Smart Shopping Tips!
The holiday season is here. That means the 'New Year New You' campaign is right around the corner. Remind yourself how you felt last January - after a season of overeating, clothes too snug, only fitting in your sweats. We spend a month beating ourselves up for how we spent the holiday season with non-stop eating and drinking. We can prevent this. Remember we are all about prevention!
Eat with awareness! By all means splurge. We love good foods and drinks too, but you can't splurge every day. Then it's not a splurge anymore - it's your routine and you're just making excuses. So decide what's really worth it. Skip it if it's not. You will love yourself for it the next morning.
"But how do I start? If only you could go shopping with me!" That's why we offer plenty of recipes and exercises on the website to get you started. Here are a few reminders for your grocery shopping trips:
- Don't go shopping hungry - You've heard this before and it's true. You will buy junk foods you don't need. Have a healthy snack before you go. You'll make better choices while you shop!
- Shop the outer rim of the store. This isn't new, but it's something we often forget. The foods on the perimeter of the store are typically the least processed; not a long shelf life. Those that sit on the shelves have gone through a lot of additives to increase their shelf life - limit these choices as much as possible.
- Fruits and veggies - Include fruits and veggies in all your meals. Spend time in the produce section - try something new. Buy in bulk at a produce store and share/split it with your neighbors or family. Fresh is always best, but frozen is good too. If you have cans, be sure to rinse them thoroughly with water before use to reduce the amount of salt. (Use a colander, it's easier.)
- Read the label - it's hard to remember what your daily amount of salt, fat, cholesterol, etc should be. You have enough on your mind already, so you really don't need to memorize all these numbers. To make it a little easier read the %DV -that's the % of Daily Value. Instead of worrying about the g/mg/ml amounts, the DV will tell you what portion of your whole days allowance you're getting from this one food. For example if the %DV says 48% saturated fat-that's ½ the bad fat for your whole day! Don't choose this food-it's not worth it. If the %DV has 40% Sodium - that's a lot of salt for one portion. Remember salt is everywhere. The %DV is based on an average calorie diet - if you are trying to reduce salt, fat, lose weight or have any other medical issues, these may be higher values than you need - check with your physician for accurate amounts.
- Check serving size - this is on the label too but we often forget to check it. Serving size matters because the numbers on the label might be for a serving size of 2 cookies - which doesn't count when you eat 6! You need to triple those numbers to get an accurate count of what you are actually eating! Remember every bite, morsel, crumb and sip counts and it matters!
- Less bad - if you know that choice isn't so great compare it to something that is 'less bad'. Look for less sodium, less cholesterol, less saturated fat. We aren't saying you have to forego all snack food, just pick a better option. You're still getting that snack fix, with less bad stuff in it.
- Read the ingredient list - When you know what's in it - you might rethink eating it. Decide if it's really worth it. Most often it isn't. You will be happier that you skipped it instead of regretting that you ate it.
- If you can't stop yourself from eating it - don't buy it! The rest of your family will survive without too. And I'm sure they don't need it either. You will eat what you have on hand - so stock up on healthy snacks (nuts/ seeds/fruits). You will be elated when you replace a sleeve of cookies with a handful of nuts! Your waistline thanks you too.
- Rethink one item at a time. If you have spare time, read as many labels as you can. If you're pressed for time, read and compare one item each shopping trip. Before you know it, you're checking labels like a pro. You're aware and attentive to what you're putting in your body. You're body thanks you - your heart certainly thanks you - and your family and friends thank you for taking care of yourself so you will be around and active for a very long time!