Guilderland, NY – If you are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, grocery shopping can be a very daunting task. So many options… So many temptations… How can you resist the urge to buy impulsively when the most direct route to grab a gallon of milk is through the center aisles of sweet and salty snacks? Personally, the candy and chocolate lure me in at the checkout counter. Implementing shopping and meal planning strategies, learning how to navigate the grocery store, and taking the time to stock your fridge and pantry will help you stick to your goal to maintain a healthy diet.
Between work, school, taking children to extra-curricular activities, we all live very busy lives. On the weekends or your days off, set aside some time to plan your meals for the week. It helps to know what produce is in season, so you can plan your meal around what is freshest, and likely on sale that week. Fruits and veggies that are in season will taste better because they have not been shipped in from across the country. Make a menu, and plan your grocery list.
List in hand; it’s time to shop. Supermarkets typically have a similar layout. As soon as you enter, you see the produce section and fresh flowers; these items are enticing to customers and draw them in. The fresh foods (meat, fish, dairy and produce) are always on the perimeter of the store. Try to do the majority of your shopping in these sections. Limit the amount of items in your cart from the center aisles.
Ask the butcher or fishmonger about what is on sale, and what is local and fresh. Fresh fish that has been frozen is also a good choice because you know it will be fresh once you defrost it. Also, remember to check expiration dates on dairy products: the oldest products get pushed to the front of the display.
The center aisles are inundated with packaged products. Follow these rules when shopping the center aisles:
- Avoid products with ingredients that you can’t pronounce or are not familiar with
- Avoid products that have more than five ingredients listed
- Be cautious of products with health claims, or words like “fortified” on the label. If the packaging has to convince you the product is healthy… likely it is not the best choice.
- Check the fiber content of foods: aim for at least 5 grams
- Stock up on necessities like olive oil, almonds, nuts, canned/dried beans, brown rice, quinoa, and low sodium chicken, beef or vegetable stock when on sale
- Buy spices in bulk
Taking the time to plan your meals around what is fresh, local, and in season, sticking to your grocery list, being a savvy shopper, and prepping your food when you have extra time will help you and your family eat healthier without breaking the bank. As always, if you have any questions about this article, please feel free to contact us at the Sports & Spinal Wellness Center at 518-869-3415. Please visit our website for more information at www.sportsanadspinalwellness.com. We would be happy to be a part of your health care team.
Dr. Amanda Boccio is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic by the University of the State of New York Education Department. She graduated with honors from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY, where she earned her both her Chiropractic and Masters of Applied Clinical Nutrition degrees in 2013. She also holds an Advanced Certificate in Sports Science & Human Performance.
As a Guilderland native, Dr. Boccio is proud to be back in the Capital District to serve her hometown community. In her free time, she enjoys long distance running, being outdoors, cooking and baking, as well as spending quality time with friends and family.