With thousands of different foods stocked on supermarket shelves, taking a trip to the store can be incredibly overwhelming when you don’t know what to buy, how much to get, and which products to choose over others. One of my favorite things about The Plan is that I know exactly which foods to buy and prepare for my unique chemistry and best health. The next step to establishing healthy eating practices is becoming an enlightened shopper and making informed decisions. Follow a few simple strategies and you’ll be on your way to becoming a master supermarket shopper:
Before you go
- Have a plan. Think about the upcoming week and plan your family’s meals ahead of time. Browse recipes, create menus, study the ingredients, and add them to your shopping list to prevent an unscheduled grocery trip later.
- Bring a list. Avoid aimlessly wandering the aisles of the store picking up random foods and making unnecessary purchases by creating a shopping list ahead of time. Keep a running list in your kitchen at home and add to it throughout the week while you study recipes and plan your meals to prevent an unscheduled grocery trip later.
- Eat a snack. You are more likely to be tempted into spending your money on unhealthy choices like processed foods and treats on an empty stomach. Have a well-balanced snack or time your shopping trip after a meal so you stick to your list when at the store.
At the store
- Stick to the perimeter of the store to find fresh produce, dairy, fish and meat products. Steer clear of the center isles that contain processed foods full of hydrogenated oils, preservatives, sugar, and other additives. Only travel to the center isles for specific items on your list like whole grains and spices.
- Buy local produce in season. Choosing foods that are both local and in-season ensures that you are eating the food when it is fresh, abundant, and in many cases cheaper than produce that was picked before ripe and then shipped from hundreds of miles away. Consider the farmer’s market or a subscription to one of our many local organic produce delivery services to make sure you are getting a variety of fresh and local produce in season.
- Pay attention to “sell by” and “best if used by” dates on the foods and beverages you purchase to ensure quality and freshness.
- When purchasing packaged foods, read the Nutrition Facts label and Ingredients list carefully. These allow you to determine the nutritional value of the food you are choosing and make it possible for you to compare similar products. Check out this Greatist Guide to Understanding Nutrition Labels.
Taking a trip to the grocery store can feel like a daunting task but a little planning and preparation can make shopping a breeze.
Contact me for more information on how you can make mindful choices at the grocery store and keep the kitchen stocked with essentials for healthy and convenient food preparation at home!