Shopping Tips for a Healthier New Year

The 1st of January hits most of us with a sense of renewal, and a strong need to be better. For me each year, "better" means trying to be healthier.

And eating healthier is my biggest challenge. My roadblock always seems to be convenience...eating healthier (and cooking healthier) tends to take a bit more work and planning.

So I have a few tips I offer each year AND that I try to follow myself:

  1. De-clutter Your Pantry. Each January, I take time to toss out any expired pantry goods hiding in the back of my pantry. That frees up space AND forces me to take an inventory of what I have on hand.

  2. Stock Flavors. Dried herbs and spices are great to have on hand. They are a simple way to add flavor without adding lots of extra fat. Make a list of savory and sweet spices, some familiar and some you've never tried, and stock your shelves.

  3. Shop small. When I lived in San Francisco, I walked EVERYWHERE. On foot, you buy a lot less at the store and tend to only pick up what you need for a meal. You also tend to skip high-calorie snack-y foods like chips and cookies. Most of us in Wisconsin don't walk to the store, but try taking your own reusable bags and limit yourself to only what fits in those.

  4. Speed-Up While Shopping. Start at a slow pace in the produce section, browsing your choices leisurely - then pick up the pace. You'll spend less time in aisles like dairy, frozen treats and the bakery section.

  5. Shop On A Full Stomach. It's true that you but more if you visit a grocery store when you're hungry. Force yourself to shop right after lunch.

  6. Shop Local. Visiting farmers' markets is one of the easiest and simplest ways to shop healthier. Buying from local producers help ensure your food is more natural and fresh.

I hope these tips help you to shop, cook and eat healthier!

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