The Guide to Grocery Shopping: How to Survive

We have all been there... You go to the grocery store for a few specific items, got a cart full of fruits and veggies, some egg whites, your protein and now it's time to make it back to the front of the store to the checkout line. Which aisle will you walk through to get there?! is it the cookie aisle? Or maybe the ice cream section just to take a little peek.

Let's be real here. For some people, food shopping can be an extremely daunting task. Some really enjoy doing it, and others not so much. Most of the time this is because of poor planning before you decide to enter yourself into the war zone. Self- control seems to be lost as soon as we are standing in the cookie aisle, face to face with those round, crème filled, circles of complete heaven that come out with a new flavor everyday of the week just to torture us! Not only are they milks favorite cookie, they are everyone's favorite cookie. Next time before you make that venture out to the food store, grab a piece of paper and write down a list of things you know you NEED - try not to include Oreos on that list!

Next, ask yourself this question... do you truly understand food? You are probably asking yourself what the heck is this girl even talking about, right? Well, with words like "fat free" and "low fat" all over the market these days, we automatically assume these things must be good for us because well, the product claims that it is. WRONG! This is the job of these companies unfortunately, to trick you (the consumers) into purchasing their so called 'healthy' product. If you really want to knowledge yourself on everything you are putting into your body, flip that bad boy over and try reading the list of ingredients. If most of those ingredients are words you cannot pronounce or contain more than about 5-7 things listed, put it back on the shelf and slowly step away.

Another thing, lets talk about the importance of geography and location when it comes to the grocery store. Geography? Sara, what the heck does that have to do with food shopping? Why are you talking about history? No guys, that's not what I'm talking about, bear with me for a second and just keep reading. The grocery store is laid out in the shape of a square, right? And most of what you really need can be found on the outer four walls of that square... think about it;

DAIRY (eggs, yogurt, milk)

PRODUCE (fruits and vegetables)

PROTEIN (chicken, turkey, fish)

You get the idea. These are all foods that your diet should include. Whole, nutritious, fresh, REAL foods. Remember, the less processed the better !

Everything that is inside of those four walls are all things that you can do without, all things that should be kept to a minimum in your diet. This includes your cereal, granola bars, sweets, soda, candy, all of the things that are highly processed and contain a much longer shelf life - which is why they are found in the center of the store. I'm not saying you should NEVER eat any of these things, they are just a lot less nutrient dense and much higher in carbs, sugars, fats and very high in preservatives. A good way to help you decide if something is processed or not... if it comes in a bag, can or a box you want to keep those items to a minimum. So, to really conquer the battle of food shopping, simply shop around all four corners of the store first. Get all of the necessities, once you have gathered all of your fresh foods go into the aisles incase there is anything you may have missed..like the peanut butter DUH!

Hope this helps. Happy shopping! 

 

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