Monday, May 25, 2015

The Easiest Healthy Eating Tip Ever

Healthy Eating Tip #1: Only put nutritious food in your shopping cart. Leave junk behind on the shelves.
That's the only healthy eating tip you'll ever need. Commit it to memory. Let it be your mantra guiding you up and down the supermarket aisles. Keep garbage out of your shopping cart, and you'll keep it out of your diet.
Figuring out what is good versus what is garbage is fairly simple too. Here's how. When you pick up an item, consider two things.

First, ask yourself, "What food group does this item belong to?" Strawberries are fruit, thus belong to the "Vegetables and Fruit" food group. Tilapia is fish, a member of "Meat and Alternatives." Tim Tams, while sinfully delicious, have no food group to call home. Leave them on the shelf and away from your waistline.
Second, quickly scan the ingredients. It's not rocket science. Packaged items with long, convoluted ingredient lists should probably stay at the store, especially if the list contains unrecognizable chemicals that your liver will not appreciate having to deal with. A banana contains ONE ingredient. Rice cakes with natural peanut butter, TWO ingredients. An insanely nutritious home-cooked chili contains SIX ingredients and requires only minutes to prepare. (See recipe below.)
The perimeter of the supermarket is organized by food group. If you spend most of your shopping time here you will have a better chance of filling your cart with fresh, wholesome food. While among the mid-store aisles with packaged items, look for the Heart and Stroke Foundation "Health Check" logo. These foods have met stringent nutrient criteria and are thought to contribute to an overall healthy diet. You can put these items in your cart with confidence.
Bottom line, a food item's healthfulness is directly related to: one, the ease of assigning it to a food group; and two, the simplicity and clarity of its ingredient list.
You have one more ace up your sleeve to make sure that bad food choices stay out of your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. At the checkout, review your items one more time as you place them on the conveyor belt. "Avocado, yup. Healthy." Put it on the belt. "Skim milk, healthy. Quick oats, healthy. Can of tomatoes, healthy. Ground turkey, healthy." Put them on the belt. "Tim Tams. How did those get in there?" Leave them behind!
Of course, this shopping strategy is only your first line of defense. Your healthy eating efforts need to extend beyond the supermarket. You need to take these ingredients and create nutritious, balanced meals. And how about those nights when your refrigerator stays shut, and you go enjoy a restaurant meal instead? Bookmark the Dietitians of Canada website for downloadable factsheets entitled "Supermarket Smarts" and "Eating Out Smarts" as well as other credible information for all your nutrition-related queries. [ ]
Easy, Healthy Chili
1 lb ground turkey; 1 can whole tomatoes (28 ounces), chopped, juice included; 1 can tomato soup (condensed); 1 can kidney beans (19 ounces); 1 can navy beans (19 ounces);1 tsp chili powder; 1-2 cups of frozen or fresh veggies of your choice (optional).
Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray. Heat to medium-high. Brown ground turkey until fully cooked. You may wish to season it with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with rice.
All That Is Wellness [] is your healthy lifestyle e-zine. It's where you come for reliable, relevant information about safe, effective fitness, mind-body wellness, wholesome nutrition, and great recipes.
Anita Parker, B.Sc., B.Ed., is the editor of All That Is Wellness. You can contact her at
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