Cooked by TFW: Grocery Guide

Hey gang! It’s Tym, everyone’s favorite fight camp foodie, back again with more ways to revolutionize your diet! As I was working on some recipes, I thought it might be helpful for those of you making these recipes yourselves if I shared my kitchen essentials, the foods I eat regularly and the cookware I use to make these meals.

First, let’s discuss the hardware I’m using in the kitchen. All of these items are relatively inexpensive ($35 or less on online shopping sites like Amazon or Overstock). Most of these items are already in your kitchen.

Food Processor/Blender: My food processor is my best friend. I use it in almost every meal, from dicing veggies, to pureeing sweat potatoes (a recipe I will share soon), to shredding blocks of cheese. This appliance saves time and is versatile.

Crock Pot / Slow Cooker: I named mine “New Mom” (apologies to my actual mother) because there’s nothing better than coming home from the gym to a fully cooked meal just waiting for you.

Cast Iron Skillet/Frying Pan: Ideally, you want oven-safe skillets. Personally, I have two cast iron skillets. I use both on a daily basis: making an omelet in the morning and pan-searing my protein for dinner.

Mandolin Slicer: I use mine any time I need uniformed slices. Tomatoes, cheese, zucchini, you name it. A mandolin comes in handy when you’re making your own fries and chips too! (NOTE - these things are awesome, but treacherous! Coach L.A. cut off a large piece of her palm, so make sure you use the included guard).

Other kitchen equipment:

  • Baking Sheet
  • Medium Pot/Saucepan
  • Vegetable Steamer
  • Microwave-safe storage containers

Now that we’ve covered the cookware and appliances, let’s talk ingredients. Eating healthy is not about punishing or starving yourself, just eating smarter. The key is cutting out processed foods and finding single-ingredient items (ex: chicken breast, eggs, spinach). Here’s what my weekly grocery list looks like:

Lean protein: I’m a creature of habit, so I usually stick to chicken and ground turkey. Other types of lean proteins are: Ground Beef, Tuna, Salmon, and Soy/Tofu Alternatives. With ground meats, you want to go as lean as possible. As I shared last week, I use 88% lean ground turkey

Eggs/Egg Whites: Continuing my shameless attempt at a Costco sponsorship, I’d just like to say I buy my eggs at that fine establishment, 5 dozen at a time!

Vegetables: Boy, oh boy, you can’t go wrong here. Personally, when in Fight Camp, I eat spinach and tomatoes in almost EVERY meal. Breakfast Omelets, Lunchtime Salads, and 90% of the dinners I make. Other staples of my diet are Carrots, Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and Garlic.

Fruits: Not all fruits are made equally. Some have too much sugar in them, like citruses, cherries, grapes, and pineapples. Bananas are a little high in sugar, too, so I only eat them as quick boosts right before working out. Below are a list of fruits that can be great additions to your diet as between-meal snacks:

  •      Raspberries
  •      Blueberries
  •      Blackberries
  •      Cranberries
  •      Apples
  •     Strawberries

Dairy: Just like with fruits, not all dairy products (and fats, which we’ll get to next) are created equally. When in fight camp, the only dairy I consume is feta cheese. I used to substitute greek yogurt in to some recipes, but have pretty much eliminated yogurt from my diet all together. Outside of camp, I may drink milk, but not regularly, and I explore other types of cheeses. Based on your diet goals, almond and soy milk can be great dairy substitutes, too.

Fats: Obviously, we’re going to steer away from oils, butter, and shortening/lard. Trust me, I love all of those things. (If Coach LA lets me, after my fight, I’ll share my bacon fat waffle recipe. I could write a cookbook on recipes that include bacon fat.) But “eating healthy” does not mean cutting fats out completely. There are plenty of healthy fats, like nuts, avocados, and beans. When I’m searing food, I replace cooking oil with a cooking spray to reduce how much I use. Remember, we’re not starving ourselves; we’re cooking and eating smarter. Fats aren’t your enemies… they aren’t even your frienemies… You just have to choose them wisely.

Lastly, let’s talk about Carbs. As I said before, the key to healthier eating is single-ingredient foods. When it comes to carbs, those would be foods like Sweet Potatoes, Rice, and Beans (I go with dried beans when in fight camp, but canned beans are good, too). When I’m in fight camp, I limit my carb intake to post-workout meals only. A lot of the meals I’m going to share will be low-carb, but I promise, I love breads and pastas just as much anyone. When I’m not in Fight Camp, I bake cookies almost weekly. So use your discretion when cutting carbs out of your diets.

And there you have it, my kitchen essentials! Now that we’re on the same page about appliances and ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! I’ll have another delicious recipe for you next week. For members of the TFW family, if you want additionally help with your diet or suggestions on appliances, feel free to ask me or LA next time you’re in the gym. We also have a digital nutritional guide we can send you to help with meal planning.


LA Jennings