Navigating the Grocery Store

If you’ve decided to take charge of reinventing yourself, congratulations. And if you’ve made the decision to start making more of the meals you eat, then you’re off to a good start in the journey of the rest of your life. So now that you’re cooking your own food, we need to take a look at what ingredients you use in your cooking.

Of the 1000’s of products available to you in your local grocery store, not many can be classified as good for you. As an example, take a walk down the cereal aisle. How many types of cereal could you make a valid argument about the nutritional benefits of that particular brand? Half? Maybe a quarter? Even cereals that most people view as healthy pack a lot of sugar into your bowl. And the amount of sugar found in most kids cereals would blow most people’s minds.

In fact, if you walk down most aisles in the grocery store, you are much more likely to find unhealthy options as opposed to good for you options. There is, however, a much safer area of the grocery store to shop. If you stay to the perimeter of the store, your chances of finding healthier food improves dramatically. Typically, the perimeter of the store has the meat, dairy, and produce sections. While there are certainly good and bad choices that can be made in these sections, your chances of coming out ahead are much better.

The “problem” with shopping the perimeter is that most of these products have expiration dates. The fact that they aren’t jammed full of preservatives is actually a good thing. I heard it said once that the foods you should eat are the foods that can go bad. Obviously, the fewer the preservatives in something, the better it probably is. And to further that though, if a “food item” literally won’t go bad, you really shouldn’t eat it–happy meal or Twinkie anyone?

The other “problem” with shopping the perimeter relates to the cost of buying perishable foods. I can’t very well argue that healthier foods are cheaper than non-healthy ones, but let me try to give you a little common sense. People spend so much money on health and beauty items. Whether it’s make-up, hair products, cleansers, or spa treatments, all of theses products are rather pricy and work to improve our external appearance. Why not save a little bit of that money and instead spend it to improve the quality of food you are eating. Not only will the better food improve your overall health, but you may be surprised that better food will improve the health of you skin, hair, and nails as well. When it’s all said and done, the impacts of eating well by far offset the marginal difference of cost over the long run.

As is the case in all areas of improving your health, you can improve your diet if you want to. The money you save from eating out all the time will more than pay for the healthy food you are going to start buying. And if you really want to start saving on your produce, check out local farmers markets and fruit stands. Read more about the benefits of farmers markets here.

Once you make the commitment to eat better, you’ll be surprised at how well you feel. An occasional splurge is obviously ok, but limit the junk food you put into your body and your body will thank you for years to come.

Find out more ways to improve your health at


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