Healthy Habits at the Grocery Store
In the week of resolutions, here are some common sense and new trends to try in the way of healthy eating.
First off, I am not going completely off my foodie rocker. I am trying to eat healthy and tasty for 6 days of the week and have a cheat day on Day 7. I will be posting a lot of healthy recipes over the next few weeks, but if you happen to see a bad one, you’ll know..
It was cheat day and just excuse me okay?
I used to be a truly healthy eater when Mr. Wonderful and I first met at the gym. I read a lot, researched a lot and came up with some pretty good tips to keep myself in check at the grocery store.
I think we all know not to go to the market when we’re ravenous right? Many a trip for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread has seen me exiting with a full cart. NOT GOOD!
Well, here are a few other tips I learned along the way. And I’m still learning…
#1 Buy local and organic. Not only do you support your local farmers and producers, but you’ll get a fresher product and by choosing organic products, you’ll be free of chemical additives. I used to scoff when the organic movement started. Now I bow to it. If you don’t believe me, do a Google search on Pesticides or Cancer Rates. It’ll make a believer out of you.
#2 Shop on the outside grocery aisles as a habit. Most of the overly processed foods reside in the inner aisles of a grocery store. Fresh produce, meats and dairy products are in the outer aisles and are best for you. Of course, there are exceptions like (sour cream and heavy cream), but use common sense. Yes this means more cooking, but it also means a lot more nutrition for your family so it’s worth it! It may take some time to wean little Johnny off his boxed mac & cheese, but make cooking a family event and make it fun! You can convert them (and yourself)!
#3 It’s okay to buy frozen. In a world of organic fresh food, some people just can’t pay the expensive price tag. Most nutritionists agree that buying frozen is the next best thing to fresh. I don’t like canned due to additives but I buy a lot of frozen veggies for our house.
#4 READ your labels!! Don’t think for a minute that just because something says “Light” or “fat-free” that it’s good for you! Many fat-free products use sugar to make up for taste, so be careful. If you don’t recognize a name for an ingredient on a label, chances are, it’s not good for you. I read somewhere that “light” on a label just might mean it’s lighter in color. That makes me wanna slap someone, but good!
#5 Buy cage free organic eggs. After receiving my (much desired for) Jamie at Home cookbook (from my son Conner) for Christmas by Jamie Oliver on cooking and gardening, and reading his chapter on free range vs. cooped up chickens, I was literally almost nauseous. He told of 5-6 chickens in a cage the size of a piece of paper…seriously. YUK!
His description of the faded combed, almost lifeless chickens he witnessed upon visiting a chicken factory made me vow to never again buy those eggs for my family. Again, don’t believe me? Buy a carton of free-range (or cage- free in better terms) organic eggs and one of regular eggs and look at the difference in the color of the yolks. Incidentally, if this applies to chicken, then it only seems we should also eat free range beef, etc. right?
#6 If weather is in season, visit your local farmer’s market or join an organic co-op.
This isn’t a “hippie” thing to do and truth be told, it’s the way it was done years ago, before we had a store on every corner. Again, supporting local producers that are producing good stuff is just the right thing to do…(Pssst…support restaurants that use them as well!) Make sure the food is not sprayed! Visit localharvest.org to learn more in your area.
#7 Don’t think I have all the answers! (Lord knows I don’t!) This is just a little I’ve learned along the food highway. Read, learn and take some time to research what you’re putting into your family’s mouths. I know I am going to.
It’s never too late to start a good habit for your children and you. Start one today!
Do you have any tips to offer on how you shop in a healthy manner? Please leave a comment below!