Valentine’s Day is right around the corner in the middle of American Heart Month. What a deliciously perfect time to “take heart” of our food and lifestyle choices for ourselves and our loved ones. Here are three new ways to organize yourself to help make getting more heart smart in your carteasier every time you grocery shop!
Make a list(or two). You’ve likely heard this one before, but this time, it’s a few different lists. What do you like to eat on a regular basis? Write them down, pull out your favorite recipes, and take a picture of them so you always have the “lists” with you when you find yourself in the store. The next list is the food you already have in your kitchen to make your favorite dishes. Sort by which are easy to keep in the pantry or freezer long term. This becomes your stock up list when these items go on sale. The final list is for the fresh items that need to be purchased on a more regular basis.
Look at the total picture. Once you have your ongoing lists organized, check them out to see where you can make some tweaks. Are there items that can be reduced in sodium, fat, and/or calories? Which items could be higher in fiber (grains, fruits, and vegetables)? Are you purchasing enough fruits and vegetables each week, and are any food groups missing? This is how you can help keep things balanced and interesting. Find new recipes that include better options to round out the foods and recipes you eat already, too.
Take action. Literally. The latest recommendations encourage 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Grocery shopping and cooking are activities that can be helpful with both what you are choosing to eat and for moving more. Park farther from the store on nice days. Take an extra trip or two around the store. Build a plan so it’s even easier to make activity a priority this year.
Need more help and inspiration? Talk with your doctor, dietitian, and or certified personal trainer for more personalized attention.