Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Shopping Habit

“If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it.” This double-meaning observation is one I frequently share with my clients. When we explore their typical food choices, they often lament that don’t have the fruits and vegetables or low fat dairy products they need on hand. If you want to eat a nutritious diet, you have to have the food in the house.

While this may seem obvious, as a wellness consultant, I frequently work with clients on establishing a food shopping routine. Years ago, my mother had this down pat. Dad was paid every Thursday, so Thursday night she went food shopping without fail, paying with cash while the money was still available. With four kids and a full time job, she cooked virtually every meal, so having food in the house at all times was a necessity. I encourage clients to adopt the same weekly shopping habit, keeping a shopping list handy throughout the week to update as needed. Once they do this, they find healthy eating much easier and enjoyable.

My observation has a second meaning, too: if you want to eliminate junk food from your diet, don’t buy it. If it’s your spouse that has the cookies and chips, ask them to hide the food, because it’s also true that if you can’t find it, you can’t eat it! As you purge these items from your pantry, keep in mind that you can give yourself permission to buy a single serving if you choose. I love the single-serving options today, as they allow you to address the craving without setting yourself up for eating cheesecake for a week.

Check your calendar now. When will do your food shopping this week?

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