A New Year's Resolution for your Grocery Budget
It’s a New Year and people are full of good intentions to improve their lives and health. I love it! I love new beginnings, I love that every year we get a new chance to begin again.
But I also know that, statistically, most of these resolutions will be broken by February. If not sooner.
And I believe that’s because too often, when it comes to diet-related resolutions, we focus our attention on the wrong thing. Because we focus it on all the things we “shouldn’t” be eating or need to “eat less of” or “cut out” completely. Even though these resolutions have good intentions and are even often GREAT IDEAS, our focus becomes on what we aren’t having and can lead to feelings of deprivation. And feeling deprived sets us up for failure.
Thankfully, there’s another way.
What if, instead of focusing on what you’re cutting OUT of your diet – less salt, no sugar, no gluten, lower fat -- whatever it may be, you focused on simply making a shift in HOW you spend your grocery dollars?
I love to take a peek into other people’s shopping carts. I’m always fascinated by the choices that people make, but one thing consistently surprises me more than anything else: the amount of money people spend on items at the grocery store which offer little to zero nutritional value.
My informal observational study (okay, nosey-ness) was validated this week, when the government released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, noting the following about the way Americans are currently eating:
“… foods from most food groups as they are typically consumed in the United States are not in nutrient-dense form. In addition, foods and beverages are consumed that are primarily composed of added sugars and/or solids fats, and provide excess calories without contributing to meeting food group recommendations.”
Due to the money and influence of various lobbyists, the language even in this description of our current eating habits is vague (their recommendations themselves is a topic for a whole other blog post). So here’s a translation:
We are spending our hard-earned dollars on food products that lack nutrients and are mostly made from added sugar and fat that we don’t really need.
Think about that. We are spending our money, not on nutrients our bodies need, but on excess sugar and fat we don’t need. And it's making us sick.
HALF of Americans have one or more preventable, chronic diseases that are the direct result of diet and/or activity level.
We are spending our own money to make ourselves sick!
But we can stop. Or at least refocus some (most?) of those dollars on more foods that DO contain nutrients. Start by observing your choices. With any packaged food products you buy, check to see if they contain any significant nutrients (not just calories). You may be surprised at what you discover. When you look at nutrients instead of just calories, some cheap foods become shockingly expensive. And that bunch of bananas (yes, even the organic ones), you begin to realize, is actually quite a bargain.
So get picky. Be discerning. You worked hard for that money, so spend it on food that will work hard to keep you healthy. Commit to spending more of your food dollars on nutrients: more fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods.
If making this shift seems daunting, I’d love to be Your Veggie Coach and give you the support, attention and guidance you need to make changes. Grab a spot in my 16 Week 1-on-1 Coaching Program and make your resolution to improve your diet (and your family's) failure-proof -- and much more fun than going at it alone!