Registered Dietitian Annessa Chumbley Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips and Breakfast Recipes

I am notorious for not making healthy decisions when I grocery shop. Just last Saturday I walked into my local grocery store to purchase a few items and ended up with a cart full of groceries that included decadent cupcakes, nacho cheese, pizza, a couple healthy veggies and quite a few other things that weren’t the best for me. You know it’s bad when the checker asks you if you were hungry when you get to the checkout line! After experiencing one of the worst migraines I’ve ever had on Monday, I made the decision to finally stop making unhealthy choices once and for all.

If you’re on a mission to get healthier in 2016 but don’t make the best choices at the grocery store and in need of help (I’m right there with you!) you’re in luck! Renowned registered dietitian Annessa Chumbley joined me for an interview yesterday to share amazing tips that will help you make better choices at the grocery store and she also shared two amazing breakfast recipes that you can prepare for yourself and/or your family this weekend.



Registered dietitian Annessa Chumbley joined Candace Rose for an interview to share healthy grocery shopping tips and breakfast recipes.
Registered dietitian Annessa Chumbley joined Candace Rose for an interview to share healthy grocery shopping tips and breakfast recipes.





Candace Rose: Why is it so important to understand how to make healthy choices before going to the grocery store?

Annessa Chumbley: “I think these days more than ever we understand how food affects our bodies and the thing that I like to keep in mind is that health is a series of impactful habits. That means is that if we can get into good habits at the grocery store, it’s almost like half the health battle is done. Another way I like to think about it, Candace is that what we put into that cart (this is how important it is!) might determine your health not only for the next few weeks but also how you feel because health is so connected. What we eat is connected with how we feel.”


Candace Rose: What are your top three tips for making the best choices at the grocery store? I know that I don’t! 

Annessa Chumbley: “Nobody is at this perfect standard, it’s just about being pointed in the right direction I think, and walking a path toward health. My three that I like to be reminded of myself and remind other people of are organic and natural products are going to be a great source for healthy living. Your local Safeway has hundreds of organic and natural products to choose from. I think it is way too overwhelming to do a whole organic pantry makeover at once and you’re less likely to stick with it if it’s going to be overwhelming, so I say take one product and swap it out for the organic version. Not only have you increased the health factor instantly but then you’ve also made it a sustainable change and solidified it as a habit. When you start to do several of those, it’s like you’ve made this foundation for healthy living.

Secondly, start to change the way you see your groceries. I like to think of the produce section as nature’s pharmacy. There you’re going to find the things that really give energy and bring life and health, and in some cases might even heal and prevent disease so that’s always a really great thing to keep in mind.

Third – this sounds kind of cliche, but it’s usually the small things that are the secrets and the keys to healthy living that we’re tempted to forget, and it’s go with a list. That’s because prepping gives you future power. Healthy eating is a lot about preparation and when you go with a list, you’re going to take time. Keep time on your side when you’re in the grocery and take out the energy.”


Candace Rose: How can you tell if an item is a healthy choice or just appears to be?

Annessa Chumbley: “A lot of times these days we’re sent lots of healthy messages, aren’t we? The one surefire way that I like to tell people no matter what the product is (of course a lot of the best things for us don’t even have labels) but the one thing that you can do is skip everything on the package, go straight to the ingredients list. Think of this as your source of truth, it’s going to be the place where you can find exactly what you’re putting into your body and that’s most important. Then once you’ve done that, you can begin a relationship with the brands you trust. A couple of my favorites are O Organics and Open Nature, those are two that I really like. It’ll be interesting once you start doing that and really seeing what’s in your food. We always make interesting discoveries.”



Candace Rose: Are there important ingredients that we should look for or stay away from?

Annessa Chumbley: “When you choose an organic product, it’s going to be free of pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic ingredients – to me that’s the most important one. Your body most recognizes ingredients from the earth, not ones that have been highly processed or man made. It’s also going to be free from GMOs. I like to look for a list that is short, simple but that’s filled with wholesome things. It doesn’t have to have a lot of vitamins and minerals added because when it’s wholesome ingredients, the vitamins and minerals are in those so they don’t need to be added extra. Those are some of the things that I look for.”



Candace Rose: What natural and organic foods can shoppers get the most value from?

Annessa Chumbley: “Value is always an important thing and so the first place that I like to recommend heading is the produce section. When you’re there and you’re shopping for organic produce, always keep in mind ‘in season.’ Keep that in your head and think that way and stick with the fruits and veggies that are in season. The reason is those are going to be the foods that are the least expensive, but also are at their peak nutritionally and because they are, they are going to taste best. They’re going to be ripe, so they’re going to be filled with flavor and sweet. Nutrition and taste should go together, and you’re going to find that in those produce items that are in season.”


Candace Rose: Do you have a favorite fast and easy recipe that is perfect for those trying to eat healthier?

Annessa Chumbley: I have a breakfast recipe because we always hear it’s the most important meal of the day, but I think it’s important to remember the reason –  breakfast pushes your metabolism start button. Everybody (usually) wants a faster metabolism, the best way you can do that is to start eating even a little bit of breakfast everyday. This is one of our favorites, it’s apple oat waffles. I love it because it’s just five ingredients.”

Here’s the recipe and nutritional facts! Be sure to watch the video though to see Annessa demonstrate how to make the apple oat waffles and her favorite healthy way to top them!


Apple Oat Waffles


O Organics egg

1 organic apple, such as Gala, cored and coarsely chopped with skin on

1/2 teaspoon O Organics® ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup O Organics® almond milk

2 cups whole oats


Optional Toppings:  sliced apples, cinnamon, maple syrup or whipped cream.


1. In a blender, add ingredients in order beginning with egg, apple, cinnamon, salt, almond milk, and oats.  Blend until all ingredients are combined, stopping blender to stir ingredients if needed. 

2. Brush waffle maker with coconut oil or nonstick spray. Use 1/3 cup batter per waffle. Cook until golden brown. Top as desired! 


Prep time:  5 minutes

Total Time:  20 minutes



Serving size 2 waffles

Makes 6-7 waffles


Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe:  3

Serving Size: 2 Waffles

Amount Per Serving

                        Calories 258.3

                        Total Fat 5.0 g

                        Saturated Fat 0.0 g

                        Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g

                        Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g

                        Cholesterol 0.0 mg

                        Sodium 389.1 mg

                        Potassium 134.9 mg

                        Total Carbohydrate 47.4 g

                        Dietary Fiber 7.3 g

                        Sugars 10.0 g

                        Protein 8.4 g


Candace Rose: Speaking of oats, what’s the different between rolled oats and steel cut oats? Is there one that’s better than the other?

Annessa Chumbley: “I’ve had that question a lot lately. I love all forms of oats. I eat those almost every day. There is not a difference nutritionally in any of those oats. The difference is steel cut oats are kind of the oats that are closest to the earth. They are going to take the longest to cook and for that reason they are going to get a chewy and creamy consistency. Whole rolled oats take a little bit shorter time to cook and then the quick cooking oats are just chopped up finer. There’s no other processing other than that. No matter what oat you choose, you’re going to know you’re getting the same nutritional benefits. There’s not a difference, they’re all filled with fiber.”

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

Annessa Chumbley: “When you’re looking for organic and natural foods (I know a lot of times when you’re navigating your grocery store it can be kind of confusing) your local Safeway has made it super simple. Those items that I just talked about, just look for the sign that says organic and natural, and you’re going to know that you’re in the right spot. It’s very simple and I love that, especially when you’re shopping with kids.”

Candace Rose: Where can viewers go for more information online?

Annessa Chumbley: “Online you can go to or just head right into your local Safeway the next time you shop for organic or natural foods.”

Here’s another great healthy and delicious breakfast recipe we’d like to share with you! Enjoy!


Maple-Glazed Quinoa Porridge


4 cups cooked O Organics™ Quinoa 

2 – 3 cups coconut milk 

1 1/2 teaspoon O Organics cinnamon 

1/2 cup figs, chopped, torn or sliced 

4 tablespoons almond butter 

6 tablespoons O Organics pure maple syrup, divided 

1/2 teaspoon salt (unless quinoa is already salted) 



toasted almonds 

chopped apples 

smashed raspberries or blackberries 

toasted unsweetened coconut 


1. In a medium large saucepan, add quinoa and 2 cups coconut milk, stirring over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low. 

2. Stir in cinnamon, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and figs. Simmer for 5 minutes. 

3. Remove porridge from heat. Stir in a little more coconut milk.

4. In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup & almond butter. Microwave for 15 seconds, and stir together. Drizzle hot maple glaze onto porridge. Scoop into bowls and add toppings on, and more chopped figs if desired. Enjoy a morning bowl of fall comfort! 


serving size: 1/2 cup 

serves: about 12 

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Total time: 15 minutes 


Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 182.0

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