For many, eating healthy can seem extremely time consuming and expensive. Add that to our already busy lives, and it’s easy to see why fast food is a multi-billion dollar industry. One of the most valuable practices I’ve learned, being a mother of two and health coach-in-training, is how to maneuver a supermarket for nutrient-dense ingredients without overspending. Here Are My 5 Tips On How To Shop For Healthy Food:
- Plan Your Weekly Meals Before Going Food Shopping. The worst time to food shop is when you’re hungry, you’ll shop aimlessly and then become the proud owner of aisle 4. Plan your meals and create a shopping list, then stick to it. When doing this, organize which ingredients can be used more than once or twice for the week (greens, grains and certain veggies come in large quantities). This will reduce food cost and minimize waste. Another tip: ditch the smart phone and write your list on an old-fashion piece of paper–you’ll add-on less this way.
- Stick To The Perimeters of The Market. This is where all of the fresh goodies lie. Resist the urge to go down center aisles, where most of the empty calories and non-essentials are.
- Buy What’s In Season. Did you know that fresh fruits and vegetables are actually less expensive when they’re in season? A lot of people don’t realize this, but the act of buying seasonal ingredients is not only good for the environment, but it’s great for your health and wallet! Berries, stone fruits, fresh corn, etc. all have their peak seasons (and they taste so much better). You can even buy large quantities of this seasonal produce and freeze what’s leftover for up to two months in the future (be sure to wash, cut, and dry thoroughly though).
- Buy Grains, Nuts, Beans & Seeds In Bulk. All of these are great sources of protein and fiber. They can compliment your meal or take center stage, depending on your mood. Buying in the bulk section of the grocery store is a great way to save money on the more expensive super foods like quinoa, raw nuts, chia seeds, etc. You can grab as much or as little as you need.
- Incorporate Spices. Invest in a few good-quality spices to jazz up your meals and keep things exciting. Spices not only add new flavor profiles to our meals, but many have amazing health benefits. Turmeric is great for inflammation, cinnamon can help balance sugar, chili peppers have been shown to increase metabolism, and ginger was used traditionally for stomach issues and may also aid in inflammation.
Follow these 5 tips for your next grocery store experience and I promise you will be on your way to a week chockfull of healthy meals that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.