I once read an article by Marion Nestle that talked about strategic shopping for healthy eating that basically said you should stick to the outside perimeter of your grocery store to do 90% of your shopping. In theory the outside of the store is produce, dairy, whole grain artisan breads and proteins. This holds true for the most part but there are still some hurdles you’ll have to face before you finish your shopping without doing a faceplant into raspberry tarts and banana bread.
The grocery store I go to most often either never received Miss Nestle’s memo on how a grocery store should be set up or, they had a bonfire and burned it before calling in the same people who design casinos. This is how my store works. Picture a horseshoe on the right is butter/ cheese/ processed meats/ processed you name it/dairy/packaged deli salads/ deli and finally fish on the back wall next to meat. Tucked into the back left corner is produce before coming down into bakery land and finish up with ready to eat craptastic meals. Nothing says you love your family more than a day old bland meatloaf (code for salty mostly breadloaf) with dry mashed potato (that you could use to mortar bricks).
To a person of lesser willpower this would be an invitation to say “aw to hell with the fish roulade with spinach, I’m throwin down with dinosaur nuggets, hash browns cooked in bacon fat and gimme a container of those fig tarts!” I look at this as an opportunity to reinforce what I’m doing is not only better, but healthier. Go ahead and grab something, you know you want to. Now get it out of the cart and read the label to see what you’re missing out on. The other great piece of advice Marion had was picture your great grandmother next to you and if she doesn’t recognize an ingredient you shouldn’t eat it… now put it back… yes you, the one holding the bucket of margarine and three pound pack of jumbo dogs.
I take the time to look at a lot of stuff I used to eat while walking by and think about my weight loss thus far and how walking to the back of the store doesn’t wear me out anymore but rather, it inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing. I walk by the breaded packaged “veal” cutlets and boxed frozen lasagna with my head held high until I get to the fish counter where I see…previously frozen farm raised shrimp from east jockstrap, oh brother. Ok so next week, things not to buy that are tucked in with the good stuff.
Week 6: I’m down 36 pounds (To my European brethren that’s three of those Volkswagen sized tubs of Nutella and six bags of freaky fries)