Healthy by Heather

Grocery Shopping Tips and Tricks!

healthy-grocery-shopping

Have you ever looked around the grocery store and taken notice to how many overweight people are there and what they have in their baskets? I did this today and I was not surprised that most of their baskets seemed to have processed ready-made foods. A common misconception is that it is cheaper to feed your family these foods than healthier fresh choices. This is not true at all. It just takes time and planning and knowing your prices to compare if items are a good deal or not. Often times to figure this out you might have to shop at different places each week until you figure out which is most cost effective but in the long run it will payoff. Plus there is always some sort of fruit and vegetables on sale and almost all stores send out circulars in the mail with coupons. So if you find yourself reading this and thinking “wow that’s me and my basket” don’t worry. It’s never too late to change your shopping habits.

First rule of thumb is before you even step a foot into the grocery store, think about what you want to eat that week and if you have all the ingredients you need to make these dishes. While doing this, compose a list of everything you need and want. Having this list will help you stay focused in the store and not get overwhelmed with choices.

Secondly, try to shop as much as possible from the parameter of the store. This is where all the vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy are. These items make up the most of the food groups. All your missing is your grains. When your shopping for grains look for whole wheat or multi-grain items over items made with white flour. If you want to try something new try items made with brown rice. There are a ton of them usually in the gluten free section or organic section. I love the brown rice pasta over regular pasta. This is a great substitution for anyone who is gluten sensitive like myself.

I also have a huge sweet tooth and have tried many ways to satisfy it other than with sweets. One way is to grab a piece of fruit to satisfy the craving. Often I find that this can help but sometimes doesn’t do the trick. The newest item I’ve been having is light greek yogurt. Not only does it satisfy my craving it’s fat free, high in protein, and full of calcium and vitamin D. Two nutrients necessary for bone health. If this doesn’t do it opt for the low sugar low fat options of your favorite and when indulging make sure you measure out your portion size so you know how much your actually consuming. Another trick I like to use is to have my fiancé hide whatever sweets we have in the kitchen out of site and where I can’t even reach them with the step stool. It seems to work well. That way we enjoy together and he helps me control how much I’m consuming. Give it a try… It works.

Lastly, I am sure you all know this but I’m going to repeat it anyway. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach! You will definitely find it very hard to stick to your list and next thing you know your cart will be full of all your favorite indulgences. Trust me I’ve done this! It never ends good! Happy Shopping!

~Heather

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