What you put in your supermarket trolley will either make or break your healthy eating plan for the week. If it’s not in the fridge or pantry, you can’t eat it!
A healthy grocery trolley means healthy food for the week. So, before you think about heading out to do the grocery shopping I want you to sit down and plan what you’ll eat for the week, then use your menu plan to write your shopping list. If you’re not sure what you should be eating, use the 28-day menu plans in books 5 and 6 as inspiration, or choose to follow one of them.
With list in hand, it’s time to head to the supermarket. Here are my tips to help you navigate the aisles:
Start fresh –Load up your trolley with fresh fruit and veggies. Remember the healthy dinner plate? Your trolley needs to resemble it.
Choose lean meat – Why pay for the white stuff (fat) on the edge of the steak if you’re going to cut if off anyway? When looking at mince, choose the premium option. Choose skinless chicken breast and lean pork. Limit lamb as this is the fattiest cut of meat.
Don’t forget the fish – We should be including at least 2 fish meals a week.
Whole grains are best – I like the Tip Top 9 Grain bread. Look for the words ‘whole grain’ in the ingredient list on products.
Which cereal? – Choose a cereal that contains at least 3 grams of fibre per serve. Weet-Bix, Sultana Bran and natural muesli are good choices as are rolled oats.
Opt for low fat dairy – Skim milk is best and choose the lowest fat cheese you can find. When it comes to yoghurt I prefer the Forme no fat brand.
Avoid the lolly, biscuit and soft drink aisles – Don’t include these items in your trolley for other members of the family if you know they will derail you in a moment of weakness.
Unsalted nuts are best – I prefer natural almonds but unsalted cashews and macadamias are good choices too. Remember these must be portion controlled; never eat straight from the bag.
Choose low fat margarine – I use Flora Light in my recipes, Nuttelex Lite is also suitable.
Compare labels – If you’re not sure which food is the healthiest option compare the nutritional panel, the column per 100ml or 100g column is best for comparisons. To keep it simple, just look at total calories and total fat and choose the lowest one. This is obviously a very simplified way of looking at labels, I could write an entire article on this topic. But total calories and fats are a good place to start.
And finally, never shop when hungry – Shopping on an empty stomach will result in all the wrong foods ending up in the trolley and the shopping budget will be blown too.
When I held my retreats, I would take the participants grocery shopping. When faced with temptation I would tell them to say, “that’s not for me” and keep walking – just because it’s there on offer, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Saying NO once in the supermarket, means you don’t have to say NO 100 times at home.
Looking for more inspiration? Here’s my healthy eating tips