Showing posts with label grocery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grocery. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

(Healthy) Grocery Shopping with Ease

It began with good intentions: your focus to eat right and move more for the new year/month/week. You had a goal, a plan to get there, and perhaps, the journey even started out promising. But then life/work/family obligations struck, and suddenly, going to the grocery store becomes a rushed task, and all attempts you made at better choices dwindles down to what is most time efficient not only to make, but to grab at the supermarket.

Man grocery shopping

The key to any healthier eating plan is consistency and planning, but what happens when the best laid plans fizzle in the face of life’s complications? It’s not as hopeless as it may seem. With some tweaking, you can design a healthy lifestyle, even under the toughest time crunches and demands.

Start with a simple (pre-assembled) grocery list. There are several smartphone apps that meet the criteria, if you love technology. You can create “favorite” lists, with your usual items listed each time you load it. From there, you can add in the items as you think of them. (Check out apps like AnyList and Grocery IQ.) If you prefer paper and pen, make a basic list with items you purchase each time, along with plenty of blanks to fill in, and make several copies. Hang them in a place where you and your family can jot down items for the list each week. If you have some recipes in mind, give them a quick glance and note the items you will need on your list.

Go grocery shopping with focus...and a time limit. When we start shopping with our health in mind, often new food choices can distract us. If you have time to browse, enjoy it! But when you are in a rush, the choices can be overwhelming. Instead, set aside the amount of time you have available and stick to your list. Avoid the temptation to wander down aisles with foods not on your list and stay on the perimeter of the store.

Keep things easy. When you have the time to make complicated recipes, take advantage of it. But when time is short and demands are intense, stick with tried and true recipes and easy combos. Try a slab of fresh fish and a green veggie, served over rice with lemon and butter. Grab some chicken thighs, wrap them with bacon, and bake, along with a baked sweet potato and a side salad. Frozen vegetables are fast, tasty side dish and retain most of their nutrients.

Don’t let best be the enemy of better. Every little change we make to eat and live healthier is a step in the right direction. Perhaps this week, you didn’t get to the store at all and ate out more than you wanted to. Or desire got the best of you and you finished the pan of brownies. Whatever it may be, keep moving forward and let the mistakes be what they are: momentary lapses. Embrace an 80/20 approach: 80% of what you buy is good food that your grandparents would recognize. And let 20% of your menu and life be the fun stuff that while not ideal, won’t hurt an overall healthy diet.

Changes in our lifestyle have to be sustainable for them to last! So rather than letting bumps along the path derail us, let’s embrace what we are changing, and let go of the rest. One step at a time, we will reclaim our health.

What are your top tips for grocery shopping when you don’t have much time? What are your favorite meals that are simple and quick to make?

Contributing Writer