This has been a turbulent relationship from the start. When I first began my journey to better health and nutrition, I was completely overwhelmed walking into the grocery store, the health food center, or the farmer’s market. There were endless rows filled with all manner of products that I was responsible for choosing from? I didn’t know much about changing my life to be a healthier person. But I was on the journey anyway! Except, if it were up to me, I would count potato chips as a daily serving of vegetables. How could I determine what I needed to buy? Or most importantly, what would taste good and be good for me?
The first couple of times this happened, I clammed up and just defaulted to what I knew. I bought the things that were familiar to me. In my meager defense, I hadn’t lost all hope for a healthier diet, so I didn’t buy the chips and increased my purchase of fruits and vegetables. But when I got home, I really didn’t know what to do with it all. By day four, I was bored with eating apples, my bananas looked like bruised mush, and I ended up throwing away a half-eaten bag of iceberg lettuce salad mix that started to turn colors. Needless to say, I was discouraged and started to think that all the hype about eating healthy was just too much work for someone like me. So I went about my life, resolving that this “eating healthy” thing was just a trend that I was not into.
It was not long before I had a self-imposed reality check while unwrapping the “dinner” I’d just picked up from a local drive-thru. It looked soggy and gross. I felt horrible eating it. Once again, I decided to take another shot at changing my diet. This time, I skipped the grocery store and went straight to a local farmers market. They would surely have everything I needed, right? Yes, indeed. They had EVERYTHING! There was a huge selection including things I couldn’t recognize or pronounce. I certainly didn’t know how to cook it! Yet again, I was frustrated, lost, and overwhelmed. Fennel, Edamame, Bok Choy, and Hummus sounded like names out of a sci-fi movie.
Before I had a complete meltdown in the store, I remembered this time around, I had a game plan! Prior to coming into the market, I decided on three new healthy meal recipes that I wanted to make in the next week and wrote down all the ingredients. I may not have known what all the ingredients looked or tasted like, but I surely had instructions on how to cook them.
So here are my tips on how to avoid a shopping meal meltdown:
Good article, really good tips…
“You have to go into this with a game plan already mapped out” If that aint the truth. If I don’t prepare everday during the week goes down the drain.
I am used to eating real food at this point. I like it. I even crave it at times. But the times when it is the hardest to keep on my path is when I just want to indulge in whatever the hell I want. Those days when I want a big box of chocolate, donuts, cookies, or a woman walking down the street eating a big cup of ice cream make me miss my careless days of eating whatever I wanted. Of course eating whatever I wanted came with the high price of 215 lbs., and I don’t want to go back to being overweight, so I usually don’t go for the donuts or box of chocolates.
I only take enough money to buy what I need on my shopping list. A shopping list is a must, and you need to stick with it. Before you make your list, plan out your meals. After you find your top 3-4 dishes, make them your staples. Find a couple of meals that require little to no cooking to make it easier.
I educated myself on the dangers of NOT eating healthy. There’s nothing wrong with eating delicious food BUT there are always healthy ways to enjoy it. Being open to new things is very important. Pinterest will keep you in the know of AWESOME recipe ideas. For me, it was important to keep my family healthy and pass on this knowledge to my two boys. What they eat is my responsibility and I take it VERY seriously….very.
I was a healthy eater until a couple of years ago. I fell off the wagon because partly of stress and partly pressure (“Girl why don’t you get a cheeseburger? You already skinny!”). Now I’m getting back on track, slowly but surely. I’m losing most of my junk cravings–partly because indulging in a lot of them makes me physically ill. “You guys can have your triple fried twice baked potatoes,” I say–and then happily munch on my pineapple chips and poached barramundi.
…but sometimes you just need a burger. One is fine now. 😉