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A healthy diet begins with what you put in your shopping cart.

The seven most important FULLfoods “Shopping Simplified” tips:

When shopping local isn’t possible, it’s important to be intentional while grocery shopping at large chain stores.

Tip #1: Plan out at least three meals to prepare for the week. When you plan out meals, you are less likely to divert to eating un-FULL foods out of desperation. This also helps you create a list to take along when grocery shopping.

Tip #2: Make a list before you leave for the store. The easiest way to get sidetracked and end up with a basket full of unwanted or unnecessary items is by not taking a list along. Taking time to create a list makes shopping much easier and allows you to stay focused on what you actually need, not what looks good at the moment. Keep a notepad in your kitchen. Whenever you are running low on something, write it on the list!

Tip #3: Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach. This may sound silly but there’s legitimacy to it. When you grocery shop hungry, you are much more likely to make poor food choices. So, eat a healthy snack before shopping if necessary; just don’t go with an empty tummy.

Tip #4: Stick to shopping the perimeter of the store. The perimeter of a grocery store typically consists of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and dairy. Most of your shopping should be done here!

Tip #5: Avoid the inner aisles as much as possible. The inner aisles tend to be stocked with foods that come in packages, bags, bottles and cans. These items are typically highly processed, with lots of corn and soy byproducts. Avoid shopping these aisles as much as possible. Whenever choosing a food from an inner aisle, be sure to check the ingredients listed!

Tip #6: Don’t just browse. Browsing the aisles can tempt you into making poor decisions. Don’t put yourself in that position; stick to the outer aisles and shop from your food list. This is especially important when you are just beginning to shop for FULLfoods.

Tip #7: Look high and low. Most eye-level shelves are filled with big name brands and their highly processed foods. Typically, the products from smaller companies with simpler and healthier ingredients are hidden up high or down low on the shelves we tend to overlook. So, remember to look high and low when it comes to those inner aisles. You may be surprised by the difference in the quality of ingredients in the places we tend to forget.

Action Steps

  1. Keep a pad of paper in your kitchen and make a grocery shopping list.
  2. Plan three meals to prepare weekly.
  3. When shopping the inner aisles, check the shelves that are high and low rather than just eye level.
  4. Ask yourself each week, “Did I purchase foods that follow the FULL way of eating?”
  5. Ask yourself each week, “If shopping today seemed difficult, how could I make my next trip smoother?”