To compliment my fitness certifications, I recently decided to add a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant certification to my resume. I am so glad I did because I’ve learned so much about nutrition and wellness and I think there are some really great things I can share with you!
One thing I hear all the time is that eating healthy is so much more expensive than eating less healthy. Let me tell you, that is just untrue! You can definitely eat healthy on a budget and, in fact, you can even save money just by choosing healthier options. The trick is to know how to approach the supermarket and not get sucked into the gimmicks. Often there are products on the market that purport to be healthy when either they aren’t that healthy for you or they are but you pay so much more than you need to for a healthy option. I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to know how to shop for nutritious food.
Use a list! This is my number one rule for everyone. Make a list and stick to it. You won’t be tempted to veer off your healthy eating goals if you strictly follow your list. Plus, you’ll save money by not buying unnecessary items.
Meal plan in advance. Hand-in-hand with a list is meal planning. Your list will be so easy to write if you already have a good idea of all the healthy meals you plan to make. Spend a few minutes mapping out what meals you like and then write down all the ingredients. Check out some of my favorite healthy recipes here or make an investment in yourself and stick to my Clean Eating Plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks included!).
Buy local and in-season food. These foods tend to be less expensive because you don’t have to pay for high shipping costs from faraway places and they are easily grown close by.
Look at the ingredients and nutrition panel on foods. Don’t rely on marketing claims alone. Compare total calories, fat, sodium and sugar in all packaged foods.
Try to buy only the amount that you will need for yourself or family. Look at “use by” and “sell by dates” to avoid wasting food.
Try to stay in the perimeter of the grocery store. The freshest and healthiest foods tend to be along the outside perimeters while the more packaged and processed foods are usually in the aisles. Sticking to the produce, dairy and meat and seafood sections helps you stick with your goals. In the aisles look for whole grains like rice and quinoa, whole wheat breads and pastas, beans and legumes and healthier condiments like salsa and sriracha.
Pick healthy staples. Having healthy options on hand will get you through a pinch and avoid the takeout fiasco. Here are some good suggestions: fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheeses; olive oil; eggs; whole-grain breads; low-fat flour tortillas; plain cereals and oatmeal; whole-grain rice and pasta; fresh, frozen or canned fruits packed in juice; fresh or frozen vegetables; dried or canned beans or peas; skinless chicken breast; fish; lean beef or pork.
Yes to all of this! I always go food shopping with a list and a plan – otherwise I wander around aimlessly, and come home with all sorts of random stuff.. then a few days later I think, “What dinners can I make this week??”