Anyone who cares at all about the state of their health understands the importance of nutrition.

Nutrition impacts every single element of life as well as impacting personal risk factors for disease. It directly impacts/affects day to day energy levels,  personal body weight and self confidence levels about the way people look and feel.

Good nutrition is not complicated or confusing so don’t there’s no need to get overwhelmed.

In fact, proper nutrition is as simple as focusing on the basics and it all starts with your shopping habits!

Here’s a short list of healthy, shopping tips that will keep you on the right track.

Food Shopping Habits

Never grocery shop hungry

This is the first must-know rule or habit. You must never let your self grocery shop hungry or when you stomach is growling. It’s a recipe for disaster. When you are famished, foods, no matter good or bad for you taste better. Best to follow the age old adage: “Out of sight, out of mind.” I you have unhealthy foods lurking in your cupboards, fridge or freezer it’s much harder to put those foods out of mind and much easier to give into temptation.

Make a list

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Never grocery shop without a list. Plan out what you want to cook a week ahead and list out all the items you’ll need. This will make your life much easier over time and help ensure you never miss a beat on your diet plan.

Shop Perimeter of Store

This is where you’ll find lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies and wholesome carbohydrate sources.

Choose Bulk for Cheaper Eats

You pay good money for fancy packaged foods. Purchase from bulk bins to save money. Oatmeal, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and grains can all be purchased in bulk.

Stock up on sales

Watch local flyers and load up. Remember you can freeze chicken, beef and fish when it’s on sale. You can then cook as needed.

Know when to splurge

There are certain items that demand a premium and are well worth it when it comes to your health. Grass fed beef is one example. It is far better and provides you with more important nutrients and a healthier type of fat. The main areas you want to pay more for (go organic) are free range poultry, grass fed beef and the dirty dozen – apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, snap peas, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.

Look low

Most grocers place their higher prices items at eye level – where you are most likely to look. Look down ad you can ensure you pick cheaper items that offer the same nutrition and flavor for a fraction of the price.

Replace oil/butter with Chicken Broth

Sauteing vegetables or mashing potatoes? Try chicken broth for flavor and eliminate butter and oil.

Freeze individual servings

Most dishes freeze fine so take advantage of it. Simply place them in a freeze safe container.

Pre-chop veggies when they arrive home

Chop all veggies up as soon as you arrive home from the grocery store and place in container for easy, quick grabbing as you need them.

Make use of fresh herbs first

Don’t rely on store bought sauces. Herbs are the perfect way to add additonal flavor and provides excellent health benefits. Always best fresh.

Puree veggies into delicious sauces

Struggling to get enough veggies daily? Puree them in some home made sauce for extra flavor and a boost in nutrition!

Use a spray bottle for dressings

Simply spritz the lettuce with a spritzer bottle and you’ll consume far less dressing in the process.

Prep a large salad first thing in your day

For those on the go, it’s a great habit to build. You’ll have it ready and waiting for you all day long.

Start with a foundation of protein and vegetables

Always build your meals out of a foundation of protein and vegetables. Lean protein preserves your muscle mass tissue and combats hunger pains and veggies add more bulk filling you up and ensuring you get your nutrient intake while keeping caloric intake low.

Food shopping is where a healthy diet starts so its important you do it correctly.

Get this part wrong and the whole recipe fails!

For exciting, mouth watering recipes that use veggies as the starring or side role check out:

“Blended Bites”

Your paleo friendly, mostly raw, no sugar, no bake, no gluten source for delicious dessert and treat recipes!

For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit:

Carolyn Hansen Fitness