So you’ve decided that you’re going to eat healthier. It may be a new idea for you, or maybe you know how to eat healthy and have just gotten off track. Either way, you’re ready to make the commitment.
Once you’ve come to the decision, walking into the grocery store can be a bit intimidating, not to mention tempting. It’s not always as easy as we hope to find healthy options at the grocery store. Well besides the obvious anyway… fruits and vegetables!
- Stick to the perimeter of the store. Most grocery stores have all whole foods around the perimeter. Think about it. Produce, meat/seafood, dairy, breads. They are rarely in aisles.
- Find the health food section. If your store has a “natural food” aisle get familiar with it.
- Try something new. Every grocery store visit, pick up 1 new, healthy item that you normally wouldn’t have tried. Perhaps even a new vegetable or exotic fruit.
- Buy in bulk. My Costco visits consist of frozen chicken breasts, cartons of egg whites, non-fat greek yogurt, frozen shrimp, bag of almonds, bananas, bagged salad, sprouted breads etc. Eating healthy doesn’t need to be expensive if you buy in bulk.
- Avoid temptation. Don’t even bother going down the pop, cookie & chip aisles. There is nothing healthy down those aisles anyway.
- Stick to the list. Go into the store with a shopping list, and stick to it. That way, unhealthy items won’t make it into your cart.
- Go alone. When kids come along they often try to sneak junk food in the cart. Try to do your shopping alone to save the arguments.
- Take a friend. Shop with a health conscious friend. You know, that friend of yours (or friend of the family) that’s a regular at the gym, eats well and stays in shape? Ask her on a “grocery store date”. Find out from her how she shops for healthy things locally, and what some of her favorite items are.
- Flirt with the “ethnic” aisle. Many people don’t go down these aisles as they are intimated. But there can be a lot of great and healthy finds! Examples: new spices, hot sauces, curries and light coconut milk. These are all great additions to a healthy diet.
- Don’t go hungry. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, or you may be tempted to grab a quick (unhealthy) snack for the drive home.
Being healthy is about preparation, variety and consistency. While it does take a bit more effort to prepare healthy meals, it’s totally worth it. Your body, mind (and waistline!) will thank you later.
Kristine Fretwell is a Registered Natural Product Advisor and publishes Busy But Healthy (www.busybuthealthy.com). Visit her site for healthy recipes and fitness & health tips.