According to a study from Statista:
- 31.9% of Canadian consumers are motivated to change their eating habits in an effort to lose weight
- 28.1% are motivated to eat healthy foods to protect their long-term health
It often seems that our lives are on fire as we race about with work, child care, sports, aging parents, and other responsibilities that fill our days. When you finally return home, you’ve run out of time and energy to plan and prepare a meal, so you end up ordering pizza.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals for the week ahead will help you make healthier choices.
- Allocate one day each week to plan what your meals will look like for the week.
- Start by looking in your refrigerator. Check your fresh vegetables and fruit to see if there is anything that needs to be used quickly before it spoils.
- Browse through the cupboards and pantry for ingredients you already have on hand.
- Looking for some new recipe ideas? Put some of the key ingredients you have into the Google search bar. Lots of recipe suggestions will pop up to inspire you!
- Review your weekly meal plan and look for shortcuts. Do multiple meals require diced onion? Prep it all at once and store it for the upcoming meals. You don’t have the time or patience to cut and dice fresh produce? Buy pre-cut produce. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s a step in the right direction for a nutritious meal.
- Make some of the meals ahead, so all you need to do is warm it up and serve.
- Prepare your shopping list to match your meal plan.
Hitting the grocery store on the way home after work can be tricky!
- Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Your willpower will be weak when gazing at the bakery counter on your way past.
- Take your list and stick to it! Seriously, stick to it!
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find the fresh produce, proteins, whole foods, eggs, dairy, etc.
- Try to avoid the inside aisles, except to find an item on your list. Wandering those aisles is where you can get into trouble, purchasing processed foods that aren’t on your shopping list.
- Skip the snack aisle completely! Focus on making healthy snacks at home. Frozen grapes are a naturally sweet treat. Hummus and guacamole are excellent. Try a tin of canned, flavoured tuna atop a healthy cracker. Make some kale chips or energy balls. (Recipes included below)
Some people believe choosing healthier foods is more costly. Shop wisely, and you can save money.
- While it can be helpful to purchase organic food, that may not be practical for everyone. Just focus on fresh.
- Skip the processed foods, and you’ll automatically save money! Whole foods are exempt from GST; processed foods are not. Once a food item is processed, you’ll pay GST on it. White milk – no GST. Chocolate milk – GST added.
- Plant a garden to grow your own vegetables. If you haven’t space for a garden, try growing some fresh herbs on your windowsill.
Knowledge is Power
Trying to choose healthy foods can be overwhelming! There are always trendy new diets being promoted online, and foods you thought were healthy are suddenly being blamed for weight gain. Make sure you review and vet where you get information carefully, and pick a plan that is best for your health.
If you wish further assistance with nutritional advice and planning, request an appointment with Kelly Anne Erdman, Registered Dietitian.