As busy women, nutrition often takes a backseat to children’s afterschool activities, business meetings and errands. Luckily, good nutrition doesn’t have to be that difficult, time-consuming or expensive. Try the following tips to help you plan shopping trips better and eat healthier at home and on the go.Grocery Store Tips:
You may have heard it before, but the best way to eat healthy at home is to buy healthy options at the store. If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it. When at the store, shop the perimeter for groceries. The bulk of your items should be fresh fruits and vegetables (in a variety of colors for optimal nutrition), fish, poultry, whole grains and dairy products. When you do venture into the inside aisles, look for foods that are natural, such as 100% whole grain, and items that have few ingredients. Organic items are the best option but not always viable due to availability or cost. Check out the Dirty DozenTM and the Clean 15TM lists at ewg.org/foodnews for when to spend the extra money to buy organic.
When you get home, try making healthy, quick meals such as chicken or fish with steamed veggies, soups or salads. You can also prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them for fast, healthy weekday meals.
While it’s harder to eat healthier while you’re on the go, it’s not impossible. One of the best ways to eat better is to have a healthy snack available, so you can reach for it when hunger strikes instead of pulling into the nearest drive-thru. Try fresh fruit, chopped vegetables, hummus or nut butters, whole-grain crackers, unsalted or lightly salted nuts, or low-sugar granola bars as easy alternatives to junk food.
When dining at a restaurant, stay away from anything fried, sautéed, smothered or buttery. Instead reach for grilled, baked, broiled and steamed items. Salads are often great options, but beware of fat-filled toppings such as cheese, bacon or croutons. Ask for dressings on the side, and dip your fork into it instead of pouring it onto your salad. With today’s large portions, it’s also smart to ask your server to package half your meal to go. Not only will you eat less, but it also provides an easy meal to eat later on.
For more nutritional tips, look for Cancer Treatment Center of America’s presentation at the Texas Conference for Women.