Improving your health, means bettering your habits: how you move, how you handle stress, how you eat, and even how you SHOP!
You have heard it a million times…you ARE what you eat! Your cells, the building blocks of life, are made-up of whatever you are putting in your mouth. Literally, the integrity of your biology depends on the quality of your food. What you eat is a really big deal.
Listen, I get it…
You’re busy and tired and stressed AND you want to reclaim your health and feel better! You want to have more energy to do all of the things you love and you want to rock those jeans that have been hiding in the back of the closet since the close of the last century.
Bottom line…you want to DO better at taking care of yourself IF you could just simplify what you need to do and actually to it. And that, my friend, is why this has landed in your inbox. I am here to help you.
You have to eat. Which means you have to shop. I know you aren’t trying to get healthy by eating out 3 meals a day/7 days a week, right? RIGHT?!!
Below I have outlined 7 easy, breezy steps you can take right now to ensure that the pretty pennies you spend at the grocery store turn into the best health care plan you could ever pay into.
#1 Remind Yourself You Have a Choice
The choice is this: you can continue to pay into the PROBLEM, or you can support the SOLUTION.
Obesity, heart disease, diabetes (and a slew of other maladies) are all on the rise and there is no question that those problems are directly linked to the food that we are consuming.
Most of the food in the grocery store is NOT food. It is man-made, chemical-laden garbage that your body doesn’t recognize and has no idea what to do with. A diet saturated with processed foods sends your hormonal system into a tailspin that can cause you to be overweight, inflamed, depressed, highly reactive and just generally feeling crappy.
By continuing to spend your money on food that is not food, you support the companies who are responsible for corrupting our food system and, ultimately, our health. And, you not only pay into the problem, you become part of it as your health deteriorates.
By spending your money on foods that serve your health (unprocessed) and the planet (organic, sustainably farmed, preferably grown in the country you reside in), you become one less victim to the horrifying health statistics, you lead by example and you support the companies that ARE producing nutrient rich whole foods in a way that protects our gorgeous mother earth.
#2 Eat Before You Go
You are setting yourself up for certain failure if you head to the grocery store hungry. Don’t do it.
Grab an apple on the way out the door, a handful of almonds, some carrots….SOMETHING! In fact, keep healthy snacks in your purse always (like raw nuts) to avoid this ever being an issue.
If you are trying to improve your health, you want to walk into the store with the ability to make decisions based on clear thinking not stomach pains!
Pre-deciding can save your butt (literally). Sure it takes time, but I can assure you that losing the fat you gain from NOT doing it takes a lot longer.
People on average make something like 35,000 decisions in a day. We suffer from decision fatigue in a massive way! Add work stress and life stress on top of having to make all of those decisions and it is a wonder that we are able to make decisions at the grocery store at all!
– Review some recipes before you head out to be sure you have the ingredients you will need to keep things creative and fun in the kitchen (there is no reason to be bored with your food just because you made a commitment to get healthy).
– Write out a shopping list before you go.
– Toss recyclable bags in your car that you use to carry your goods out of the store. This is a no brainer. A very simple thing you can do that reduces waste.
#4 Park at the EDGE
There are actually studies that show leaner individuals tend to twitch, scratch, and just move their bodies more during the day than people who are overweight.
Move MORE. Park your car at the edge of the parking lot and take the opportunity to enjoy the minute or two it will take you to walk into the store…breath deeply as you go, and repeat this:
“I am a healthy, vibrant person who has a lot to contribute the world. I make excellent choices when I shop that serve my health and my ability to share my gifts fully.”
Even if you don’t believe that statement…keep trying it on until it fits!
#5 Try to Refrain from Going “In”
Concentrate your shopping efforts on the periphery of the store. That is where the whole foods live: produce, meat, eggs and raw nuts …the things that your body will actually recognize as food.
You still have to be a savvy shopper on the periphery; read labels, know where your food is coming from, choose organic whenever possible, and make sure you are buying protein sources that are labeled free range, grass fed, hormone free, whenever possible.
The interior of the store is where most (NOT ALL) of the processed goods are stocked, and you just simply need to spend less time there… a LOT less!
Look, things aren’t going to change overnight. You are going to find yourself going into the center aisles (out of habit not need), but the more you read labels, and educate yourself about what those ingredients are that you can’t pronounce, and how your body feels a day or two after ingesting them, you will find yourself going “in” less and less frequently.
#6 Shop Often
Real food doesn’t last long, meaning it does not have a long shelf life. It is not loaded with preservatives and it won’t “keep” for more than a few days.
You should be shopping OFTEN. Personally, I go daily.
One of the grocers recently commented that if they were to give out awards for the most frequent shopper, I would be surely get it. They should give out that award, and I would be honored to receive it!
Build your shop into your daily routine. Because you are only stopping for a few items, it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to walk in (from the edge of the lot, of course) and get what you need.
#7 Double Check Yourself at the Checkout Line
I live in a small town. I know a lot of people. And that holds me accountable to walking my talk on the days I might be tempted to do otherwise. It is VERY likely that I will know the person behind me (and in front of me) at the checkout line, but even if I don’t, I want to be a stellar example of excellent health.
You know and I know that other people look at what you are taking out of your cart as you checkout. You say you want to get healthier? Would your shopping cart reflect that? If not, put it back! If there is anything in your cart that makes you hope you don’t see anyone you know (remember, we are talking food here)…PUT IT BACK!
Your success with improving your health depends on your consistent, mindful, actions. You CAN do this because with a dash of Grace & Grit anything is possible.