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TTT- Tuesday’s Tasty Tip with Chef David Hall

Thyme for a Chef, LLC is a Personal Chef Services Company. Chef David does all the work so you don’t have to. He offers dinner parties, events, and in-home meal preparation. You select the meals you want, or let him design a menu tailored around your needs and wants. You will get everything you want and nothing you don’t. He uses all his own equipment in your kitchen and does all the shopping, prep, cooking and clean-up (and for his in-home meal service clients, packaging and freezing).

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TTT: Tuesday’s Tasty Tip-5/4/2010

Healthy and Smart Shopping

I shop for groceries almost every day of the week. Whether I am shopping for clients, classes, parties or Debbie and I at home, I take notice of what others have in their shopping carts. If I am shopping in my chef coat and pants, fellow shoppers often stop me and ask me questions. One question I am often asked is,”How can I shop healthier for my family and me?”

This is a great question.

Most times, that question is followed by the comment that at least one or more family members are trying to lose weight. The interesting thing is in ALMOST EVERY case, they have carts loaded with frozen pizzas, ice cream, macaroni & cheese in a box, hot dogs, 12-packs of pop, microwaveable pockets of some sort along with items with a high amount of fat, sodium, sugar, preservatives and chemicals to extend shelf life and retain color.

Fast food or prepared packaged foods are sometimes necessary because of our busy lives, but they are not good food as a matter of routine.

One can lose or manage weight better by following a few simple shopping guidelines. These guidelines are not rocket science, but are common sense and easy to remember if you understand how grocery stores configure typical shopping areas.

Here are Chef David’s grocery shopping guidelines:

Don’t shop hungry. This will minimize the likelihood of impulse purchases or purchasing more than you can eat.
Plan healthy meals in advance and make a list, taking into consideration what is in season (and on sale when possible).
Shop from a list and DO NOT buy anything not on the list. If you forgot to put it on the list, it is most likely something you can do without or you can find a substitution at home. This not only saves money, time as well.
Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where the unprocessed foods are. Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and the bakery typically reside at the edges of the store. Canned vegetables, dry goods, and condiments are typical exceptions.
Avoid the freezer section, unless you are shopping for frozen fruits and vegetables out of season.
Minimize your trips to the store. Try to limit your shopping to once a week, unless you are picking up perishables that will not last a week.
Shop what is in season. This will not only save you a lot of money, but will provide you with fresh and flavorful produce.
Shop for bulk items once a month.
Cut back on red meat. Many vegetarian dishes are hearty and tasty.
Use coupons and shop the sales. Make your dollar stretch.
When possible, shop the local farmers markets. It is fresh, and often free of pesticides, and supports local businesses.
Get to know your produce and meat managers by name. They can pull the best of the best for you as a courtesy.

There are many other great ideas, but these are at the top of my list.

The benefits of shopping using these tips include saving money, heating healthier, reduced weight in some cases, and a healthier longer life. Next week I will have some specific food related shopping tips.

If you do not have time to cook, or do not want to cook, give me a call and we will schedule a free consultation to assess your needs whether they be gluten-free, sugar-free, low-fat, or any other restrictions. If you want to plan a party and want to enjoy the event without the normal challenges of keeping things going, let me handle the cooking and logistics so you can enjoy your guests. If you want a weekly meal service (entrees and sides), you are planning a special occasion, you want gluten-free cooking lessons and meal planning, or you want a no-hassle outdoor grilling party by the poolside, give me a call. I offer a variety cooking lessons ranging from basic fundamentals to classic French, Mexican and Spanish cuisine, to specialty diets. I also offer a Culinary Boot Camp series. See details at

Chef David Hall
[email protected]

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