If you are new to clean eating, grocery shopping can seem like a really intimidating undertaking.
I remember the first time I tried to shop clean. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, I believe I made several follow up trips that same day to return many of the items I purchased on my first round of my label reading frenzy. They were not happy with me at the return counter.
If grocery shopping is your downfall, here are 5 guidelines I used in the beginning that really helped.
- Shop the perimeter! If you stick to the walls instead of the aisles of a store, you are far more likely to find clean foods. The majority of stores are arranged this way. Along those walls you will usually find fresh produce, dairy, lean meats, fish and dairy. (And don’t forget some pretty flowers to brighten your table, or your sweethearts day!) Avoid the deli and bakery and you’ll do just fine.
- Know your aisles! Chances are, you probably shop at the same store (s) weekly. So figure out which aisles have your necessities, and avoid the rest like the plague. Look for aisles that have frozen veggies, meats and fish, oatmeal and tea. Aside from cleaning and personal care supplies, those should be the only aisles you ever venture into until you really get a handle on how clean shopping is managed.
- Fill your tummy! You’ve read it before, and now you’ll read it here again… Never shop on an empty stomach! As a clean eater, you should never go hungry anyway. But it’s never more important than when you are grocery shopping! You should always shop by your list, not by your craving of the moment. So be sure you’re keeping hunger at bay BEFORE you shop!
- Know your ingredients! If you do venture down those other aisles, be sure you know how to read a label. Keep in mind that the nutrient percentages given can mean something very different from the actual list of ingredients. For example, just because there is a percentage of sugar listed, does not mean there is added sugar in the ingredient list. Always look at the ingredient list first. If that’s clean, then go to the nutrient percentages.
- Shop in bulk! Not only will you save money, but you are far more likely to end up with whole, clean ingredients to cook with. The bulk section, while not always completely clean, is a great area for finding clean ingredients you may not have tried before. Remember that variety is very important in any healthy diet.
I’m sure, as you learn to shop clean, you’ll come up with your own tips and tricks. But to get you started, this list should at least get you going in the right direction. And remember… when all else fails, leave the grocery store and find your nearest farmers market!
Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.