Healthy living begins with healthy eating and healthy eating begins with healthy shopping.
Regardless of what nutritional program you are following – whether it is low fat, no-sugar, low carbohydrate, or based on some other method – there are always healthier choices that can be made when you are shopping. Support your nutritional program week-by-week and day-by-day by ensuring that you stock up on the wholesome foods you need for your meals and snacks. Having the right food on hand helps you avoid eating the wrong things such as food, which are too high in fat, calories, sodium, and sugar. Additionally, shopping wisely helps you eat more of the good things like fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Use the suggestions below to avoid supermarket “traps” and help stay on track…
Plan The Shop & Shop The Plan
Put on your ‘thinking cap’ and make a list of the foods you need
before you shop and stick closely to it. Plan your shopping
around your favorite meals and recipes & don’t be tempted by
those wayward specials that may fall outside of the foods best
for your program.
HALT! Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired
Heed this word and make sure to eat before you shop to avoid
impulse buying or stocking up on items you may regret later.
Begin With Colours
Fill up your shopping cart first in the produce section with
lots of vitamin-rich vegetables and fruits. Select a variety
of colours, flavours and textures to add interest and variety
to your meals. Be adventurous and go for exotic fruits or
vegetables that you may not usually choose.
Choose Individual Servings
When buying chicken, fish or meat, get single meal-size servings
that you can freeze and use as needed. That way you’ll always
have good-quality fresh protein on hand and won’t be tempted
to eat more than your body wants. Likewise, buy fresh vegetables
like mini carrots in small packages too. They’ll stay fresh and
make convenient “on-the-go” snacks.
Supermarket aisles are avenues to greater nutritional knowledge
as the food label offers more complete, useful and accurate
nutrition information than ever before. Become a fervent
‘label reader’ and scrutinize packaged foods, dressings and
sauces before purchasing.
Avoid The “Aisle Of Weakness”
In all honesty, everyone has their “aisle of weakness”-be it
the ice cream, cakes or sweet section. Do yourself a favour
and avoid mouth watering temptation by steering completely
clear of the entire area. And this “aisle” (or “aisles”)
is usually found in the centre! So, shop the perimeter of
the store first, which is where you find the healthier foods.
Tantalize & Excite Your Taste Buds
Stimulate your palate and your recipes with the inspiration
of fresh herbs like basil, ginger, lemongrass and cilantro.
In addition, stock up on spices that can literally transform
an ordinary meal into an exotic dish. Actively pursue
variety. Expand your range of choices and explore new tastes,
within and among food groups. Eating a wide variety of foods
not only promotes optimal nutrition but also provides us with
the ‘pleasure factor’.
Don’t Feel Deprived
Even though there are certain foods you’ll want to avoid on
your nutritional program, the supermarket is packed with a
great variety of health-friendly food items. By choosing
a variety of the foods you enjoy, and watching your portions,
you need never feel deprived -no matter what foods you choose.
Make moderation your goal, you decide how much and how
often. Healthy eating doesn’t mean feeling deprived or guilty.
Before you check out, ask yourself (honestly!) if there is
any item in your shopping cart that you could remove to
better support your program. Put yourself and your optimal
nutritional program before all else.
When you shop healthily, it is a great contributor to the
‘feel good factor’!! Additionally￼, consider clearing your
cupboards and fridge of any foods that don’t support your
program. With only great-tasting nutritious foods around
you can cook up a healthy storm and enjoy your meals &
snacks to the fullest -and enjoy the pleasurable aspects
of eating and… living!