Let’s face it . . .
It’s a jungle out there.
There’s a dizzying number of labels and chemical names we have to watch out for.
I just bought a bag of chips recommended from a book I read.
It had 12 red labels on the back. All natural. No trans fats. No preservatives. Gluten-Free. No MSG. Certified Kosher. Vegan. Certified. Low Glycemic. High Fiber. Lightly salted. Cholesterol Free. Corn Free. (That’s a new one to me. )
Can I be sure that certified Kosher and lightly salted mean that it’s seasoned with Kosher salt?
I read through all of these to pass go but I still had to read the nutritional facts before collecting my two hundred dollars.
After the nutritional facts there was allergy information. Ahh!
This was all for one bag of chips. A snack!
Grocery List Making 101 Plus Some Tips that Skyrocketed My Nutritional Knowledge Base
With so many labels and scientific terminology to read, it can all be so confusing. I feel like I need another degree just to buy food . . . a necessity. With different labels, comes different prices with all kinds of promises.
I don’t mind paying extra if an item claims to be better for me but you start to feel like you don’t know who to trust. I once swore by a certain yogurt when we were all told to stay away from certain dairy products that contained hormones. So now that we weren’t digesting unwanted hormones, we were taking in a whopping dose of sugar per serving.
So your hormones might be in check but your glycemic levels are through the roof. No thanks.
So what do wise consumers do?
It’s high time they get educated to find healthy food ideas and make a checklist without having to check it twice to see what brands are naughty or nice. . .or hiding health hazards. Here’s exactly what I do to fight back and keep my title as a grocery shopping guru.
1. Be on the lookout.
Scout out good nutritional information and make a checklist out of items. I like getting new healthy food ideas from Joy Bauer on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray, The Chew, and many more food-related shows.
2. Reuse it.
Put the checklist in a plastic sleeve or laminate it. You can use it over and over without having to waste time or money on ink reprinting it. It also helps to not waste paper every time you need to make a grocery list.
I like to use a plastic page protector because if I do update the list, I can easily move the paper in and out of the sleeve. Use a dry erase marker to circle needed items and then check them off when you get them or just erase it with a cloth or paper towel. If the marker leaves a little residue, you can easily clean it off with a little bit of alcohol or dry erase spray and a cloth.
3. Circle Away
Circle items on your checklist as you run out. This way you will create a new list of what to buy as you run out and the grocery list will be ready for you by the time you go shopping.
4. Home Sweet Home.
Give your checklist a home. Keep your checklist in a set spot so you can find it and access it easily on a regular basis. Remind other family members in the house to circle items once you run out of something.
5. Take notes.
Add items to the list when you find out about other healthy choices. I watch Dr. Oz and get a plethora of ideas to try on a regular basis. I like hearing why it’s good for me and the suggestions come straight from a well-known, trusted doctor. It’s a great way to get updated information on good food choices. For example, dried figs and sesame seeds are non-dairy ways to get calcium in your diet. I added these to my checklist of items to buy. After trying them, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked them. Tip: If I don’t write the information down and quickly integrate it into my shopping list, I won’t remember the information. So take some notes.
6. Be nerdy.
Eat This Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide is a book jam-packed with nutritional information, rules, and guidelines to follow while shopping and, of course, eating. It helps you focus on healthier choices and has up-to-the-minute food information. So forget about memorizing some long list of chemical names to avoid. Like the title states, Eat This, Not That, the author cuts to the chase and gives you the inside scoop on exactly what to eat and what not to.
It takes all of the guess work and confusion out of it and lights a path to great food finds, helping you navigate through so much mixed information out there. So it’s one less thing you have to remember. You can just access the book before grocery shopping or use the information to make a checklist.
It reveals shocking truths and sneaky advertising tactics that deceive consumers. So like the title states, they’ll tell you what to eat and what not to by showing pictures of different edible items including the name, size of the item (if applicable), calories, and fat grams. There may also be a sentence or two as well as to why this is a healthier option.
I devoured this book and another one in the series. I soaked up all the tips it had to offer and shared it with my family. On a recent coffee shop trip, I had my daughters pick out what items they wanted to try. I typed up a list of kid (and parent) approved snacks. The author has written several books just like the original but they are more focused on weight loss, cooking, there’s even one for kids and more. Hubby, if you’re reading this, my birthday is coming up soon. Hint. Hint. I’m kicking myself for not buying this sooner.; )
This post may include affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.