Grocery Shop Like a Pro
By Sara Butler
It would be nice to have a travel nutritionist on hand to help you navigate your day and eat healthier, wouldn’t it? There seems to be a lot of hurdles to having your very own nutritionist (cost, time, kidnapping laws), but you can take some tips from them to help you out. Here are a few ways you can shop like a professional nutritionist when you’re at the grocery store.
Make a List – And Check It Twice
Santa Claus was really onto something with that whole list-making thing. Take a page from his nice and naughty list to make one of your own – though you can leave off the naughty stuff. Before you go shopping, make a list of the healthy foods you will encounter in the order they’re laid out. This may take some recon work to understand how things at your favorite store are displayed, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have an easy time resisting temptation. Plus, you’ll save time because you’re not cruising around looking at stuff because you’re on a mission -- a mission of nutrition.
Don’t under-shop the produce department of your store. You should be getting five servings of vegetables per day, so there’s no such thing as too many fresh vegetables (or even frozen veggies) in your grocery cart. Vegetables should take up at least one-third (or more!) of your plates when eating. If that doesn’t sound like you, then you have some work to do in the produce department.
Plain-flavored foods are where it's at – or more precisely, where the sugar isn’t at. The plainer the item you’re buying is, the more nutritious and fewer added sugars and other not-so-healthy ingredients will be in it. So, go for the plain yogurts, pasta sauces, and cereals. They’re good for you. Or better for you, anyway.
Read the Labels
You know that nutritional label is there, but do you really look at it? You should! Don’t go with claims found on the front of the package to judge how nutritious it is for you. Instead, look at the list on the back. The fewer ingredients it has, the better. Also, make sure you check serving sizes when looking at foods and determine if one portion size is reasonable or not.
Life is all about new experiences, so try something new the next time you’re at the store. A good place to start is the bulk food aisle since you can try millet, dried, beans, bulgur, or lentils in small quantities to test them out and see if they’re for you!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.