The Ring of Health
The one ring to rule them all… kind of.
There is an important observation that one should make when going to their local grocery store. Notice, next time you’re shopping, that the healthy foods are on the outside, the ring around the grocery store. All processed, boxed, and junk foods are on the interior.
All vegetables, meats, seafood, and healthier foods are generally on the outside.
Stick to this ring, and you can’t really go wrong in the grocery store. Obviously some exceptions exist. Oatmeal and rice are sometimes inside the ring. Spices are inside the ring. Dry beans and lentils are inside the ring.
But for the most part, if you stick to the outside, you will be healthier than 90% of people.
A couple other tips for grocery shopping:
Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach
We’ve all been there. I’ve done it before, and my normally strong willpower was compromised by a groaning stomach, and a desire for something tasty. I bought way too many bags of rice chips.
Have a big breakfast or meal before you venture into the grocery store, otherwise you will be staring down the worst of foods, and putting more of them in your cart than you will care to admit.
It’s a psychological play, but when you are full, the junk food won’t look so appetizing, and you will be able to focus on your goal of getting in and out with the healthiest of groceries.
Budget for Proteins and vegetables first
The stuff is expensive, don’t get me wrong. But it is also going to be the best decision. Buy your chicken, beef, fish, and eggs first. Then, move on to the vegetables and focus on buying a variety of colors and types.
Carbohydrates are generally cheap. A bag of rice is not super expensive. Potatoes aren’t outrageous. Oatmeal is reasonable. The stuff that is going to put you into debt is the meats and vegetables.
That being said, there are no excuses for not eating healthy foods. Eating at home is unanimously cheaper than eating out.
Buy in Bulk
Get a Costco membership if you are strapped for cash. This will be a great investment in your healthy eating goals and will allow you to buy humongous bags of rice, lentils, oatmeal, and bulk egg whites, eggs, meats, and more. Generally I’ll go elsewhere for the veggies and fruits, but most everything else can be purchased at Costco.
If there’s no Costco around you, look at the bulk bins for nuts, almonds, raisins, and more. You’d be surprised how much less it costs.
At the end of the day, grocery shopping should be fun, and something that you look forward to doing every week.
I know that every time I go, I have the choice of being better, or being worse simply by the food selection I choose to put into my cart. And that is true power.
Focus on making your cart look as healthy as possible, because that’s where you will be.
You can always tell someone’s health by their grocery cart.
Are you the person with tons of veggies and quality?
Or are you the person with bags of chips, chocolate bars, instant dinner meals, and flats of Coke?
The choice is up to you.