My Top Tips For Healthy Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping can be a very overwhelming process. There’s so many products out there on the market that makes it so much more difficult to know what to buy. I have suggested this simple steps that can make your trip a little more stress-free and have you leaving the store with healthy, wholesome choices.

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1. Read the ingredients label: Are you able to pronounce every ingredient on the label? If not, I’d stay away from it. There is so much added junk in foods that are not necessary. Try to avoid hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat!), artificial flavors (literally not real food), preservatives, and refined ingredients.
2. Check for added sugars:  It’s a shame that there are actually various names for sugar. Some of these ingredients can be harmful to the body, especially if they are consumed in large amounts. Common names to look out for are dextrose, (high fructose) corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, maltose, glucose, cane juice, corn sweetener, rice syrup, maltodextrin, etc. Again, if you can’t pronounce it or don’t even know what is it- it’s probably not the best to buy. Instead, try eating fresh berries, grapes, or even clementines! These fruits are so sweet and provide natural sugars that are good for you and provide fiber too!
3. Shop mainly the perimeter: This is where you’ll find all the fresh, least processed foods in the grocery store. There is where fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and breads will be and where most of your foods should be coming from. I say mainly, because sometimes you’ll need products found in the center of the store. I explain more in tip #6.
4. Have a plan: Think about what you want to make for the week. If you go without having a plan, you’ll end up wandering around aimlessly, overspending, and end up with way more food than you need. Prepare and gather recipes you’d like to enjoy for that week and make a list of the ingredients you’ll need for each recipe. This will make your life a whole lot easier and save you time shopping and $$!
5. Don’t go hungry: This is key and I can attest to this. If you go to the grocery store hungry, you will literally want everything and impulse buy foods you probably don’t need. When you eat before, it will help to avoid any temptations and cravings you may have when you get to the store.
6. Stock up on frozen/canned foods: Frozen and canned vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh. They are often overlooked, however, it’s nice to have these options when you run out of fresh produce. You’ll know they won’t go bad so quickly and therefore can be there for a back up! Just be sure to check for added sugars, salt, and other preservatives. Example: If you’re looking for frozen blueberries, the only ingredient listed should be blueberries.
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Thanks for reading! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below and share with fellow grocery shoppers! Hope this helps! 

Guide: Healthy Eating 101

Eat real food. I eat foods that are closest to their original form majority of the time. However, if I am buying prepackaged food, I always always read the ingredients on the back of the label. Just because something says “organic”, “low fat”, “zero calories”, or “gluten free” on the front of the food label, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. If there’s something you can’t pronounce in the ingredients list, it’s probably not the best option. I find this super important because a lot of food products being sold to consumers (us) contain unnecessary added sugars and preservatives that can be toxic to our health.

 

Balance is important. Healthy eating is a lifestyle, not a diet. You should not deprive yourself of certain foods so that you are eating only healthy foods all the time. That’s great, but not realistic. We are humans and can not sustain restriction for a long time. There will be occasions like weddings, birthdays, holidays, baby showers, etc. that will have tempting foods to eat there. Indulge! You deserve to. Indulging every once in a while will make you realize why you healthfully eat most of the time and will actually keep you on track.

 

Listen to your body. Whatever works for you might not work for someone else. We are all different and things will work differently for everyone.  Listen to your body to find what feels right and works best for you. Example, every time I eat something, I stay in tune with my body by listening and seeing how I feel. If “x” food makes me feel bad, I keep that in mind for next time but if “y” food makes me feel good, it will be something that sticks around in my “diet”. Be mindful and make note of what you’re eating because you’ll start to notice things and find ways to improve your “diet”.

*Note: Using the word “diet” above as the food consumed by a person*

 

Stop the dieting. I don’t like diets because 1. they’re restrictive and 2. they are not a sustainable way to live your life. They tell you when you should eat, what you should eat, and even how much. They also take away from your hunger and internal cues. If you are not enjoying what you are eating, it will not last. Diets don’t provide a variety of foods or personal food choices. This can cause lack of certain nutrients and under/overeating eating. Again, we are all different and there’s no “one diet” that will work for everyone.

 

 

 

 


How I Stay Motivated to Eat Healthy

  1. IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. I often think about the way I will feel after I eat something. I want food to make me feel good, not bad.
  2. MAKE HEALTHIER VERSIONS. I make a lot of healthier versions of foods if I get a craving for it. For example- if I’m craving pizza- I like to make my own flour crust or use a cauliflower crust at home and add a bunch of veggies to it. This always satisfies my craving. Another example is if I’m craving cookies or something else sweet- I usually find healthy dessert recipes from food accounts I follow on Instagram or Pinterest OR make something of my own. Also, there are so many companies that make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods that are seriously so good and good for you! I will share my favorite brands below. Yes, it can be pricey but it’s worth the price to me knowing that I’m putting nutritious ingredients in my body.
  3. HAVE FOOD FREEDOM. This circles back to number 2. Now, if I truly just want a decadent piece of chocolate cake or a greasy slice of pizza – I am going to eat it. I do not restrict myself from eating certain foods. When you have this mentality that you are not allowed to eat something- it’s draining on the body and unhealthy for you mentally/physically and you’ll actually end up eating way more than you should rather than just eating that one piece of pizza versus 20 other things you eat to satisfy that craving. Sometimes the cauliflower pizza crust just doesn’t cut it and that’s okay. However, I find when you eat healthfully most of the time, you don’t crave all those foods. I can tell you from experience, trust me.
  4. PREP FOOD BEFOREHAND. I like to have cut up fruits and veggies that are ready to be eaten in the fridge with no further prepping. Taking time to prep these on a day to be ready throughout the week will be helpful and keep you on track.
  5. TRY NEW FOODS. People often think healthy eating is boring when in fact it does not need to be at all! Try to find healthy recipes online or through cookbooks and make them! It’s so much more exciting because you’ll have something to look forward to and you’ll actually enjoy eating what you make.
  6. BRING FOOD WITH YOU BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE. If you know you’re going to be gone for awhile and won’t have access to healthful foods wherever you are- plan ahead! Prep things the night before and put them in a lunchbox or cooler to have ready to eat for when you do get hungry. In my hometown, there isn’t many healthy food places around, so I always bring snacks or a homemade smoothie with me whenever I leave the house for a long period of time. Plus it saves you $$. Snack ideas can be apple, banana, yogurt, granola, protein bars.

Favorites:

Ready to go baking mixes: Simple Mills

Lunchbox/cooler: Packit

Protein bars: Perfect Bar, Rxbars

** If you have any more questions about what I exactly eat in a day, other food product recommendations, or any other general questions – please do not hesitate to reach out! **

xoxo,

Stephanie