Many people want to eat better, but are unaware of the importance of such a key –and common– step as buying food, which is NOT necessarily equal to ‘ buying healthy ‘. There are those who enter the supermarket with the intention of improving their diet, but succumb to cravings and marketing traps, filling the cart with food that is far from healthy.
Sometimes the most obvious is the most difficult to see, don’t you think? As shopping is such a basic step and one that we have all done at some time, we underestimate how key it is to developing healthy habits. But how can we eat better if the foundation on which these habits are built is not strong enough? Steve Jobs said: “the simple can be more difficult than the complex.” The success of making a healthy purchase will depend on your organization , because to reach the goal, you must be clear about the path. And to be clear about the path, you must keep in mind your real motivation to have a good diet.
Start your healthy shopping at the beginning: the menu
The menu will be the planning from which your action plan will start -like any work project-, and it is that a healthy diet is a whole life project! So it must be planned. And keep in mind that the ideal is that our meals provide proteins, fats, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. This is essential to check that the menu we plan is aligned with our goal of eating better.
Make your menus a rainbow: a Alternating foods, especially fruits and vegetables, will help you eat better by benefiting from the properties of each of them. Remember that not everyone contributes the same.
Take into consideration your routine and that of your family: on the days you go to the gym, when the children have a meeting or activity, if you or your children eat between meals, etc. All this will avoid last minute purchases.
Prefer water as the quintessential drink , and avoid taking juices . Opt for shakes and smoothies that take advantage of whole pieces of fruit, and not just the juice.
Make a menu of more than 7 days. P You can do it based on your purchase frequency (as long as it is greater than 7 days, of course). This will help you avoid repeating the same menu every Monday, or Tuesday, etc … The idea is not to get bored either!
Stick to the shopping list , do not open the door of your house to the enemy! This way you will avoid having those “unhealthy” foods on hand that take you away from your goal.
Make the shopping list
Once you check that your menu plan is focused on your goal, make a shopping list of the foods you will need. You can make it on paper or on your mobile, whichever is more comfortable for you, yes, do not throw it away or erase it because it will serve as a backup for the next purchases.
To save time, put together the list by food groups: vegetables, fruits, meats, etc. This will prevent you from jumping to one end of the list and the other, or having to return to the store for a product. Before continuing to build your list, check what you have in your pantry to avoid buying more than you need. Another important point is that you involve your children so that they are learning and acquiring healthy habits.
The healthy shopping race begins
Now, the execution! Defining your route may seem like an obvious step, but it is more strategic than you think. Remember that the marketing techniques used by supermarkets or manufacturers can mislead us .
Never shop when hungry – this helps guide you through the shopping list, not your stomach!
Plan to reach the goal: be clear about what you are going to buy in order to avoid going through the candy aisle, as well as avoiding falling into marketing strategies that push you to carry products you don’t need. No matter how good the offer is! For this, define your path.
Opt for fresh, local and seasonal products: this helps reduce global warming due to the carbon footprint . Take advantage of this step, and teach your children what are the seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Get out of the routine, try something new!: dare to try a vegetable or fruit that you do not know, or prepare it in new ways. I know we mentioned not leaving the shopping list, but adding a new fruit or vegetable never hurts.
Leave the frozen for last: it prevents it from losing the cold chain and its safety may be altered, as well as its organoleptic properties. That is why it is important that you already have an established route.
Read the labels: know what you buy
For you to eat in a healthy way, it is important that the products you buy are also healthy. To find out if you are choosing the best option, choose to read the tagging. Take the opportunity to teach your children to read it , this way they can have fun and at the same time buy healthier products.
One of the most relevant points for which special attention must be paid to labeling is that there are products that apparently do not contain sugar or sweeteners, but in practice they do. This is the case with cans of prepared sauces, such as tomato sauce, diet bars, bagged bread … Also, pay attention to expiration dates , so you will avoid buying a food soon to expire and you will avoid food waste.