ShFit Talk #32 - Grocery Shopping Tips
Diet plays an important role when it comes to living a fit and healthy lifestyle and just as fitness is a common New Year's resolution, so is eating better. So today we are going to take some time to chat about some tips to help you next trip to the grocery story a little better. 1. Make a List: It may seem like such a drag but taking 15 - 20 minutes to plan out your dinners for the week and make a list of the items you need will save you time and money, because you won’t be wondering around the store aimlessly debating what you are going to want to eat in 3 days grabbing random crap off the shelves that will just end up sitting in your cupboard for weeks.
2. Shop in a Shoe Horn: Next time you head to the grocery store, shop around the perimeter where all the fresh fruit, veggies and meat are located. When you walk up and down the aisles you are more tempted to grab that bag of chips or pre-boxed meals. Those are packed with extra calories and additives that you don’t need. Not only won’t taste nearly as good as a home cooked meal, but you have no control over what's in it.
3. Nutrition Labels!: When you are wandering up and down the aisles, even if the package says “low fat” or “low carb” don’t take their marketing for granted. Flip that box over and look at the nutrition label on the back! Some of the Standard Certifications FDA-regulated products to keep your eye on are:
Total Fat: Less than 6.5 g
Cholesterol: 20 mg or less
Sodium: One of four sodium limits applies depending on the particular food category: up to 140 mg, 240 mg or 360 mg per label serving*, or 480 mg per label serving and per RACC*. See Sodium Limits by Category for details.
Beneficial Nutrients (naturally occurring): 10% or more of the Daily Value of 1 of 6 nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein or dietary fiber)
4. Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach: When you walk into the store hungry, you are going to be way more impulsive and grab those snacks that you wouldn’t have if you went on a full stomach
5. Buy Frozen & Canned: I used to think that frozen veggies didn’t have the same nutrients as fresh, but after my husband did some googling and a little I told you so I learnt that fruit and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and then flash frozen to preserve the nutrition! Now I don’t have to worry about my broccoli going bad and our freezer is full of frozen veggies that can last up to MONTHS not days. Same goes for canned goods, they won’t expire and you won’t waste money! Just be sure to look at the nutrition label, sometimes sodium or sugar is added.
6. Buy In Season: Sure we all love avocados but when they are not in season and they are $2 an avocado instead of $.99 maybe it is time to do a little exploration. Different seasons give you different delicious options.
Spring - Carrots, Peas, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Green Onions, etc.
Summer - Berries, Eggplant, Grapes, Melon, Stone Fruits, Tomatoes, Green Beans, etc
Fall - Apples, Squash, Pacers, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, etc
Winter - Bok Choy, Citrus Fruit, Broccoli, Leafy Greens, Cauliflower, etc
7. Set a Budget: Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice delicious foods. And healthy meals. You can visit more than one grocery shop to make sure you find the best deals, don’t just run to the corner store to pick up milk, cuz you know it is going to cost more there. Buy in bulk from places like Costcos ONLY when it makes sense and keep your eyes open for those BOGO deals, clip coupons, and save your left overs, turn them into tomorrow's lunch. Don’t waste your food! Delicious today can be delicious tomorrow!