I am writing this post in conjunction with a Healthier Cravings Challenge I am running in my Facebook Group and it got me thinking about food shopping.
Have you ever been shopping and come back with a whole lot more that you planned for?
I think we all have. We get lured in by tempting offers and clever packaging and what about when being caught on the hop?
Have you ever been really hungry and found yourself in a supermarket, trying to find something that will fill the gap but is healthy?
If you know what I’m talking about, read on as I have some helpful tips for you in this post.
The other day I had a busy, jam-packed teaching schedule and I got stuck in traffic which meant I only had 20 minutes to get across town to meet someone.
I usually pack snacks with me but I'd managed to leave them behind at home and I was really hungry.
Have you ever been in that situation before?
I knew there was a supermarket on the way so I decided to stop there but when I stood in front of the shelves, I have to admit it took me a couple of minutes to figure out the best choice. Something that would stop my stomach from rumbling and keep me feeling focused and energised, without a sugar crash or stomach ache later!
When you’re hungry, it’s so easy to give in to temptations especially the kind on supermarket shelves. The thing about most grab-and-go processed food is, it never tastes as good as we think it will and then later, we feel guilty about the whole thing and mad at ourselves that we weren’t more prepared.
Well, the thing to remember is LIFE HAPPENS. We just need to be equipped to make better choices on the hop so that we don’t get stuck or end up feeling guilty.
Here are my top 2 tips to help you navigate the supermarket aisle in these circumstances.
The best tactic is to find a snack that is as close to whole foods as possible and has a balance of nutrients to help you refuel. You want something with some protein, carbs and definitely some fiber, to help fill you up!
Find something that you can’t eat in just two bites. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realise you’re full, so you want a snack that takes a while to eat. There’s no need to wolf down 500 calories of sugar and fat in 2 minutes and still feel hungry!
What does a healthier choice look like, exactly?
I’ve got a few suggestions for things you can pick up at most shops.
My top suggestion is to do a walk-through of the store to see if they have any fresh food, like fruits or a salad that isn’t smothered in mayo.
You can grab a piece of fruit like an apple or banana, and a small package of raw nuts or pumpkin seeds.
Coconut yogurt is a great option because it doesn’t have sugar added to it but is not as sour as say, plain Greek yogurt. Check the labels though. I like coyo.
If none of those options are possible, you can grab an energy bar that is made of whole foods, such as Paleo Kitchen or Deliciously Ella for example. Again, please check the labels. You want something with only a few ingredients made from whole foods e.g. nuts, dates and spices.
One rule of thumb with energy bars is to eat half of it and wait a while to see if you’re still hungry before you decide whether to eat the rest of it.
A last-ditch choice is a granola bar, but be sure to check the labels! They often contain questionable ingredients. Make sure it has fiber, is low in sugar, and contains some protein.
You’ve heard me talk about the power of planning ahead and obviously, it’s always best to plan ahead and bring healthy options with you, but sometimes life happens, and you don’t have anything with you!
Just remember that planning still comes into play when you walk through the door of that supermarket! If you have an idea of what you want to buy ahead of time, it can make it easier to not get derailed and grab that Snickers bar.
I hope these tips help you!
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