October 20th

theresa albert - my friend in food


No waffles but plenty of ki-no-ahhh


by Marci  .  Tuesday 8 March 2011  .  3 Comments


So I am grocery store challenged, there I said it. Admitting it is the first step, right? right??

These challenges include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • The amount of time spent in grocery store
  • The amount of money spent in grocery stores
  • My inability to focus and the subsequent need to double-back for forgotten items
  • My  3x weekly visit to grocery stores
  • My inability to always make sense of the *health* claims on the label

Enter Theresa and her Nine of Spades chapter on conquering the grocery store!

I am absolutely floored by one of Theresa’s first claims: Grocery shopping can be done in as little as twenty minutes.  Not only does it usually take me close to 4o minutes but I am usually back there in as little as three days, starting all over again. I have actually come to dread grocery shopping – I find the choices overwhelming and like Theresa mentions – there are an abundance of false claims that leave me confused and pissed!   I shouldn’t need to have a double degree in Math & Sciences  to interpret the nutritional value of a package of crackers.

Theresa lays out the groundwork, easily placing foods into groups and defining what foods actually make up that category. So where I would vaguely have an idea that fruits and vegetable are necessary, Theresa simplifies the process by breaking it down into amounts and colours (five green, four red, three purple, etc)- this reminds me vaguely of kindergarten but I truly appreciate the back to basics simplicity of her approach.

Grocery Store Entrance

Ok – I am not going to suggest that  you need to have an iPhone to go grocery shopping (enter Apple sponsorship here?!?!) but it has certainly helped. It has a stopwatch ( the competitive part of me wants to finish in under 20), an App for my grocery list and iTunes, deliberately blasting tunes from my workout playlist, rather than listening complacently to grocery store tunes chosen to slow me down.

Produce Aisles

Fast and easy. I pick up grapes, broccoli, strawberries etc…all is well and then….um, ok if a mango is green on the outside but orange on the inside stumps me for a minute, reminding me oddly of a girl I knew ages ago who suggested that one of the benefits of getting her nose done was that her future children would not end up with her nose. Luckily she was even sweeter than a mango, and a wonderful friend!


I am going to avoid giving away the plot from the Jack of Hearts chapter but fish confuses me. I pick up some salmon and shrimp….and pause. I want wild fish obviously but this salmon is  North American farmed. They sell  wild but it comes from China. I am not sure how to weigh this.  Basically, I go by price, promising myself to re-consider Theresa’s point of view and make as an educated a decision as possible next week.  Tick Tick Tick…must keep going…


All that needs to be said is that for the last year I have been pronouncing quinoa as ki-no-ahhh and nobody has corrected me. But I do understand their bulging eyes and bitten back laughter a whole lot more now. Suffice to say, I can now pronounce it, though I have yet to find a successful (edible) way to prepare it.

Animal Products

At first glance, I thought it was soo incredibly sweet of Theresa to include my dogs happiness in her eating plan: I was picturing bones and balls and Kongs, but alas, this is where she covers meats, poultry and dairy.  I think my deliberate misunderstanding of the topic has more to do with my tendencies to shy away from animal products, though I am not, nor will I ever be a vegetarian. So I really appreciate the emphasis she puts on non-meat meals throughout the week. It is a natural progression for me, though one I still need to impose on the rest of my gang a bit more.

Frozen Foods

What, no waffles?

Boxes, bottles and cans

These are always the items I try to put in the lower part of my cart, y’know? The part where other judgy shoppers don’t see the overweight lady waddling down the aisles with cans and sugary cereals.  (btw, though it totally apropos  that my auto-correct tried desperately to change the word *judgy* to *pudgy*)

And finally:

Baked Goods

Oatmeal cookies.  Theresa, you are truly my Hero!!  Thank you for that!!

(postscript: Timed in at 18:43, awesome!!! (Apologies to the elderly man I *may* have knocked into on the way to the cash. Chin up, I say!). Cost less than average and I made it 5 days rather than three until my next visit.)



My name is Marci. I run an online clothing swap for women that I started when I realized my own closet contained a range of 6 sizes to accommodate my ever-fluctuating weight. I am also an almost 40 year old mother of two who has decided to stop blaming her *thyroid* issues for making her eat copious amounts of pizza and chips. I have read every book, clipped every article and still cannot seem to make sense of a very simple concept – live healthily. To date, the only things I have managed to *ace* have been my poker face and my love for all things chocolate. I am looking forward to sharing this journey through Ace Your Health. Let’s just see how it goes this time!.... www.spaghettiandspanx.com


3 Responses

    March 8, 2011 at 6:52 am Reply

    Marci, You are incredible! I love the way you take on a challenge and wrestle it to the ground. (along with elderly gentlemen who may have been in your way…

    Christa S
    March 11, 2011 at 8:54 am Reply

    Try this recipe for quinoa chilli… it’s a winner, I promise!!


    Sam Daams
    April 30, 2011 at 11:47 am Reply

    For Exif reading, someone uses Photoshopped Image Killer. It reads software info and jpeg quantization tables from Exif. Specificially, it can tell you whether image has tags or quantization tables from Adobe Photoshop. The site is free.

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