The Best Grocery Shopping Tips for a Healthier Life*
Proper nutrition is a discipline worth pursuing. However, for busy professionals on the move, finding a well-balanced meal can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Understanding what to consider when grocery shopping will give you the confidence to make healthy decisions and break certain habits. Below are several tips to help you plan for a healthy, well-rounded trip to the grocery store while keeping a balance of treats too!
Never go to the grocery store hungry!
If you go on an empty stomach, you are more vulnerable to putting things in your cart that may be a quick fix to satisfy your current craving. Eat a snack before going to avoid the temptation.
Go in grocery shopping with a plan
Take time to make a list before you head out grocery shopping. Break down meals for the week to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. After you brainstorm your meal prep, break down the meals by specific ingredients for each meal; i.e. chicken stir-fry = chicken, broccoli, red peppers, brown rice, sesame seeds, onion, minced garlic, etc. This way you can categorize items by sections of the store to shop efficiently through the aisles.
Shop the perimeters of the store
A great goal would be to shop primarily around the outer edges of the store for the bulk of your groceries since they contain the most wholesome items, such as your fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, and whole grains. Last, make your way through the center aisles for pantry staples like spices, nuts, olive oil, dry pasta, oatmeal, jarred tomato sauce, or frozen fruits.
Shop with the season
Learning what produce is in season when grocery shopping will provide a better-quality selection, be less expensive, and align you with what nature intended for your body! See a seasonal list by The American Heart Association.
Frozen and canned options
If fresh produce isn’t an option, finding your way into the freezer aisle for fruits and vegetables is the next best thing. Frozen fruit can be easily thrown into a blender for a nutrient-dense smoothie. As for canned fruits and vegetables, search for ones stored in either water or their juice to avoid unnecessary additives and sweeteners.
The best thing you can do is crowd your plate with more wholesome options. However, you don’t have to deprive yourself of things you enjoy. Instead, try to find a balance by adding in a few treat snacks or splurging on 1-2 treat meals a week to keep your mindset happy!
Try a new healthy recipe
Menu planning can get a bit boring after you’ve filtered through your tried-and-true recipes, which then may lead to the temptation to order take-out or fast food. Try a new recipe once a week or bi-weekly to spice up your menu. New recipes will bolster your weekly menu and bring a variety to your overall diet.
Order grocery pickup or delivery!
As a modern-day convenience, we can now order groceries online with options for same-day delivery or pick-up. This is not only a huge time saver but will also encourage you to stick to that original shopping list and not be tempted to add in-store extras! Try adjusting your shopping trips to be both in-store and online to see which works better for your health goals.
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