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I’m in Love With Chef Melissa Mayo! She Reveals her “Lose the Fat, Not the Flavor” Secrets!

Chef Melissa Mayo is not only a culinary master with a six-pack, she’s also one of my dearest friends. I first laid eyes on this South African firecracker at a Music-and-Me class with our then-infants Jade and Bridget. For me it was love at first sight.

Shortly thereafter I signed up for all of her cooking classes in order to stalk her more freely. Not only did I get to gaze upon her gamine beauty, but she also taught me how to kick ass in the kitchen.

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. I’m writing about Melissa because you guys need to know about her! But she’s mine, so don’t get any funny ideas.

For this post Melissa’s been kind enough to share her healthy shopping list with us. One of the things that stops me from cooking healthy meals is never having the right ingredients on hand, so I just end up eating all of the Halloween candy by October 20th.

First I’m going to treat you to a video of Melissa sharing her personality, cooking philosophy and one of her healthiest meals. Below that I’ll post her foolproof (meaning Shannonproof) healthy shopping list for the pantry and beyond. Be sure to print it out for the next time you’re heading to the grocer’s. xo S

Melissa’s Pantry Shopping List

  • Olive oil  (one for cooking & a good extra virgin for dressings)
  • Balsamic , red wine & apple cider vinegar
  • Coarse salt and Ground black pepper
  • Basic dried spices … you can buy a complete rack where most of these will be included(cumin, ginger, basil, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, curry, thyme, rosemary, mustard, dill, chilli flakes,  paprika, fennel seeds, sage, poppy seeds)
  • Assorted citrus- lemons, oranges,
  • A mix of nuts- almond silvers, walnuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts
  • Assorted dried fruit- cranberries, figs, dried cherries, dried apricots
  • Garlic
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Chicken stock powder
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned anchovies
  • Black olives
  • Green olives
  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Red wine/white wine
  • Pasta  (spaghetti/ penne)
  • Rice
  • Cous cous
  • Quinoa
  • Sambal chilli
  • Woestershire sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Soya sauce
  • Tinned artichokes
  • Tinned beets
  • Tinned hearts of palm

Weekly Healthy Shopping List

healthy shopping list

  • 4 bags of lettuce ( butter, spring mix, romaine,  arugala)
  • 2 Red onions
  • Pack of Persian cucumbers
  • Mini peppers
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Vine tomatoes
  • Bag of 4 avos
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Yams/sweet potatoes
  • Ginger
  • Assorted cheese (feta, goat, parmesan, mozerella)
  • eggs
  • chicken (whole, boneless breat, boneless thighs, precooked roast chicken, saugages, smoked turkey)
  • meat (mince, lamb chops, steak, tri tip, hamburgers, skirt steak, pastrami,short ribs)
  • fish (salmon, shrimp, tilapia, cod, tuna, halibut)
  • Fresh herbs (Basil, Italian parsley, Rosemary, Mint)
  • Green/red apples
  • Assorted citrus (lemons & oranges, grapefruit)
  • Grapes /Pears
  • Other fruit only if it is in season (peaches, nectarines, figs, persimmons, mango, pineapple)
  • Berries that are in season
  • Zuchinni, eggplant, yellow squash
  • Green beans/asparagus
  • Broccoli/cauliflower
  • mushrooms
  • Greek Youghurts
  • Milk 1%
  • Bread

Other tips from Mel

healthy shopping list

  • Break a sweat once a day even if it is cleaning house 30 minutes of cardio/stretching do wonders for you. It is the oxygen that helps elevate your mood and release toxins
  • 5 small meals a day
  • Never go to the store hungry
  • Drink 2 litres of water… most times you are hungry not thirsty
  • Chew your food
  • Keep a bag of nuts & cranberries on you
  • Portions size is key
  • Try to eat off a smaller plate / fill most of your plate with greens
  • Stop eating when you feel full
  • Better to eat full fat full cream stuff in smaller quantities than low fat/fat free stuff. Usually they have more sugar and preservatives
  • Citrus and fresh herbs flavor a meal without adding calories
  • Plant a herb garden
  • Own a good chef, paring serrated and santoka knife
  • Always let meat and chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting
  • Don’t turn meat to much when grilling
  • Roasting, grilling and searing , broiling, steaming and blanching are healthy cooking options
  • Have a plate of fresh cut fruits and veggies at the front of your refrigerator or on the counter. You will be more likely to snack on these instead of junk food
  • Dark chocolate is great for you
  • A glass of red wine helps keep your arteries clean and it is loaded with anti-oxidants
  • Portions size is more important than what you are eating
  • Never use the word diet.
  • Cardio can sometime make you more hungry so you over eat
  • Protein portion size – the size of your palm
  • Olive oil and avocados are wonderful fats
  • Never over cook vegetables… they taste better crunchy
  • You are only one meal away from being back on the program
  • When eating out ask the waiter if you can take half your food home before he brings it to the table
  • Colorful food makes you feel more satisfied

 If you want to stalk Melissa too, here’s a link to her blog with several of her recipes. Bon Apetit!


Write a comment
  1. Carol Cassara
    Carol Cassara 28 October, 2014, 07:06

    She’s got great advice that is time tested and true.

    Reply this comment
  2. autismmama76
    autismmama76 28 October, 2014, 07:18

    Loved this post! 🙂 🙂

    Reply this comment
  3. Rena McDaniel
    Rena McDaniel 28 October, 2014, 08:00

    Oh my God I want her! I think I have my 2nd girl crush, you being the first of course. Definitely pinning this for later!

    Reply this comment
  4. sandee
    sandee 28 October, 2014, 08:48

    Thank you for posting this!! She really looks amazing. And how disappointing to find out there are no secrets – just eat well!! Her food really does look great. I can get so caught up in the convenience of Trader Joe’s frozen foods… This reminds me to go buy real food for my family. Oh yeah, and teach my kids how to cook.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 28 October, 2014, 13:15

      Hey Sandee — I am eating McDonalds as I reply to this because I just went on the Ballona Wetlands field trip with a bunch of 4th and 5th graders and needed a fattening reward. Having said that I’ve taken four classes with Mel and will keep going back as long as she teaches, even if I resent her six-pack.

      Reply this comment

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