Being a good grocery shopper is something that had eluded me for many years. I have now come to realize that what I buy at the grocery store on a weekly basis ultimately determines my health and the health of my family. Get serious about being a good grocery shopper. Follow these simple rules to keep the junk out of your house and to eliminate the “there’s nothing to eat in this house” syndrome!
Eat a healthy snack before you go grocery shopping. We have all made the mistake at one point or another of going to the grocery store when we’re positively “starving.” We end up spending money on too much unhealthy, processed food that takes little to no preparation. When you have had a healthy snack before you go shopping, you’ll be less likely to buy unhealthy things that look easy to prepare and tasty.
If it’s not good for you, don’t buy it!! It blows my mind that people actually buy donuts and potato chips on a regular basis to keep in their houses. Here’s a tip: if food is in your house, it’s going to get eaten! If you are trying to eat a healthier diet simply do not buy junk food when you are grocery shopping. If you feel too tempted just by seeing something sugary or fattening, don’t even go down the chip and soda aisle at the store and stay away from the cookies and ice cream!
Buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are much healthier for you and your family than processed, canned, or frozen. Fruits and vegetables that can be eaten raw are a great quick and easy snack for any hunger pang. Instead of reaching for a handful of potato chips, you can grab a handful of crisp grapes or a couple of celery sticks. I also love baby carrots, they have just enough sweetness to meet my cravings.
Buy whole grain breads and pastas instead of white. A general rule is that the less a food has been processed, the more nutritional value it maintains. White bread and pasta are sure to be tasty, but they also have a lot of calories compared to the actual nutritional value.
Buy fresh or frozen fish. It is recommended that we consume 2-3 servings of fish each week. The omega fatty acid in fish is great for our brain and heart health. When we don’t have fish in the house, it makes it really tough to eat it! I like to buy individually frozen Tilapia fillets. They are so easy to pull out of the freezer and pan fry with a little olive oil and some great creole seasoning. This is a meal that is so easy and amazingly healthy!
Buy some healthier alternatives to your normal desserts. If you like ice cream, don’t purchase the gigantic 5 quart tub. Something I’ve noticed about my family is that as long as there is ice cream in our house, we will eat it every day (sometimes twice). Consider buying a very small tub of frozen low fat sherbet instead. If you like to eat potato chips and salty snacks, consider switching to nuts or soy nuts.
Pay attention to the nutritional value of what you and your family is drinking. Stay away from empty calories. Empty calories are calories that provide no nutritional value, just extra calories. Consider fruit juices, in moderation, low fat milk, and buy bottled water if that’s the only way you will drink it.
When you have healthier foods in your home in abundance, you’ll be less likely to be tempted to grab french fries from a fast food restaurant on your way home from work or stop for a meat lovers pizza. Having fresh food will keep your family healthier and will create healthy habits for your children to last a lifetime.