Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming task, simply because they are too many choices. When it comes to shopping I tell my clients to keep things simple. If it’s got a barcode or a ‘promise’, don’t buy it. Healthy, real, whole food doesn’t need to sell itself. Avocados don’t have ‘heart healthy’ on the packet, do they?
There is a reason why many of us shop mindlessly and eat this way too.
You see food manufacturers and supermarkets have been hijacking our food choices for years. They are designed by very clever people who want you to spend more money, so they arrange the aisles and displays in such a way to seduce you to want more. Every display is geared towards getting you to spend more money – usually on processed foods.
They also employ a tactic to making you want to eat more of their product. With promises on the packaging and a cocktail of salt, sugar and additives in the ingredients they lure us into a false sense of security and quite frankly have stolen our taste buds and our connection with our food choices.
Healthy eating always begins in the grocery. Cooking up healthy meals is a challenge if you don’t have the right ingredients in your kitchen. But who has time to read ALL the food labels of everything you buy and figure out which items are the most nutritious and the best buys? I don’t and YOU probably neither. But with a little guidance – healthier choices can be easier to find with these tips:
Never ever go grocery shopping when you are hungry
Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. You WILL end up buying something not-so-good-for-you if you go hungry. I know what I’m talking about and I’m sure you do to. Pizza always sounds like a good idea when you’re starving but clearly it’s not. Have a little snack beforehand if you need to, but do not go on an empty stomach.
Always have a list – and stick to it!
First, having a list saves you lots of time. Less time at the store = more time for you to do what you! If you don’t have a list, you are more likely to pick up unhealthy items because they will look extremely tempting.
Beware of products marketed as “healthy” or “natural”
Clean eating is pretty popular these days and we see more and more “healthy” products flooding supermarkets’ aisles. It’s great because it means more wholesome food is readily available and it’s becoming easier to eat healthy.
However, this comes with a downside. Just because products claim to be healthy doesn’t mean they actually are, and that’s when it gets tricky. There’s no regulation when it comes to calling products “healthy” or “natural” so food manufacturers can pretty much do what they want. How many of you pick up a cereal bar that contains 50 grams of sugar containing oats and Chia seeds and think it’s healthy!
Hmmm not really!!
Remember that it’s all about marketing and that just because it’s located in the “health” section of your store (or even if in a health food store itself), doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you.
So how do you make good choices?
Always read the labels: if it has more than 5 ingredients total, added sugar or if you can’t pronounce all of the ingredients, don’t buy it. As simple as that.
Avoid processed food at all cost: buy real, unprocessed food and keep it simple. Think veggies, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, grains, spices and healthy fats.
To help you navigate the maze of your grocery store, I’ve put together a clean eating shopping list that you can print and take with you at your next trip to the store. Save it to your phone or email it to yourself so you always have it handy!
Find our downloadable shopping list on our Home page!