Welcome to Part I of How to Successfully Navigate the Supermarkets. Why is this blog separated into 2 parts?? Because we love a bit of suspense.
So supermarkets…. Pretty much a minefield if you don’t know what sort of things to avoid. As we have said time and time again, food is the be all and end all of your results. To get the food bit right, you need to get the shopping bit right.
So without further ado, let’s get stuck into our first three tips on how to safely navigate your way through the murky supermarket waters without capsizing your trolley.
Tip #1: HAVE A PLAN, STAN.
Before stepping foot into the supermarket, be clear of what you need. Yes, this actually requires you to plan your meals in advance. I could write a whole separate blog on food planning, but to cut a long story short, it plays a huge part in determining the success or failure of your results. Going into a supermarket without an idea of what you need is like giving a 5 year old free rein in a candy shop. Having a plan will significantly lower your chances of getting derailed. If you’re an old dog that can’t be taught new tricks, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As part of the Challenge, you get a week of delicious, squeaky clean recipes sent straight to your inbox.
Tip #2: SHOP THE PERIMETER, AVOID THE CENTRE.
80% of your food should be picked up from the outskirts of the store. To explain why, we’ll need to get into the complex mind of a store manager (riveting stuff, I know). From a logistical point of view, the fresh REAL stuff that goes bad quickly (fruit, veg, fish etc.) needs to be transported out of the store easily. So logically, it is placed on the outskirts of the store. That leaves the middle aisles for the stuff that has a longer shelf life. Apart from a few cupboard staples like brown rice, wholewheat pasta, oats etc., the middle aisles should be avoided as much as possible. They’re mostly a minefield of processed foods that couldn’t be further from their natural state. Which actually leads me quite nicely to our next tip…
Tip #3: WHAT’S ON THE LABEL?
If it has more than 5 ingredients on the packaging, leave it on the shelf. Same rules apply if it contains an ingredient that you can’t even pronounce the name of (what even is butylated hydroxytoluene anyway??). If you apply these two very simple rules to your grocery shopping, you’re automatically eating healthier. Less ingredients means you’re eating foods that are closest to their most wholesome natural state. In fact, most of the food you buy shouldn’t even have a nutrition facts label. An apple is an apple, it doesn’t need a label to tell you what’s inside. And anything that you can’t pronounce the name of shouldn’t be put anywhere near your mouth anyway.
There you have it folks, your first three fundamental tips on how to successfully tackle the supermarkets. Keep an eye out for part 2 coming your way very soon.