Quick Shopping Guide
By: Lisa Andrews
10 Ideas for A Quick Healthy Shopping Experience
I have to admit; I’ve never been a fan of the advice to “shop only around the perimeter of the store”. I get it- the produce, dairy and meat departments are in the perimeter, but is that the only healthy food in the store? I think NOT! Isn’t the bakery along that perimeter? And, how about that deli that is a part of the perimeter selling bologna? These foods are fine in moderation, but you’re missing a good portion of healthy relatively inexpensive food if you only shop the perimeter.
Get in the center of the store and shop! If we really want to eat cleaner this year, take this advice: Keep It Simple.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy shopping the whole store:
Buy it fresh. Buy meat, fish and poultry that’s in its original state- not breaded, shaped, chopped or formed (READ chicken nuggets). Choose organic meat and poultry without the addition of antibiotics or hormones. By law, pork and poultry cannot be treated with growth hormones, but may be pumped full of salt solution, so check the label closely.
Choose whole grains like bulgur, 100% whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal. These are much higher in fiber than their enriched counterparts. Buy them in their original form without the salty seasonings, added sugar and sauces.
Buy seasonal fruit. Seasonal fruit will be the most abundant and cheapest in the produce dept. Look for apples, pears, and citrus in fall and winter and melon, berries and stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums) in spring and summer.
Stock up on frozen vegetables. Not only are frozen veggies cheap, they are easily cooked in a microwave and can be added to recipes like soup, casseroles and chili to boost flavor, texture and nutritional content. Fresh frozen preserves most if not all of the nutrients that a vegetable has when freshly harvested.
Go for less (ingredients that is). Choose natural peanut butter made with just nuts and salt. Buy full fat dairy products that are free of carrageenan and cornstarch. Less is best when it comes to additives and preservatives.
Buy organic when it matters. Organic apples or strawberries make sense as they contain less pesticide. Organic milk and meat won’t be treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. But organic bananas or wheat bread? Likely not worth your money.
Buy less packaged food. Find a soup or pasta recipe online instead of buying canned soup or boxed grain mixes. You have more control over the seasonings and can take pride in making the dish yourself.
Keep canned beans on hand for simple meals like beans and rice, bean burritos or bean soup. Rinsing beans in a colander reduces the salt content by 30%.
Store produce where you can see it. Keep peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and onions on your counter where you can see them, cook them and eat them. Store lettuce in the frig, but not in the crisper where it’s likely to be forgotten- then rotten.
The whole store provides more options and a more enjoyable shopping experience—Try it!