Today I wanted to focus on SHOPPING in particular, food shopping! One of my favorite things to do ☺. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming at the store with so many different options. We walk in and are bombarded with a plethora of choices which may either make us want to pull our hair out or simply just grab the first things we see without much thought to the process. The last thing we want to do is take the time to read the food labels to determine the most nutritious items because who has time for that, right? Well, with just a few simple tweaks to your weekly (or bi-weekly) shopping trip, your shopping trip can be enjoyable AND healthy.
MAKE A LIST
I always have a list of things I need to get at the grocery store with me when I shop. Without one, I KNOW I’ll forget things that I need and will end up having to run back to the store. An easy way to keep track of things you need, is to create a list on your phone and add to it when you run out of something. That way you’re not scrambling around last minute trying to remember what you need or don’t need. You can even take it a step further and plan ahead your meals, so it’ll give you a better idea of exactly what you’ll need.
BONUS TIP: To save money, CLIP COUPONS! It takes just a few minutes to scan through your weekly Sunday ads and clip coupons of items you know you use. Some grocery stores will double the savings of your manufacture coupons too! Overtime, these few extra minutes can lead to A LOT of money saved. Don’t forget to check your grocery store’s weekly ad too. Typically the new weekly sales begin on Fridays.
SHOP THE PERIMETER
Fresh wholesome foods are always located on the perimeter of the store. Here is where you are able to find fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, meat, and fish. The center isles are typically where the more processed foods that may contain additives and artificial ingredients are located. However, all food is energy (calories=energy) and moderation is key to having a healthy, balanced diet; so although some foods may be more processed than others, it shouldn’t be viewed as off-limits or ‘bad.’ This leads me to my next tip.
READ THE NUTRITION LABELS
Here is where you will be able to determine an item’s serving size, caloric total, nutrient breakdown (i.e. fats, proteins, carbs) and the vitamins & minerals (i.e. vitamin A, C, calcium) of what you’re buying. A good ‘rule of thumb’ is to limit high sodium, cholesterol, sugar, saturated and trans-fat foods while looking for more fiber, vitamin (i.e. A, E,C), mineral (potassium, calcium, iron) rich foods. I will save ‘how to read a nutrition label’ for another post!
Some ideas in case you feel lost in regard to great protein, carb, and fats include but are not limited to:
-PROTEIN include: lean meats, skinned poultry, legumes, nuts, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs (and egg whites), seafood, tofu
-CARBOHYDRATES include: vegetables, fruits, oatmeal (i.e. rolled, steel cut, old fashioned, oat bran), potatoes (i.e red, white, sweet), 100% whole grain bread, whole grain cereals, beans, quinoa, rice
-FATS: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, peanut and almond butters, nuts and seeds, cheese
READ THE INGREDIENTS
The shorter the list of ingredients the better. Limit the amount of food items you eat that contain ingredients in which you cannot pronounce. If we cannot recognize the ingredient, our bodies will not either.
Healthy eating does NOT have to be boring. Don’t be afraid to try different foods; variety is the spice of life!