There's no better way to start gearing up for Spring than with a renewed commitment to your health!
It is easy to think we need to change ALL of our poor health habits, ALL at once, in order to achieve success.. but how about we change our definition of success? Let’s achieve small successes, over time. Breaking down health goals into small, manageable steps can make lasting behavior change a reality!
Let’s Start with Nutrition
How many of you plan meals and grocery lists ahead of time in order to prepare for each week? How many of us just wing it? Whether you are a planner or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser, we can all appreciate some reminders about making healthy choices in the grocery store.
Grocery Shopping 101: Tips to Help You Manage the Market
Read through the tips below and choose one or two. Focus on these healthy habits for this month. Next month, add a few more to your nutritional toolbox. Before you know it, these small changes will become new habits and you will be one step closer to a healthier you!
1. Shop the Perimeter
Typically, the produce section and the meat counter outline the grocery store. Spend most of your time in these sections and only purchase a few select items from the center aisles, which usually contain highly processed and less healthy options.
2. Purchase In-Season Produce
Not only are fruits and vegetables at peak quality and ripeness during these times, but they are also typically lower in price than at other times throughout the year.
3. Reach for Green
Iceberg lettuce, although inexpensive, does not contain much nutritional value. Try replacing it with leafy greens like spinach, kale, or leaf lettuce. The darker the color, the more nutrient rich!
4. Shop for Whole Wheat
When shopping for bread, look for options with the first ingredient on the list “whole wheat.” This ensures the bread is packed with nutrients and fiber.
5. Read the Nutrition Facts
Look for the Percent Daily Value (DV) on the Nutrition Facts label and use these values as a guide when making purchasing choices. 5% or less of a nutrient is considered low, 20% or more of a nutrient is considered high.
6. Pack on the Protein
Legumes, including peas and lentils, and grains like quinoa are great non-meat sources of protein. Fill your cart with these nutrient-packed products.
7. Look for Low Sodium
When buying canned goods, look for low-sodium labels on canned vegetables. Search for fruits canned in fruit juice or with no added sugar.
8. Don't Forget the Fish
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of healthy unsaturated fats. Aim to incorporate 2-3 servings of fish per week into your diet.
9. Bulk Up
Items sold in bulk often have a better unit price than selecting individual pieces. Create a meal plan which allows you to purchase a select few items in bulk like chicken or brown rice.
10. Check out the Freezer Aisle
When fruits or vegetables are out of season, purchase frozen products without sacrificing nutrient levels. Make sure to read the nutrition facts label to ensure you are buying products free from additives.