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Healthy Choices Start at the Grocery Store: Part Two

I recently wrote about why grocery shopping being the key to having healthy food at home. Today I’m going to talk to you about how to grocery shop in a way that supports your health goals.

All we want is food that tastes good with time to prepare it, and making the right choices at the grocery store is the key to your success. What you buy there sets the stage for how you’ll eat the entire week, so here’s how you can ensure the very best grocery store to mouth experience.

  1. Commit to grocery shopping the same day and time each week. If you’ve gotten in the habit of eating out quite a bit and only hitting the grocery store when you run out of coffee or sponges, no wonder your house isn’t stocked with the foods that will help you achieve your goals! Time to start making it a regular thing.
  2. Buy food that you actually want to eat. Don’t buy foods that you think you “should” be eating but don’t really like. They’ll rot in your vegetable drawer and end up making you feeling guilty and possibly disgusted, because by the time you remember they’re there they’ll have turned to Unspecified Grey Goop.
  3. Buy food that supports your health goals. Like I talked about in my previous article, if you want to snack healthy or have a healthy dinner, ya gotta actually have the healthy food in the house.
  4. Don’t buy food that doesn’t support your health goals. Sure, it’s fine to have a treat sometimes, but why not take the whole family out for ice cream or bring home a fancy dessert from a restaurant instead of keeping a 36-pack of brownies in the cupboard? If your house is stocked with all the stuff you don’t want to be eating, you’re going to eat it—it’s human nature!
  5. Buy food that you’ll actually prepare. If you’ve never deboned a chicken or heard of turmeric, maybe you don’t want to plan to make an Indian dish with 37 ingredients on a Wednesday night after work. Buy ingredients and prepare meals that match your level of kitchen finesse and amount of free time. Pre-chopped veggies, steam-able frozen veggies, pre-chopped fruits, prepared meats (like rotisserie chicken), etc. are fine if you don’t have the time or inclination for cooking from scratch.
  6. Buy enough! If you run out of healthy snacks or fruit or salad makings half way through the week, you might be tempted to get takeout or go out to eat at a less-than-healthy restaurant. If you’re worried fresh produce will go bad, buy some frozen fruits and veggies, and maybe a frozen meal or two (check the ingredients for added sugars and a ton of sodium, though!).
  7. Get your family on board to create a special cupboard space for food you don’t want to eat. Sometimes spouses don’t want to make changes to their diets, and asking them to remove their beef jerky collection would be grounds for divorce. Create one special space that’s strictly for their stuff, and pledge to keep your hands off anything inside. Make the commitment, stick to it, and eat only the healthy foods you’ve purchased.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.