HOW TO KEEP YOUR CART LOOKING
WHILE YOU SHOP!
Toronto has a vast selection of grocery stores ranging from commercial to health conscious ones. Toss in the abundance of farmer’s markets and the thought of grocery shopping can easily become overwhelming. Where to start and where to shop?! Often times we fall into a monotonous habit; buying the same old items, sometimes forfeiting quality and basing it on price. When was the last time you read the ingredients on your purchased items?Can’t remember? Time for a grocery cart makeover! How many times did you buy a food item “because it was on sale” versus one that you really needed? No comment? Grocery cart makeover!!
Think back to the last time you were in a grocery store, which areas do you tend to frequent the most? There’s an old rule of thumb that I am sure many of you are aware of: Shop within the outside aisles! Fruits, vegetables, breads, proteins are all found on the outside (not to be confused with frozen foods and desserts! Marketing Schemes and Tactics 101 right there!) and should be the “majority” when filling your cart.The fresher the better! Challenge yourself to trying a new fruit or vegetable with every grocery trip or with a new recipe that includes plenty of fresh ingredients.
Once your cart is looking fresh to death, cruising the inside aisles won’t hurt. Please choose wisely here and resist the urge to over indulge
“Back and Forth…Front and Back…”
Forget the front and read the back! Marketing gimmicks are found on the front, which is usually what most people are drawn too, while the health indicators are listed within the ingredients list.
Suppose I tied a pretty pink bow around a slice of bread, attached a note with attractive font and colors reading: “XYZ Bread! Lots of energy and it’ll make you dance better. Eat it!”
Would you really want to eat it off such a vague statement? Not sure..? Have you ever been in such a situation, but still ended up purchasing the item? I know I have lol. No shame in my game here.
How about this statement:“Choose XYZ Bread! Filled with fiber,iron, vitamins A and C with the addition of hemp and chia seeds for sustainable energy!”
If you are one who tends to read the front first and the back not so much, I would hope that a statement,with a clear description of its benefits,such as the latter, would prompt you to turn the package over and discover what other fabulous ingredients the bread has to offer. Remember, if you can pronounce the ingredient names, awesome, if you can’t, don’t bother.
Don’t stop reading after the first few ingredients either. Additives and/or preservatives tend to be found towards the end of the list as well. Ingredients are always listed in order of most to least. If salt and sugar happen to be the first two or three ingredients-put it back on the shelf!
VALUE great food, DAILY
Apart from reading the back of food products, also get into the habit of reading the daily values and their percentages. Usually found on the side of most food products, daily values give you an insight as to how much nutritional value is being offered to you, per daily consumption. The typical range is 5-25 %. From this point, it should be pretty self explanatory and simple. Desirable nutrients (fiber, vitamins, iron) should fall into a higher percentile bracket, while the least desirable nutrients (sodium, trans fats) in a lower percentile bracket
Before approaching the check out lines, do a quick scan of your cart. How does it look? Sexy, vibrant, attractive? Is there a nice balance between carbs, whole foods and proteins? Grocery cart makeovers may take some time to get into, as you’re breaking out of old habits and into new ones. Be patient with yourself, have an open mind and get creative with it. Most importantly, make it fun! Shop with friends who are also into improving their healthy eating habits, or as I mentioned earlier, find a new recipe filled with fresh ingredients to shop for. Not only will you be introducing new food items into your diet, but you’ll breaking into a new habit of shopping and a new way of eating!
Have a great night!