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January 19, 2012

10 Tips to Help You Successfully Navigate the Grocery Store

Dinner Diva
10 Tips to Help You Successfully Navigate the Grocery Store

by Leanne Ely, CNC

Dear Friends,

A lifestyle of poor diet and lack of exercise kills about 400,000 Americans every year—that’s as many who have died from smoking, can you imagine?? And that’s only Americans—this number does not count the rest of the world that eats poorly and neglects to exercise! YIKES!

It’s a tough world out there and today’s grocery store is no exception. Here are some tips to navigate the grocery store successfully and buy the healthy foods you need and avoid the unhealthy ones that could kill you! Healthy foods don’t need to bankrupt you or make you spend untold hours in the kitchen. Here are some tips for getting healthy happening in your kitchen today:

1)    Fast Food. Look for stuff that is fast and easy to make, like sweet potatoes (stab, bake, eat). Cheap eats, massively good for you and filling.

2)    Go Green. Baby spinach is fast-food friendly too. Not as cheap as sweet ‘taters, but worth the cost of admission! I like mine stir-fried (little bit of olive oil and lotsa garlic!) and in salads.

3)    Brown Rice. You can make a vat of this stuff, scoop into individual freezer bags and freeze for later use if time is of the essence. Having a box of quick cooking brown rice at home isn’t a bad idea either, but the long cooking stuff is much less expensive.

4)    Grown Your Own. Having a veggie garden is a lot easier than you think. Check out www.squarefootgardening.com for a plan for nearly everyone!

5)    Thirst Out. Water is about as economical as it can get. If you want clean and fresh water, check out different water purifiers and start pile driving the water. Cheaper than anything else you can drink!

6)    Seasonal Stuff. Buy in season (summer is the time to find cheap watermelon, not the middle of winter), buy locally when at all possible and buy organically.

7)    Garlic and Onions. Very inexpensive and will ratchet up the flavor and potency of nearly anything you make, not to mention the antioxidant factors as well. Keep them on hand!

8)    Read Labels. And remember, if you have to spend 10 minutes deciphering a food’s label with unpronounceable chemical additives and you have no earthly idea what they are, your body doesn’t know what they are either. Not only that, but you’re going to pay for those expensive chemicals at the cash register and in your own health. Skip anything with fake colors, flavorings or “flavor enhancers”…they all ROB you of your health!

9)    Vegetarians Unite. Once a week, go vegetarian. That doesn’t mean eating a bunch of soy-based processed foods, but rather choosing a vegetarian meal each week. In the summer, we have fresh tomato sauce on pasta with chopped fresh oregano and feta cheese sprinkled over the top. I grow tomatoes and oregano in my garden and the whole meal is divine!

10)    Beans, Beans. The ultimate healthy, yet frugal food, dried beans need to be soaked, cooked and then can be made into a multitude of cheap eats, from soups to chilis to salad. Eat your beans for corn’s sake!

Don’t become a statistic and please don’t think healthy food is out of your reach or budget! It’s not hard, it’s enjoyable and the cool thing about eating healthy, grown in the ground food is you always know what you’re eating—no labels necessary!

Enjoy!

Love,
Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva
Saving Your Dinner since 2001
http://savingdinner.com NEW Paleo Menu-Mailer available with a Menu-Mailer subscription!

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