Food Shopping, love it or hate it we just can’t avoid it
Entering in to a supermarket without a plan and a list is the best way to over spend and get home with lots of brightly coloured boxes and packets, lots of inviting sugary snacks and nothing to make a meal with
All of this is further compounded when you add in a child or two or three, not having eaten before shopping so you are hungry and everything looks inviting, have no idea of what you are planning to feed the family today never mind the next few days and you are in a rush to get to school to collect the rest of the brood
Have you ever stopped to take a good look at the way a supermarket is presented.
Which products are at eye level, the displays of brightly coloured boxes, the kids characters dancing on the front of cereal boxes, the happy, organised mom serving another boxed delight to her happy smiling family and of course the chocolates at the check out
None of this is accidental. There are items the manufacturers want you to buy more of this week, there are companies who pay to have their products at eye level, the stands at the end of the isle are not accidentally stacked with crisps and chocolate biscuits
Without a suit of armour, you have little chance of coming out unscathed, carrying six bags of stuff when you only went in for milk and eggs and wondering how that quick shop just cost you over $100!
So how we can protect ourselves?
Let’s begin by planning a flexible menu for the week
Flexible menus have definite meals for those nights when you know you are going to be home, quick prepared or prepared and frozen meals for those nights when you know you will be in a rush and surprise meals for when something unexpected happens
Take yourself 20 mins with your cook books or google, and plan 4-5 days of meals that can be made and frozen, meals that can be made with minimum fuss and in little time and meals that can be adapted into something else should the need arise
Take a look at where you are actually shopping.
Supermarkets, as said earlier, are designed to make you buy more which could move you away from your goals and into the danger zone, so think where else you could shop.
Try local shops such as your local fruit and veg store, are there food markets close by, check out online home delivery or try online supermarket shopping which completely removes temptation
What to Buy
Go for quality over quantity – you do not need great big slabs of meat in your meal, and try to buy free range where possible
Ask the experts, your local butcher or fishmonger, for the best option to buy
Eggs, protein rich powerhouses, can be used to make so many different meals and snacks, please do not buy cage eggs always go for organic free range
Source the best place to buy nuts with the best value for money, buy in bulk and store in sealed containers – awesome way to boost the protein in your diet
Experiment with alternative protein sources such as beans, lentils, tofu
Butter over margarine if you need to use it – less saturated fat
Avoid sweetened yoghurt, go for organic Greek, natural or dairy free and add your own fruit
Fruit and vegetables
Just buy more, try a new thing every week, eat rainbows. For general health and well being plus avoiding or healing from chronic disease, a diet of unprocessed, whole and plant based food is none negotiable
Buy frozen if availability is low or cost of fresh is too high. Frozen fruit and veg are nutritious as the product is frozen at its peak
Use herbs and spices as much as possible to add flavour instead of adding salt or using sugar laden sauces
Go for wholemeal where ever possible with pasta, flour, noodles etc and wholegrain for breads
Breakfast cereals in a lot of cases are loaded with sugar, even if they do scream added vitamins and minerals at you. Find a substitute – oats are an amazing food to fill your body with and have outstanding health benefits, do avoid the flavoured varieties as once again they have managed to sneak plenty of sugar in, also the quick cook sachets are more highly processed so buy straight oats, they are cheaper and still cook in the same time
Avoid refined and added sugar as much as you can
Honey – organic or manuka make a fantastic substitute for sugar and provide awesome nutritional benefits
Keep out of the fizzy/lifestyle drinks isle, they have no nutritional benefits at all and in some cases, may be detrimental to your health
Keys to successful shopping for a healthier lifestyle
- Be prepared, always arm yourself with a list and only go along isles that you need to.
- Source you best local suppliers both for quality and cost
- Don’t be drawn in by the hype, colours and displays
- Buy fresh not processed as much as possible
- Buy something different from the fresh produce isle every week, have bags full of colour
- Swap out some of the animal protein for alternatives such as beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, tofu
- Don’t fall for the buy 1 get 1 at half price ploy, if you only need one just buy 1, it’s only a bargain if you need it!
- Always eat before shopping that way you don’t get so easily tempted
- If possible shop when you don’t have the kids with you so you can stay focused
(some of the above info was sourced from Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Superfoods cook book, which by the way has amazing recipes and heaps of great info – go get yourself a copy)