30 Aug Shopping for Healthy Food made Easy.

You don’t have to shop at the organic food markets, the health-food store or expensive gourmet delis to eat well. There is plenty of variety and healthy food options at your local supermarket. A healthy diet doesn’t need to be complicated or hard. Good quality fresh food is easy to prepare once you learn how, and I believe, with some preparation and some shopping savvy, you can be on the right track to healthy, nourishing food that can be prepared quickly and easily.

Many of my clients are time-poor and the uninspiring weekly food-shop quite easily falls to the bottom of their to-do list. Food is not thought out, meals are not properly prepared, pantries and fridges are not well stocked and so food choice and meal selections end up being whatever is quick and easy…food on the fly! Good nutrition starts with smart choices at the supermarket. The key to success is a well-stocked kitchen, which allows you to whip up a meal on even the busiest of days.

Here are some of my top tips of how to do a healthy grocery shop and be in and out in 30 minutes.

Make a list.
Prepare your shopping list with items that make up your meal plans and stick to it. There is nothing worse than coming home with a couple of missed items. Keep a list handy to jot down any used products that need replacing during the week.

Don’t shop hungry.
Hitting the supermarket hungry is a catastrophe waiting to happen so eat a meal or grab a healthy snack just before. When you’re hungry, there’s a good chance you’ll buy more food than you need. Don’t be tempted by the treats at the checkout. They’re just extra calories you don’t need.

Stick to the outside.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Avoid the centre aisles where junk foods lurk. Most people need to eat more fruits and vegetables, so start in the produce section of the store. Load up on fresh produce. Choose a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables.

Know when to buy organic.
It’s wise to eat organic where possible but it’s a good idea to get clued on ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘The Clean Fifteen.’ It’s a guide put together by the Environmental Working Group to help consumers know when they should buy organic and when it is unnecessary.

Dirty Dozen – 12 Most Contaminated

The Dirty Dozen 
Apples
Celery
Sweet bell peppers
Peaches
Strawberries
Nectarines
Grapes
Spinach
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Blueberries
Potatoes

The Clean 15 – 15 Least Contaminated
Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Mushrooms

These lists are based on the amount of pesticide residue remaining on fruit and vegetables after they have been washed.  For foods listed on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ – definitely best to choose organic.

Know how to read food labels.
There’s so much information on food packaging that it can be totally confusing. Knowing how to read and interpret labels is your biggest ally in fighting the marketing food claims. Forget what the cartoon, health food claims or jargon says on the front, there are seriously loopholes everywhere and the consumers best interests are not at heart. When you find a packaged food in the supermarket with a long list of ingredients on the label, just put it back on the shelf and look for a simpler version of the food.

Know what the serving size is and the amount of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates per serving. If a bag contains 2 servings and you eat the whole bag, you will need to multiply the amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrate by 2. Knowledge is power.

Look for high-quality meat, seafood, and poultry.
The colour is not the best indicator of freshness, so follow your nose. Meats and seafood should smell fresh and clean.

Don’t forget the calcium.
Dairy products will provide your family with calcium. If you don’t want milk, then look for other calcium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables or dairy alternatives.

Choose healthier grains.
Bread, rice, and cereals are a staple in most people’s diets. Choose whole grains whenever possible. At least half your grains should be whole grains; that means things like whole wheat bread and pasta, tortillas, oatmeal, popcorn, whole grain cereal and brown rice.

With a little guidance, healthy choices are easy to find in any supermarket. I offer ‘Healthy Food Shopping Tours,’ so if you are confused on what to  buy, how to interpret food labels and what options are best, let me help you identify healthy choices for yourself and your family. Take back control of your health. http://www.chasingsunrise.com.au/contact/

 

 

 

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