Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hint #3: Stock Up on Healthy Foods

People often assume that because I graduated in Dietetics and have my personal training and group fitness certifications that I do everything perfectly in terms of nutrition and exercise. How I wish that were true! Even I walk down the aisles of the grocery store tempted by brownie mixes and cheese crackers.

Certainly, there are times when I give into temptation and buy a product that may not be the healthiest choice. But, the majority of the time, I don't. Instead, I stock up on healthy choices so that I am not even tempted by high-fat, high-sugar options at home. Yesterday, for instance, I was looking at a box of brownies in the cookie aisle and thought, "Now, wouldn't this be yummy!" But, I didn't buy it, because I knew I would eat it if I did.

Instead, I went to the nut section of the store and added whole, cocoa-roasted almonds to my cart. This snack contains only 1 gram of sugar and tons of healthy fats, unlike the alternative I had considered just minutes before. Knowing I would want more "dessert" options than just the almonds, I headed over to the fruit section. I picked up some fresh strawberries, apples, and bananas, knowing they would be a perfect fix for my sweet tooth.

And then there was the snack aisle. I could have sworn the Cheez-Its were talking to me. But, I plugged my ears and threw some whole grain crackers into my cart, which actually taste quite delicious with reduced-fat cheese.

In this one shopping trip, I was faced with so many chances to make an unhealthy choice and multiple opportunities to stock my apartment with foods lacking in nutrition. Instead, I considered a healthier alternative with each tempting item.

How do you respond to unhealthy temptations at the grocery store? Do you give in? Or do you seek out nutrient-dense alternatives? Hopefully it is the latter. We have all heard the saying "You are what you eat." However, we have to first purchase the items that we eat. We might as well say "You are what you buy."

I challenge you to fill the shelves of your pantry and refrigerator with healthy products - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean sources of protein. What are you buying?

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