An important step to healthy eating is stocking your kitchen and pantry with good quality food. As FoodMatters.tv reminds us, you are what you eat, which is why it’s important to limit your shopping cart to food that will provide your family with whole, natural nutrition. What should you keep in mind during your next grocery store trip?
I’ve summarized advice from Reader’s Digest below and added my own 2 cents in italics:
- Buy fresh food! Pick up fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, juices, and dairy. The local farmer’s market is your best friend this time of year. The picture in this post is from one of many produce choices from my market on Sunday. What a thrill for the senses! If you do frozen, make sure it’s just the food and nothing but the food. Many times frozen can be more nutritious than ‘fresh’ in the store because it’s frozen soon after harvest and locks in the nutrients. Avoid canned whenever possible. Although Eden Organic brand is the only one I know of right now that has BPA free linings for their cans. You can find them at Whole Foods or check online for other locations.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. The less you find yourself in the central aisles of the grocery store, the healthier your shopping trip will be. For the most part it’s all highly processed, packaged items that are full of more than you want to be consuming. Also, you’d be surprised how much you can save by eliminating these items from your shopping cart and replacing them with the real deal, whole food you recognize.
- Shop with a list. By adopting the discipline of a well-planned shopping list, you can resist the seductive call of aisle upon aisle of junk food. The Mommy’s Coach offers workshops or individual coaching to help with this critical step. And DON’T shop when you’re hungry!
- Buy organic whenever possible. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that organically grown fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than conventionally produced foods.
- Choose prepared foods with short ingredient lists. Remember: The shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the food usually is. At Moms Health Zone, I recommend sticking to 5 ingredients or less. If the ingredients include sugar, put it back on the shelf unless it’s a periodic special treat. But don’t make it a regular daily item.
- Pick up a jar of dried shiitake mushrooms. Toss them in some hot water for half an hour and you have a meaty, healthy addition to soups, stews, and sauces, not to mention a unique filling for tarts and omelets.
What would I add to this list?
- Before you create your shopping list, plan out your family’s meals for the next week. Look for recipes that encourage healthy eating like the 500 calorie dinners Fitness Magazine shared. Then the only items to add to your list other than those you need for breakfast, lunch or dinner is healthy snacks (like almonds, bananas, unbuttered popcorn or celery sticks with almond butter).
- It’s always better to buy organic produce, so make sure you spend the extra money when it comes to the dirty dozen – foods with higher amounts of pesticide residue. It’s well worth it to keep from consuming ever increasing amounts of harmful chemicals! (See my recent Facebook post about this).
Healthy eating is a huge, wonderful, and delightful part of healthy living. The food you buy makes up most of what you’ll put in your body, and a few simple changes to your shopping habits translates to significant changes in your health, wellbeing, vitality, quality of life, and longevity ~ just to name a few benefits ☺.
Do you have any advice to add? Share them in the comments below!