Stop everything immediately. Is there an emergency? Yes – and it’s happening to you! What’s happening? Your grocery shopping skills are in need of a tune up. Yes, kudos to you for reading the label, and peeking at the ingredient list. But what exactly are you looking for? If you are buying individual food items with no plan for what to do with them, you, my friend, need a grocery intervention. I’m here for you.
All kidding aside, would you ever get ready in the morning without thinking about your outfit? We spend more time picking out our shoes and accessories than we do on how to put food/ingredients together to make a meal, decorating our outside, but neglecting our insides. Ironically, decorating the outside is impacted by our insides, right? Forget the picture filters. Your skin should be glowing and healthy on its own, not just because you photo shopped it.
So what to do? Here are 10 steps to get on the right path with your food planning and help you get better at shopping and meal planning. …don’t forget you can see a dietitian to help you drill down to your personalized choices.
- Make a list of your favorite foods, meals, snacks, and spices.
- Take stock of your pantry, freezer, and fridge and note what you have on hand.
- Think about the last delicious meal or snack you had and who made it. Find out the details so you can make it.
- Take an inventory of your favorite recipes and compare your kitchen equipment with your list to see if you have the right things to make what you like to eat. Make a list of gaps and ask for these things as presents for holidays, birthday, or buy them yourself.
- Write a food log. Did you plan your intake? Are you missing any food groups?
- Make a list of what is important to you in terms of food. Perhaps budget, taste, how much time you have to make it all top the list. Don’t forget the balance of nutrition we need. Aim for more than one food group at a meal to help with that.
- Think about how you plan your meals and snacks. Do you use recipes? Do you consider what you have in the fridge and pantry?
- Think about where you got your food advice and what you are doing when you shop. If you stare at ingredients and food labels but you don’t have an accurate, science based reference as to why you are doing what you are doing, question yourself. Then visit choosemyplate.gov to get some help and inspiration.
- Figure out what drives your choices and then be strong about supporting your beliefs. Don’t let others talk you into ordering something you wouldn’t just because of what they are eating. At the same time, don’t judge others for their own choices. We are all the captain of our own ship. Don’t let yours get sunk by allowing someone else to steer. Unless of course you are heeding the advice of your dietitian and steering out of the storm into calmer waters with the help of a professional. 😉
- Allow time to plan meals, don’t let them happen to you. Food is necessary for health and quality of life, and you deserve the best.