Organic chicken tenderloins:

I always have frozen chicken in the freezer as they can easily be added to a stir fry for a quick meal.

As always, if you ever have any questions, make sure to send me a message on Instagram and I’d love to help!

Happy shopping 🙂

XX

Ayat

 

 

How Nature Can Help You Feel Better Today

How Nature Can Help You Feel Better Today

Every time I go outside in nature, I notice that I immediately feel better.

How Nature Can Help You Feel Better Today

Even if it is for a few minutes, it makes a big difference in my mood and my day.

Studies have shown that being around greenery and nature lowers blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduces nervous system arousal, enhances immune system function, increases self-esteem, reduces anxiety, and improves mood. 

In fact, this  study of 20,000 people found that people who spent two hours a week in nature, either all at once or spaced over the week, were much more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t!

There are a lot of different tips & tricks for getting outside and connecting with nature, so let’s get right into it.

How Nature Can Help You Feel Better Today

1. Practice being present.

Be present while you’re getting the mail or going to your car. This is something you can easily practice daily.

Next time you get your mail from the mailbox, keep your phone inside and be present during the walk to your mailbox. Take 3 deep breaths and notice the scent and how calm you feel in that moment. Those few minutes spent intentionally connecting to your surroundings are so good for you and can immediately lower your stress hormones.

2. Touch the leaves or a tree.

This has been shown to release oxytocin which is the hormone responsible for feeling calm & emotional bonding.Touch the leaves or a tree

Something about being close and connected to nature helps release happy hormones and I can attest to this firsthand.

I am sure you’ve noticed it, too! The biggest tip and take home here is all about finding what works for you.

3.Grounding (or earthing).

This is something I do on the weekends mostly when the weather is nice.

When I am outside in my yard, I take my shoes off. I love walking barefoot in the yard and letting the grass and dirt touch my feet.

What’s amazing is that there is science behind grounding. There is a huge supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Our modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact and this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and un-wellness.

Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has also been found to be beneficial for improved sleep and reduced pain.

How Nature Can Help You Feel Better Today

4. Take a midday walk.

You already know walking is good for you, but I am going to repeat it anyway. Schedule it in, even if it is for 5-10 minutes at a time. It still counts and it all adds up!

For me, I love taking daily 20-minute walks with the kiddos every evening and it makes us all feel so good. Everyone is so relaxed and happy after our walks and it is something I am working on instilling in them from a young age.

So there you have it. A few ways you can get outside to ground & connect with nature.

If you don’t live near nature, don’t worry. You can designate a spot in your house (maybe your office or kitchen) and add some plants  or you can  put on some nature sounds on your speakers.

 It’s meditative & sounds so pretty.

I would love to hear from you in the DMs on Instagram.

What are your favorite ways to spend time outside? Do you have a really interesting or unusual activity? Let me hear it!

 

How to Stop Late-Night Snacking

Late-night snacking is one of the biggest struggles I hear from my clients.

And probably one of the most common reasons for weight gain over time.

If you find yourself feeling bored after the kids have gone to bed or you want a “late-night reward” for being an amazing mom and handling all of the tantrums, trust me, I GET IT!

But, late night eating isn’t the best way to handle these emotions and I am going to share a few ways to reduce late night snacking so you can sleep better AND feel better the next day.

When I first became a mom, it was very important to me to relax with my husband and spend quality time with him after my son had gone to bed. Even though that is still VERY important in my house, the late-night eating had to stop.

I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling terrible, or even worse, I would have the hardest time falling asleep because I was uncomfortable.

Then, the weight started to creep on slowly and that’s when I made the decision to stop this habit in it’s tracks and realign with behaviors that made me feel good physically and mentally.

Here are my top tips for reducing the late-night snacking and eating. Keep in mind it is not “bad” to enjoy a snack late at night because it feels good for you but if it is affecting your sleep and your health that’s when you might want to take a look at this behavior and come up with ways that serves you and are good for you.

1. Eat regular, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.

This means including fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

  • Aim for 20-30 grams of fiber a day;
  • Eat at least 20 grams of protein at every meal (this number will vary and I highly recommend speaking to a Registered Dietitian if you have specific health conditions);
  • A serving size of healthy fats at every meal (around 10-15 grams)

2. Limit ultra-processed foods to help reduce cravings for late-night snacking.

    • This is candy, sodas, cookies, chocolate bars, juice, cakes, etc.
    • When you eat ultra-processed foods, your blood sugar spikes then crashes. This leads to an imbalance of hormones and feelings of fatigue and hunger which makes you crave more ultra-processed foods!!
    • The sugar crash sends a signal to your brain that you need more energy and the fastest way to get that energy in is by eating those simple carbs and ultra-processed foods.

 

3. Prioritize your sleep for reduced late-night snacking.

I know you may find this tip a little lame but the quality and quantity of sleep can have a HUGE effect on your hormones, especially your hunger hormones.

Studies have shown that lack of sleep increases ghrelin (hormone that makes you feel hungry) and decreases leptin (hormone that makes you feel satisfied).

4. Find an alternative to those late-night snack attacks!

I LOVE tea and there are SO many kinds of dessert teas that taste DELICIOUS and feel like a treat. You can try doing this for a few nights a week and see how you feel.

I started with 2 nights a week and I started to look forward to relaxing on the couch with a warm drink with my husband after the kids have gone to bed.

It is really nice and it helps me wind down before bed. It really sets the mood.

If you want to indulge in a late-night snack, that is 100% okay, too!!

Here are a few tips for that:

  1. Make sure you are not physically hungry. If you are then you probably need to eat more balanced meals during the day or add a protein and fiber during dinner to help keep you feeling full.
  2. Choose options that provide you with nourishment like fruit and nuts/nut butter, carrots and cucumber with hummus dip, peanut butter spread on celery sticks and topped with raisins, cheese, dried fruits with crackers or maybe even cheese with nuts.
  3. If you want something a little less nourishing, totally fine too! Make sure it is coming from a place of decision-making versus mindless eating. Make the decision to have a treat late at night and make room for it during your day.

Remember, these foods are not off-limits or restricted. On the contrary, make these food choices from an empowered state-of-mind versus feeling out of control around these foods!

If this is something you need help with, make sure to apply to my 1:1 program. We cover late-night snacking and more! Feel free to send me a message on Instagram if you want more details.

6 Healthy Morning Habits to Start Your Day

My morning routine and habits are pretty solid and I wake up excited to get it done.

I am a huge believer that small habits form success and my clients can totally agree!

It is one of my favorite things to discuss with clients because it helps them achieve many of their goals, not just weight loss related goals.

The habits outlined below are habits that I have adapted from podcasts, books, and my own experience, and they work so well for me.

But here’s the thing though: NONE of these habits work…unless you do.

You are the one that has to implement these healthy habits every single day. 

Okay, let’s get into it.

Habit #1: I do not touch my phone.

 

Sounds simple, but this is a tough one!

The one minute I use to check my phone always turns into an hour of me scrolling social media, answering emails and DMs. This always makes me feel rushed because it puts me in reaction mode and that doesn’t serve me.

Instead, fight the urge and leave it on the charger for another hour, trust me. 

Try to enjoy your mornings (even if you have kids lol) and take some time to enjoy the way your pillow feels under your head and do some deep breaths.

Habit #2: I make the bed.

It helps you accomplish something first thing in the morning which sets the tone for the day.

I will also open the blinds and windows to allow some light and fresh air in – nothing like the smell of dewy mornings.

Habit #3: I journal.

This is so fun- can you believe I used to roll my eyes every time someone told me they journaled?

But THIS has been one of the most transformational habits I’ve ever implemented.

It helps get my mind clear and it puts me in such a positive mood after I’ve finished.

I will write about where I want to take my business, what I am grateful for, affirmations, ideas, visions, dreams, goals, etc. 

It doesn’t really matter, just write! If you have something that’s stressing you out, then write about it – get it out of your head. You will feel so much better.

Also, if you have a thought that you just want to stop thinking, write it out and then write another thought you want to be thinking instead. Seeing it in front of you makes it stick so much more.

Habit #4: I read.

I read so much when I was younger – middle school & high school mostly. Then I stopped in college because I was busy studying and diving deep into all the information and did not read again until after I had my son.

When I launched my business, there was so much I did not know so I turned to books.

And now I try to read a book every 2 weeks because reading is a favorite hobby. I mostly read business, money and mindset books to help better me and educate myself in areas I need it.

So if you need book recommendations make sure to message me on Instagram because I have read ALOT.

Habit #5: I visualize.

I take a few minutes to visualize where I want my life to be in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years and how I want to feel that day. I set an intention for the day which gives me clear direction and a path of what tasks I need to take daily in order to achieve my long term goals.

Habit #6: I always do my skincare routine and get dressed.


My skincare routine is a sacred time for me. This is the time where I can go into the bathroom, shut the door and apply my serums, moisturizer and sunscreen. After that, I quickly do my hair and makeup but I always take my time with my skincare routine. I love taking care of myself and prioritizing what is important to me because it makes me feel good.

Do you like posts on habits & mindset? Give me your feedback.

What is a daily habit you do that’s made all the difference? Let me know on IG!