When we hear the term, “healthy eating”, what comes to mind? Does it seem expensive? Overwhelming? Difficult? All of the above?
It doesn’t have to be any of these things! There are many ways that we can learn to make healthy eating an easier and more viable option for ourselves:
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where most of your food should come from- the produce section, the meat and seafood section (if you eat meat/seafood), the bulk section (for things like beans, nuts, seeds, rice, and other whole-grain options), as well as dairy (for eggs, milk (dairy or non), etc.). The only things that you should really be looking for in the center aisles are healthy oils to cook with (such as olive or coconut), spices, and dried beans/grains/legumes (if there is not a bulk section available).
Look for specials. Many stores have sales promotions each week that you can take advantage of. Not only sales on fruits and veggies but also items that are shelf-stable, such as beans, wild rice, lentils, quinoa, etc. You can also stock up on products such as meat and seafood and freeze it for later.
Buy foods that will allow you to meal prep for a variety of flavor profiles. Bake some chicken breast, rice, and a vegetable ahead of time, and then portion it into containers and freeze each meal component. When it comes time for dinner, you pop them out of the freezer, add the flavor you want (such as Italian or Mexican style), and have a healthy dinner ready in minutes! You can easily have healthy chicken parmesan and tacos in the same week with minimal effort.
Buy in bulk. This is often less expensive per unit than buying small amounts of something. For example, if your family goes through a lot of fruit, you might see if the 5 pound pre-packed bag of apples is less expensive than buying individual ones. The same goes for frozen fruits and vegetables- they are already cut up and ready to go, and might even taste better because they are often flash-frozen at the peak of freshness before getting shipped to the store.
Shop on a full stomach. You’re less likely to make impulse buys when your brain and stomach are satiated. You’re also more likely to make healthier choices because you’re not fighting a low blood sugar while looking at a store full of food.
Ask for a sample before buying. More often than not, grocery stores are happy to let you try a new variety of produce they got in if you simply ask. That way, you’ll be able to decide whether or not you like something before spending money on something you may not otherwise eat.
Hold yourself accountable. You may sometimes pay more to keep healthier options in the house, but these choices add up! By investing the money now to treat yourself right, you are promoting disease prevention in the long run. How good will it feel to know that you’re fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and overweight/obesity (just to name a few)?
Schedule an introductory 30-minute consult with Theresa Mesler, our in-house nutritionist, for $25 to give yourself the chance to be a happier, healthier you! (regular price $30)