Often times when adopting a healthy lifestyle you have the kitchen set, the meal plan ready & a brand new grocery list but you don’t know where to start or where to find things in the store. Wondering around aimlessly can leave you feeling frustrated & confused. Not to mention all the labels to read on some of the items can be quite deceiving! So today I am breaking down my top 7 tips for grocery shopping.
1. Stick to the perimeter- The outside of any grocery store is where the most perishable items are held This includes the meats, produce, eggs & dairy as well as the frozen items. Because of their perishability these items are often times the most nutrient dense.
2. Have a list!-Without a list you are likely to buy too little or too much. Even if you don’t have a complete meal plan it’s good to go in knowing you want to get some type of leafy green, some bacon, & steaks for example to help guide you in your decisions. Remember you can always go back for more later in the week!
3. Avoid the aisles for most things-Not everything in the aisles is bad for you. Pasta sauces, nut butters, and grain free flours are found in these aisles. However be careful. They are often labeled in a crafty fashion that makes them look healthy or placed right next to a healthy product to trick you into grabbing the wrong one.
4. Take the time to read your labels-I always suggest to clients when adopting a new lifestyle it is so important to set aside some extra time for your new grocery trip to really read what is in the ingredients. This doesn’t just mean the labels on those aisle foods like oils & pasta sauces it also means the meat too! Often times meats are labeled deceptively to make you think they have been raised organically when in reality they are another product of a factory farm.
5. Be selective in your organic choices-Every year the Environmental Working Group comes out with a new list of the clean 15 & dirty dozen. The clean 15 shows you which foods are totally fine to buy non organic as they have a low pesticide & herbicide spray rate. The dirty dozen is the opposite, these foods are heavily sprayed with pesticides & herbicides these high quantities can be detrimental to your health, que problems like inflammation and hormone imbalances. By checking the list each year you eliminate the decision making on what products to purchase organically or not. They even have printable guides for your wallet.
6.Buy in season when possible- Not every recipe you make throughout the year is going to utilize seasonal ingredients & in winter there isn’t a whole lot that is seasonal if you’re located here in New England. However when you are looking for things like fruit to snack on for the week check to see what’s on sale. Typically these items are in season making them cheaper, packed with nutrients, & full of flavor!
7.Never go to the grocery store hungry or thirsty-You are more likely to end up grabbing food or drinks that you don’t need or opt for unhealthy versions of your old time classics. If you get to the store and find yourself dying for a snack grab a piece of fruit & purchase it before you begin your rounds or go to the protein bar section & pick up an Epic Bar, Lara or Rx bar to snack on to hold you over. Save the wrapper for the register, they don’t mind as long as you are paying for it!
If you still aren’t sure where to begin I provide more insight on what to look for with my 1:1 clients. There are spaces open if you are looking to change your health for the better!