One of the first recommendations in the Habits of Health Transformational System is straightforward: Get rid of all of the unhealthy foods in your pantry and in your refrigerator. Pack them up, and donate the unopened food to a food bank or local mission.
This simple step puts you on the path of mindfulness because when unhealthy foods are within easy reach, you may not realize that you are working against your goals until it’s too late, especially if you have spent years wandering into the kitchen between commercial breaks to get a snack. Taking the food out of the house eliminates the temptation entirely, giving you time to pause and make the choice that actually supports the health you seek to create.
Eventually, however, you have to put something in your pantry, which means a trip to the grocery store where shelves are overflowing with the same kinds of foods you just tossed out. And I know you’ve been there because I’ve been there. You go into the store a little bit hungry, and soon you are filling your cart with bags of potato chips and sleeves of cookies.
Grocery shopping can be a challenge. Here’s how you make it easier:
- Make a list. Before you ever grab a shopping cart, plan out what you need. No extras. No last minute additions. Stick to your list and only your list.
- Don’t shop hungry. Eat a fueling before you leave to eliminate that nagging hunger that can drive temptation.
- Stay on the outside edge. Most grocery stores are designed to have the fresh, healthy foods around the perimeter of the store. If you start wandering to the middle, beware.
- Shop fresh. Healthy foods like vegetables (not canned) and lean meats won’t have preservatives or added sugars the way that processed foods do.
- Visit farmers’ markets. Buying from local farmers can get you closer to the source and get you fresher food. Sometimes it’s more affordable too!
- Try a new healthy recipe. Lean & Green recipes are a great way to try new flavors and add a dash of excitement to your healthy shopping.
For many people, Habits of Healthy Fuelings are one of the most challenging parts of the journey because we spend decades of our lives reinforcing Habits of Disease. Prepackaged healthy fuelings, like those from OPTAVIA, are a great tool for making this challenge much more manageable. Adding healthy shopping to that process will help you eliminate temptations in your home and give you practice cooking delicious but healthy meals.
Remember, you’re not alone. If you need more support, reach out to our community and connect with your health coach.