Grocery Shopping

PLANNING
A BIG key to success is having a PLAN! Think about it….you wouldn’t start your day, go on vacation or show up to a job interview without a plan, right? I used to eat on the go and grab food on the fly…guess where that got me? 20 lbs heavier and feeling pretty crappy about my body.
So think of meal prep and packing your cooler as your PLAN for a HEALTHY BODY! Your biggest obstacle is going to be managing your time so that getting fit and healthy doesn’t compete with the rest of your commitments, like taking care of the kids, hubby or spending time with friends!

Believe it or not, prioritizing and planning ahead with actually make life….dun dun dun…EASIER! Not to mention, it will set you up for success in the long term! It may seem trivial but I promise that its worth it! Having everything ready and packed will be less stressful than leaving your meal choices up to chance and heading to whatever take out joint is near by at mealtime! Helllooo muffin top!

TIPS: Schedule in time on the weekends to buy and prepare your food for the week! SO WORTH IT! A little time in the store and kitchen on Sunday means for the rest of the week you can JUST GRAB AND GO!
***This took me a good 2-3 months to really get a routine down. I actually HATED it at first- I was really resistant to change but once I saw the results…I was hooked!

If you are on the go a lot, pack Cook Free Snacks: raw almonds, protein powder, low-fat string cheese, chopped veggies, fruit, ezekiel bread, hummus etc. You can keep little ziplock baggies of almonds in your car so you ALWAYS have something to grab.
GET YOURSELF A COOLER: 31 sells these amazing coolers that fit your snacks perfectly. I always take them with me! Always pack 1 extra snack than you really need! Pack it the night before and grab and go!!

Sometimes people will give me excuses about the cost of eating healthy. The fact of the matter is…I spend less money now than I did before when I was buying processed crap. I know it’s not just in my head because I track my finances on Mint.com (the most amazing site ever).
But even if it did cost more, aren’t you worth the investment?
NO EXCUSES!

Pre-Grocery Shopping Preparation
You want to step yourself up for success. There are certain situations that dramatically increase your chances of ending up with a shopping cart full of the type of foods that end up stored in your butt and thighs.
1. Eat A Nutritious Meal Before You Go Grocery Shopping
When you go to the store on an empty stomach and hungry, you will be very likely to subconsciously grab the worst foods for you. Typically these are the foods full of sugar that spike your insulin levels fast, or the ones that are laden with fats (and/or transfats) that fill you up quickly but wreak havoc with your health.
Make sure you have eaten properly before going to the store. Have low glycemic index carbs like brown rice, yams or oatmeal combined with a lean protein like chicken, turkey or lean fish, and then some vegetables.
2. Do Not Go Grocery Shopping When You Are Feeling Down
Don’t go grocery shopping when you are sad or emotional. If you do, you will be very likely to grab “comfort foods” Leave it to another day, when you are feeling better, or give someone else a grocery list and have them shop for you.
3. Make a list!!! If you make a list and stick to it, you’ll know that what you’re getting can be put into healthy meals.  If you don’t have a list, you’re more likely to just grab some random things, get home, and still be wondering what to make with it all.

Beware Of Food Labels!
One of the biggest reasons people gain weight in fat when they are trying to lose weight is because they are being mislead by labels . How often do you hear that someone is trying to lose fat, but instead she gained fat and doesn’t have a clue why that happened as she was “eating healthy”?
The companies producing the foods are misleading you to think a food product is healthy, when it is really (absolutely) not. The food production companies realized people are trying harder and harder to lose that stubborn fat. Because people are trying to buy more health conscious foods, companies market their products as “healthy” to increase sales.
They use clever manipulation of words, and words only. They use words which are not lies, but that are absolutely misleading, to make their food products LOOK healthy, or healthier than before. Don’t believe me? Not a problem, I will give you a few examples:

Example #1: Fat Free, Preservative Free Cookies
Did you see the boxes of cookies (even chocolate ones) lately? They will read: “Fat free, gluten free, no preservatives or artificial flavours”. Is this true? Yes, it is. But, if we look on the back side of the package to read the ingredients ourselves, what does it say? Most probably the first word you’ll find will be SUGAR, or high glucose-fructose corn syrup. So it’s pretty much all sugar! Is this healthy? absolutely not.

Example #2: Low Carb Cookies Or Candy Bars
This is the reverse of the first example. Here what they do is that there are fats in the cookies, but glycerine and maltitol are used to sweeten them. Though these two ingredients do not have an impact in blood sugar levels, they do have calories! However, the FDA allows such products to claim they are “low carb”.
In addition, if you look at the fats contained in these foods, they are typically partially hydrogenated oils (transfats)! This is neither healthy nor will it help you attain your fitness goals.

Tips To Making Sure That What You Are Buying Is Good
1. Look At The Ingredients!
The first ingredient on an ingredient list is the one which is most present in the food product; the last on the list is the one with the lowest percentage of all ingredients of the food products. This is the only way you can see exactly what is inside everything!
Even if the package reads “Transfats free” if you read on the ingredients list that there is some “partially hydrogenated oil” then that means that each serving may have up to 0.4 grams of trans fats.
By law, companies can get away with that. The unfortunate situation is that if you have more than one serving then those transfats can start adding up quickly and these fats wreak havoc on your health and your physique!
A good rule is to stick to foods with only 1-5 ingredients in them- the less the better!
2. Focus On Choosing Natural Foods 
Always try to use natural foods. Canned or pre-prepared foods usually contain too much fats, sodium and sugars. For example your typical deli meats are too high in fats (as we learned in the examples above), are way too high in sodium, and even are added with sugar to sweeten them!

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