Monthly Archives: March 2016

Healthy Grocery Shopping: Isle by Isle

Grocery shopping cart with food. Isolated over white background.Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming event if you don’t go prepared. Even when you plan ahead and come with a list, it’s hard to avoid the temptations that are always there. How many times have you unpacked your groceries and realized there are more things you bought that weren’t on your list than items that were? To help with this seemingly inevitable problem, lets go isle by isle to come up with ways you can keep your grocery shopping experience as healthy as possible.

 

Produce Section:

Go for a rainbow of bright colors when you reach for fruits and vegetables. Each different color indicates certain vitamins and nutrients, so the more you get, the healthier your diet will be.

Cereal Isle:

Choose items that fit these three parameters: less than 10 grams of sugar, at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 150 calories per serving. These will keep your blood sugar levels in range and help you feel full longer.

Snack Isle:

Try to choose fruits and veggies as snacks, but if you want something a little more salty or crunchy, go for raw or smoked nuts, basic or lightly flavored popcorn. Nuts give you omega 3 fatty acids, which are incredibly good for you, and fiber which will keep you full for a long time.

Baking Isle:

When deciding which oil to use, reach for olive or canola oil. These give your body more omega 3 fatty acids plus the healthy fats your body needs.

Canned Goods:

If you like canned fruits, choose the ones that are either unsweetened or packed with a low sugar liquid. Go crazy with canned beans. These are great to add to so many dishes, including soups, salads and pastas. They’re full of flavor, fiber, and healthy nutrients.

Bakery:

This can be a danger zone if you don’t plan ahead. Ignore the donuts, cookies and pastries, and reach for 100% whole grain bread, bagels and English muffins. These won’t give you empty carbs that just turn into sugar and extra weight.

Deli:

If you want to buy meat, choose lean cuts and meats from animals that are fed natural diets, and not injected with growth hormones. Any chemicals they ate will end up in your system as well. Fish is always a great option because they’re full of omega 3 fatty acids.

Frozen Section:

You may be tempted to buy ice cream, frozen pizza and cinnamon rolls, but be strong. Feel free to get frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. Frozen vegetables are great to add as side dishes to main meals, and in soups. Frozen fruit is great for smoothies and to add to morning oatmeal.

Dairy:

Select the lower fat dairy items whenever possible. Just make sure to read the labels to check the sugar content. Sometimes more sugar is added when fat is removed, so do your homework and choose the healthiest option.

Meal Planning Made Simple

B_MealPlanningMadeSimple_Meal Planning can be a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, or if you want to try a new method. Old habits are hard to break, especially when it comes to food. Is it really possible to plan for healthy meals week after week and stick to your plan? I have found a way to do this, and now I’m going to share my wisdom with you. If you follow these 5 simple rules, you’ll be a master meal planner in no time!

 

1. Start Small

Plan for 3 meals, then 5, then 7 and eventually 10. Keep the recipes you like and get rid of the ones you don’t like. Over time, you’ll build up a list of 20 or so meals you like to make and eat.

 

2. Family Involvement

Include your family in meal planning. They are more likely to enjoy the meals you make if they get to choose some of them. It’s also great to include them in the food making process whenever possible.

 

3. Boycott Junk Food

Avoid buying unhealthy foods because you eat what is around your house. If junk food is available, you will eat it. If fruits and vegetables are available, you’ll eat them.

 

4. Utilize your freezer

Make food ahead of time, freeze it, and bring it out for a quick and easy meal. You can make extra meals on the weekend and freeze them for mid-week dinners.

 

5. Whole Foods

Cook whole foods whenever possible. Some examples of this include using regular oats instead of pre-made oatmeal packets, or cooking regular rice on the stove top instead of the pre-packaged microwavable kind. This will save you money and help you avoid extra sugar and preservatives.

 

Whatever you do, don’t give up. If you start off really well and then slide back into old habits, don’t give up. Just start again and do your best.