Updated: Apr 11, 2020
Grocery stores... you may be team:
I LOVE GROCERY SHOPPING, or team
JUST DELIVER THEM TO MY HOUSE PLEASE!
Whichever team you may identify with, it is good to develop tools and skills, as well as some basic knowledge on how to navigate a grocery store.
My goal with this blog is to give you the perspectives, tools, and skills you need to navigate the grocery store like a boss.
My favorite phrase that I use CONTINUALLY, control the controllables… i.e what you put in your cart is what you CAN control. Time is so valuable. It's important to consider different options and ways to manage and maximize efficiency when it comes to grocery shopping and meal planning. There are now numerous services that have been created so that you don't even have to use mental bandwidth when it comes to meal planning and prepping. When you're in a time crunch, services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron can be a great resource to use if your life demands it.
Below, I will offer three of my go to tips that I use weekly to navigate the grocery store:
1. Grocery Store Layouts:
You may have heard of "shopping the perimeter” of the grocery store. This means the outer edges. Essentially the edges of the store making a square or rectangle, in the store. The items that live in this square are fresh produce, meats, fish, eggs, primarily whole, minimally processed foods. What does it mean to be “minimally processed”? Well, this refers to the manufacturing process that food goes through in order to be brought from farms to our stores/tables. The outer perimeter foods have not been heavily processed (pumped with chemicals, artificial flavors/colors, etc.) in order to prolong shelf life and provide added taste. They are as close to the state they were in on the farm with some minor exceptions. Keeping the majority of your shopping trip located on the perimeter is a great goal to set prior to grocery shopping.
2. Navigating the Aisles:
It is inevitable to shop the aisles, whether you need oils for cooking, spices, or are just being a human being and want something to snack on. The key to the aisles is reading your nutrition labels, starting with the ingredient list. Fun fact, the order in which the ingredients are listed are based on the amount of that ingredient that is in the product. For example, if cane sugar is listed first, the food you are consuming is predominately sugar, and whichever ingredients are listed next is the second and third most predominant ingredient, and so on. This is a great way to start becoming aware of what is exactly in your food. Most likely, if it has a bunch of words that don’t make sense to you or you cannot even attempt to pronounce, they are most likely NOT good for you. These foods have undergone a lot of processing in order for it not only for it's shelf life to be longer, but also make it taste SO GOOD! Here is where you put awareness into action. You have the power to choose what goes in your cart. You can start to make swaps and healthy alternatives once you understand what the ingredients are in the foods that you eat.
3. The Power of the List:
Going to the grocery store hungry or without a plan = recipe for disaster. When my stomach is growling and I am HANGRY, my self-control goes out the window. I start grabbing things that are quick, easy, and have minimal thought. Going into the store with a list is a way of being accountable to sticking to your goals. Also, side note, having a list helps you keep a budget versus blowing the bank by aimlessly grabbing what you think you may need. Taking the 5-10 minutes prior to your trip to take inventory of kitchen and write down what it is you need helps ease the stress while in the store and gives you more confidence in your ability to grocery shop.
Try implementing one or all three of these tips into your next grocery trip. See what challenges you may still face, or what became a little easier for you. The best thing you can do is try something on. Maybe this helps tremendously and makes grocery shopping less stressful, or maybe it confirms you like it to be done for you. Either way, having an open mind and understanding how to navigate a grocery store is something that pays off dividends when it comes to your nutrition goals.
It starts in the kitchen my friends.
For additional coaching inquiries, or to set up a consult call with me click here. Lots of love always, Coach Megan