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Lately, I have been receiving some questions about shopping at the grocery store, so I figured I would provide an answer for the masses.
Tip #1: Shop the Perimeter The perimeter of the store will typically be home to quite a few healthy whole food options. These include items such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, nuts, seeds, avocados and lean proteins to name a few. Rule of thumb, try to shop for fresh foods that you can wash and make with various meals and snacks.
Tip #2: Avoid the Center Aisles The center aisles are the typically the home of your sugary and processed food items and condiments. Most of these sugary and processed items provide little to no dietary value, which can impact your performance in the gym or on the field. Sugar also causes spikes in insulin that may last briefly before you free-fall into a “crash” and energy levels decrease.
Also, there’s a reason why grocery stores put cases of water and sports drinks at the end of the cereal aisle. They want you to not only buy the water, but to take that long trip down the center isle to hopefully entice you into buying that box of cereal or bag of small candy bars.
For you athletes out there, here’s a famous quote from USA Hockey’s NTDP Strength Coach, Darryl Nelson, “cartoon characters are not elite athletes, so do not eat foods that have cartoon characters on the packaging”.
Tip #3: Bring a List of Items or Recipes Plan your meals out ahead of time instead of arriving at the grocery store and trying to make quick second decisions on what to buy. By not planning, you may find yourself buying a bunch of extra food both healthy and unhealthy items which may not be beneficial and can also leave you wasting money.
Before you leave for the store, write out a list of items that you absolutely need to buy for your meals and snacks. I recommend you try to buy items that can be used for different meals throughout the week, that way you don’t get bored of the same meal and you don’t waste products and money.
When in doubt stick to your list and recipes. Don’t let your stomach or brain con you into buying junk food and sweets. Plan your meals out and bring a list with you. Keep these tips in mind for the next time you make the trip to the grocery store!
Have a great week!