MASTERING MONDAY: NUTRITION
If you are like me, you have no idea where to start when jotting down a grocery list. I try to think of what I will want to eat for the entire week and all I can ever think of is bread and cheese. However, it is important to plan on buying more nutritious foods. In this WebMD article (sources checked) nutrition author Elaine Magee lists 15 different foods that you can get for less than $2 each at the grocery store in an attempt to debunk the old adage “healthy food is expensive.” This article is a good place to start when trying to write a basic, healthy grocery list. The list covers most of the food pyramid, so after grabbing these basics you can just throw in some of your personal favorites.
In this TED Talk, Luke Durward uses a personal narrative to give us a greater understanding of the simplicity, yet struggle of eating healthy. He talks about his brother who, at a very young age, exhibited poor eating habits. Luke always knew he could do something to help his brother get healthy, but he wasn’t quite sure what. He stated that healthy eating was simplistic in theory but very difficult in practice. This is a common struggle for all of us; we know how to eat healthy but we still cannot seem to do it. This is a motivational video that just might convince you to change your life for the better. If your life is already perfect (doubtful, because whose is), maybe this video will motivate you to help someone you love better themselves and maybe you can pull some advice from it, too.
If you buy your groceries, you know how hard it is to buy healthy food. It is too expensive, too hard to cook, and temperamental in shelf life. I have a few quick tips to keep you on track to eating healthy.
- Shop at Aldi’s. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! I hear so many people dissing Aldi’s when really, it is a gift from above. I shop at Aldi’s every week and my bill never exceeds $30. If you can handle off-brand yogurt and milk, then there is no reason you shouldn’t be shopping there. They have a great selection of snacks, cereal, produce, dairy, and just about everything else for half the price of name-brand foods.
- Get a rewards card. There are a few things I am picky about when it comes to groceries: ice cream and deli meat. When I am running low on these items, I go to Price Chopper. The Price Chopper AdvantEdge card always saves me at least a couple of dollars and the points can save you money on gas! Almost every grocery chain has one, and you can usually sign up for free.
- Buy frozen produce. Sometimes when I am feeling super healthy and buy a bunch of produce, half of it goes bad. It’s not that I don’t want to eat it, but one person cannot eat 12 pineapples before a few of them grow hair. This is basically the same thing as throwing moldy dollar bills in the garbage. A great alternative to fresh produce is frozen bags. It has almost the same nutritional value and it basically lasts forever.
- Never shop hungry. We have all been guilty of this. We avoid grocery shopping until our stomachs are as empty as a Nickelback concert. But then, we always wonder why we only bought pre-cooked fried chicken (Or is that just me?). Either way, it is never a good idea to shop hungry. You will end up buying something so processed that you can start eating before you check out (never a good idea). If you eat before you shop, you will focus on being healthy instead of on your growling stomach.
- Think long-term. Remember healthy food is cheaper in the long run. While junk food is cheaper in terms of how many calories you get, healthy food is a better bang for your buck if you are shopping for nutrition. Many people use the excuse that people get junk food because they need cheap calories. However, America definitely does not have a problem with a lack of calories. If you want to feel better, stay fuller longer, and stay healthy, look for nutrients instead of calories.
- Spice it up. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bland baked fish and steamed broccoli every night. If you keep your spice rack stocked, you’ll be surprised how amazing broccoli can taste. My rule of thumb is: a clove of garlic can make anything taste good. If you feel uncomfortable using fresh garlic, use garlic salt! It is the greatest invention since sliced, whole-grain bread.
Photo Cred: Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Educator