We all go to the grocery store, maybe more than we’d like to, but this week during one of your trips we want to put a little spin on it. Most trips involve going up and down each aisle, skimming the rows of products, thinking about what you need to make your meals for the week. This week we want you to go to the store with a purpose and a plan.
This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to make it a conscious choice to fill your cart with whole foods located on the perimeter of the grocery store. By sticking to the outside perimeter of the store where most of the fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy product, meats and less-than-five ingredient foods are located, you tackle 5 out of 6 food groups before entering the aisles! Often these foods contain the most nutrients and the least number of preservatives and added chemicals. Once you have made your way around the perimeter, it’s okay to go down the aisles. Starting off a trip to the store with a cart full of basic foods is a way to jump start your shopping adventure and to figure out what meals you want to prepare that week. We hope using this new method may spark healthy ideas for meals or help you discover a vegetable you’ve always wanted to try.
Helpful Tip! Check out what’s in season to make sure you’re getting the freshest options and the best out of your shopping trip. Here’s a link to a website where you can find what fruits and vegetables are in season where you live: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
Of course, healthy foods can also be found in the store aisles. Focus on items with less-than-5 ingredients, ones that aren’t as processed and contain less chemicals. You never know what awesome meals you could create with whole grain pastas, canned black beans, or even a bag of tortilla chips. Below are a few ways you can make sure you’re making healthy choices while strolling down the aisles:
Read the ingredients. Both the nutrition and ingredient labels can help you see what you’re really putting in your body. If many words you’re unable to pronounce, it’s likely those chemicals are not what will make your body happy.
Avoid pre-made meals. Instead of purchasing a meal to throw into the microwave, buy items to make the dish yourself.
Look down the freezer and canned goods aisles. If you need something to last a long time or something quick, you can find many healthy options here. Frozen vegetables for a side dish, frozen fruit for smoothies, canned beans or tomatoes for a taco salad. Just be sure to get them with no added salt!
Go last down the sugar-y sections. As tempting as they look, if you save the candy aisle for last, those jelly beans may not look as enticing as they once did since your cart contains natural sugars like strawberries or greek yogurt.
WARNING: Even though the outside of the store has all these delicious fresh foods, it doesn’t mean they’re all that way. They also use this section of the store to showcase on sale or new items, which don’t necessarily mean they fit into the healthiest foods’ category.