Perhaps spending time in the grocery store is not your favorite pastime. Maybe so, but you’ve got to shop to cook and eat well. Although shopping is not as easy as zipping through the drive- through, it doesn’t have to be a chore. It can quickly become part of a pleasant routine that will add years to your life and life to your years!
A routine can make all the difference. If you want to get in and out of the grocery store – with a cart loaded with nutrients and short on calories – here is a basic game plan:
If they have the option, get a smaller cart. You won’t be buying as much food as before, and since lots of it will be fresh, you’ll need to do it a little more often. The smaller cart will signal when you’ve bought enough.
• Shop mostly around the perimeter of the store. The processed foods are generally in the aisles – with a few exceptions.
• Learn where the beans and whole grains are (oatmeal, whole grain rice, quinoa, millet, etc.) and any raw nuts, seeds, nut butter, or all-natural jams. You might prefer the convenience of a jar of all-natural salsa, bean dip, or hummus. Strategically plan your visits to the sections where you can find natural sweeteners like maple syrup, stevia extracts, herbal teas, and spices. Other than those items, you don’t need to hit the aisles.
• Start in produce. Try to get to the farmer’s market often to stock up on local produce. If that’s not an option, start in the produce section, and focus on colors and deals. Colors are indicative of various nutrients, and the more colors in your basket, the more variety of essential nutrients you’ll put in your body. Fill your basket halfway with produce, leaving the other half for everything else.
• If you want bread, get it from the bakery department, NOT in the aisle. Make sure it’s a genuine whole grain loaf – you can usually find several varieties baked fresh right there in the store.
• If you buy animal products, look for free-range poultry, eggs, and lean cuts of grass-fed beef. Avoid processed and cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, and ham.
• Many people find that skipping dairy products altogether improves their health, and plenty of alternatives exist. Unsweetened almond milk is an excellent choice if you tolerate nuts; others prefer coconut or soy milk. If you opt for dairy products, choose those with as few additives as possible.
• The frozen food section is your friend! Frozen vegetables and fruits often preserve their nutrients more than fresh. This section also has the live sprouted grain bread, such as Ezekiel and Food for Life.
Follow these simple guidelines and you will find healthy shopping can be quick and easy!
Jennifer was born and raised in Long Island, NY. She is a top Real Estate Agent for Keller Williams and truly understands the luxuries of life, with the island’s beautiful seasons, beaches, culture, and diversity. Her creative, enthusiastic, and caring nature allows her to perfectly match clients’ desires for their dream homes. Jennifer is also a Holistic Health Coach and a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and works with clients in guiding them onto a healthier lifestyle.