Do you find yourself returning from a Grocery Shop feeling unsatisfied with your selection and anxious about the value on your receipt? Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming task, especially when you are committed to making healthy choices. Learn to buy the right items whilst staying within your budget by incorporating these habits into your weekly shop.
Stay on The Perimeter
The first and most important part of your grocery shop should be the produce section with fresh fruit and vegetables. Choose a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables as these foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Other healthy staples including meat, fish, poultry, and dairy are also found in the perimeter aisles.
Of course, there are exceptions to this general rule, including:
Avoiding the snack aisles altogether will ensure that you won’t be tempted. All of that colorful packaging can be very alluring!
Don’t Go Whilst You’re Hungry!
Have you ever gone grocery shopping whilst hungry, then returned home and realized you brought half of aisle 7 with you? Not only does this waste a lot of money in the long run, it is also not ideal to have access to these unhealthy foods for the next week or so. Making sure that you are not hungry whilst you shop is a good way to support yourself to make the right choices with what you purchase.
Writing a list before you go is the best way to ensure that you fulfill your intention to have a healthy and affordable shop.
Choose Seasonal Produce
There are several reasons why it is best to choose to seasonal produce. As plants get their nourishment from the soil and the sun, seasonal produce is the ripest and therefore contains the most amount of nutrition and antioxidants. Not to mention that in this ripe, fully-developed state, the food is the tastiest! Seasonal produce grows easily without pesticides and genetic modification which is another bonus for our health. The natural cycle of produce can sync up perfectly with our bodies to assist our health. Eating seasonal foods helps the body’s natural cycle of detoxification, cleansing, and weight control. In the winter eating heavier, root vegetables give our bodies the energy we need to maintain a healthy immune system. Then in the summer, eating fruits helps up cool down and stay hydrated.
Eating seasonal produce enables us to become more connected to the source of our food. Food is a huge part of our lives and community. By educating ourselves about the process of how our food is grown we are engaging with our community and environment in a profound way.
Choosing seasonal items also challenges us to become more creative with our cooking and experiment with different dishes. By trying out recipes using different combinations of fresh produce we can come up with some delicious meals and express ourselves creatively.
Due to the abundance of these seasonal items, the prices will also be lower than usual, making it a win-win scenario! Most produce freezes well so it is a good idea to stock up during the seasons when there is an abundance of the fruit and vegetables you like to cook with.
Always Read The Label
Reading food labels is a very important part of ensuring that the food we are consuming is improving our health rather than jeopardizing it. Not only do food labels inform us of the nutritional values which can help us make choices that align with our health goals, they also let you know the exact ingredients that the product contains. Unfortunately, in this day and age, many of the packaged foods found at a supermarket have all kinds of additives and preservatives which are not good for us. A simple rule to follow: If you can’t pronounce it, put it back!
Experiment With New Products
We all have the foods that we prefer and those few dishes that we know how to cook perfectly, which is great. However, experimenting with new vegetables or ingredients that we don’t often incorporate into our go-to meals is a great way of ensuring that we maximise our nutrient intake. Incorporate a variety of foods to get the most amount of nutrients and help your body to thrive.
Abide By The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”
The dirty dozen and clean 15 refer to the level of pesticide contamination that fruit and vegetables are exposed to. Pesticides are toxic and have been linked to a variety of health issues, including cancer, hormonal imbalance, and brain toxicity.
Buying organic can be expensive and therefore not a viable option for everyone. That is why referring to the dirty dozen and clean 15 is a great way of minimising pesticide consumption whilst not blowing the budget.