As you read this, I am probably boarding a cruise to take off for a few days of Bahamian fun. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post from my mom — yes, my mom! She was the one who first demonstrated to me the importance of healthy living, so who better to talk about her recent experience with a “boot camp?”
Now, from my mom…
As my daughter Emily and her new husband Dan enjoy their honeymoon eating fabulous meals with not worrying about planning, shopping and baking, I am happy to fill in as a guest blogger. My topic today centers on a class I took at a local grocery store.
I have recently started taking a “Boot Camp” fitness class with my other daughter, Marian. As part of the class, the ever-fit Boot Camp instructor provided an opportunity for his students to take a tour of a local grocery store led by the in-store nutritionist.
The night I went I was joined by about a dozen other Boot-campers as our delightful nutritionist, Karen, walked us around the store pointing out all the good foods we could be choosing.
We started with fruits and vegetables. Her message was basically to keep it colorful. Apparently most people find five fruits or vegetables they like and usually pick the same ones every time they shop. Karen challenged us to try something new each week. She also suggested that even through fruits and veggies are good for us, we need to keep in mind total calories.
For women, that means 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups of fruit a day and 2-4 cups of vegetables a day. If it’s a starchy vegetable, eat less. Or, as she said, you can eat as much as you want of broccoli, spinach and carrots. And she said to keep it colorful because we get good and different benefits from the various colors. Even though some choices might be more expensive, Karen suggested it’s “Better to pay the grocer now than the doctor later.” I like that quote.
She also pointed out the nutrition book in the fresh produce section. I might have to read that someday.
While in the produce section, Karen gave us a cool tip: Buy the refrigerated tubes of herbs. She also pointed out a neat product that I must try: tofu noodles. They came under the name “Pasta Slim.”
After leaving the produce, we stopped to look at the NuVal, a rating of the product’s overall healthfulness, on the dried pastas. The NuVal is much higher and better on the whole wheat or enriched pastas than the bad plain pasta I usually buy.
We also stopped to look at the salad bar. It’s a great place to stop and load up on already-prepared veggies so you throw them in a stir fry or a salad at home. It might cost a little more but you’re more inclined to eat them since they are ready to go.
Karen even walked us to the desert section. She said if you can’t face the temptation of baking a whole pan of brownies then go ahead and buy just one or two single brownies and make that your treat. It might cost a little more, but you won’t have to fight the urge to “have just a little more” when you are home late at night.
The lesson went on for a good hour. Karen showed us how to choose low sodium meats, fresh fish, Omega-rich eggs, Greek yogurt (good for dips!), and “all natural” frozen yogurt.
I learned a lot and left the store feeling motivated to choose wiser the next time I shop. It’s true, “you are what you eat…” And I want to feel healthy.
I might not be able to turn over a new leaf in all that I eat, but I am encouraged to give it a good try.
How about you guys? What good grocery shopping tips do you have?