In the face of past habits and current pressures, it’s hard to stick with a new nutrition plan without a social support or education system. It is my hopes this blog and my future blogs help to counterattack old habits, flawed ideas, and downward social pressure. Today I want to tackle grocery shopping. As common-sense as it might seem to just go to the store and buy the right foods, buying the right foods isn’t as easy as it once was. In the past 20 years we have seen the food industry really adapt to trends, market products accordingly, which really has created a consumer environment of confusion and misinformation. Why? So these food companies can continue to make billions of dollars off of the average North American that doesn’t know what to look for when shopping or at the very least, doesn’t even know how to read a nutritional label. And it’s not your fault. If you didn’t take a nutrition class in high school or college, odds are you are just going off of your own intuition or what other people have told you to do. Both are no good in this arena. I will give you 5 tips / strategies to make your next grocery shop quicker, healthier and more affordable, how’s that sound?
1. The Grocery List
Before heading to the grocery store, you (and your spouse) need to sit down and create a shopping list. The easiest way to do that, is to start with a menu for the week. If you have a family or a bigger family, all meals and snacks must be accounted for. This will provide clear direction for your grocery shopping outing. During this trip, you should leave with everything on your list and nothing more.
2. The Shopping Pathway
You should mostly shop the parameter of the grocery store. This is where you’ll find items like: fruits & vegetables, lean meats/leaner cuts of meat, whole grains and dairy. Brief trips into the center isles are acceptable for specific items on the grocery list. However, these trips can lead to the selection of lower-quality food items, so caution yourself against impulse purchases.
3. Locating Superfoods and Nontraditional Items
Not everyone knows where to find these certain foods. These would be considered to be on the acceptable inner-isle food list. You can usually find these in the baking section. Superfoods and nontraditional items include: flax seeds, whole oats, healthy oils (olive oil, fish oil, etc.), whole grains and bulk nutrition. Ask an employee if you have trouble finding some of these as each store is a little different and where they keep these items.
4. Reading The Labels
Very few North Americans know what to look for when checking food labels. Let me help you prioritize your search.
You want to avoid foods with: Trans fats, long ingredient list containing lots of artificial ingredients and added chemicals, otherwise healthy products that contain unhealthy additional sugars added (sucrose, glucose, sugar, maltodextrin, corn syrup, etc.).
You also want to be skeptical of foods making health claims on the package. This can include: “added vitamins and minerals”, “wholesome”, “healthy”, “no added sugar”, “contains real fruit”, “natural”, “fat-free”, “low-carb”, and “high-protein”.
If a food needs to make heath claims on the label, there is a good chance that is not actually good for you. Look at these few examples below:
5. Bargain Hunting
You want to become a discriminating shopper and choose the best foods at the lowest prices. Some “healthier selections” can be quite pricey so it’s important to find the lowest-cost healthy selection. Typically, brand names are more expensive so when two products have the same ingredient list, choose the less expensive one. Explore farmers’ markets, butchers, and independent supermarkets as well as “big-box” chains.
If you are someone who wants to be healthier and are still looking for that workout program and support system to help you be the healthiest and best version of yourself, then I want you to reach out to us today and we can get you set up with one of our coaches to help you goal set, find a custom meal plan and workout program that is best for you.
Send us a message at www.tfwstockyards.com to get you started!
Yours in strength,