Grocery Shopping for a Healthy Household
Grocery stores can be overwhelming. Dairy free, gluten free, whole wheat, skim, etc—there’s too many to choose from. I am going to help you break down which options are best for you and your family.
Navigating the Store
You may have heard before, “Only shop along the perimeter of the store.” While this is mostly true, there can still be room for items from the center aisles. When shopping, I like to apply “The Plate Rule” to my shopping cart. “The Plate Rule” would be as follows: fruits, vegetables, and whole foods make up 50% of your cart; meat or other proteins make up 30% of your cart; the remaining 20% would be grains, cereals, bread, and other processed items.
There is nothing wrong with processed foods in moderation.
You can also think of shopping in the 80/20 rule, which would be 80% whole, nutrient dense foods and 20% “fun foods”.
What to Look For
There’s no need to buy gluten free/dairy free/soy free/vegan unless a) you have an allergy or b) you prefer the taste. Many times, the aforementioned foods aren’t necessarily healthier, as they can have many added ingredients or be highly processed, nor are they necessarily lower in calories.
When looking at items, fewer ingredients and/or more whole foods listed as ingredients indicate less processing. These are great options! It’s also great to look for low added sugar and low sodium (but remember to salt your meals!). Another bonus is higher protein amounts! I consider higher protein to be at least 20% of the total calorie amount.
Organic? You can keep it cost friendly by skipping organic food, if that is your preference! Organic options are not healthier, per se. You are going to get the same amount of nutrients as you would with regular options.
Ok, so… What about fresh or frozen? Fresh is always best when it comes to nutrient density. However, busy households and picky eaters could make it difficult to make it through a whole pack of frozen fruits or vegetables before they soil. That said, frozen items are a great addition to your refrigerator. For busy work lives, high protein/frozen Lean Cuisines or similar items are fantastic for meeting health and macronutrient goals, while keeping eating hassle free.
A Few of Gray’s Go To’s…
*Some of these items overlap in multiple macros*
- Ground turkey and/or turkey burgers
- Deli sliced meat
- Packaged tuna
- Chobani Yogurt & smoothie drink
- Jasmine rice
- Potatoes (sweet & white!)
- All veggies & fruits
- Cheez It’s
- Olive Oil
- Salad Dressing
- Smoked salmon
When it comes to shopping—eat the foods that you like while remembering to have 80% whole, less processed foods and 20% “fun foods”. You DO NOT have to eat bland chicken and rice to be healthy!