Eating healthy can be hard and it can be expensive. With a McDonald’s on every corner it makes it hard to justify spending the extra money and extra time eating healthy. But, eating healthy foods is the biggest factor in our health, even over exercise. When considering weight loss, it is about 75% what you eat and 25% how you move.
Eating healthy in Louisville can be a struggle, especially in areas of town where grocery stores are scarce. We know that it won’t be easy, but we’re trying to make it a little easier by making a list of tips to help get you started.
1. Make a Meal Plan
Depending on if you grocery shop weekly, every 2 weeks or monthly is the first step. If you are only making one grocery store run this month, you need to make sure you have enough food to get you through to the next month. Planning this ahead of time helps you feel secure that you will not go hungry. Meal planning also helps you know exactly what is for dinner tonight and tomorrow night.
The last thing I want to do when getting off work is worrying about what I’m gong to be making for dinner. When I meal plan, I already know, and that is one less thing to stress about.
2. Stick to Your Grocery List
Now that you’ve planned your meals for the next few weeks you can make a list of exactly what you need to get from the store. This ensures you aren’t wasting money on things you already have, and keeps you from spending money on things that you don’t need. (Pasta sauce doesn’t do any good when you’re making stir fry, tacos, and wings this week). The key is making sure you stick to your list, no matter how good that dessert in the bakery looks.
3. Stay on the Outside Aisles
Next time you walk into Kroger you may notice something you have never noticed before. All the processed food are in the center aisles while the meats, dairy, fruits and veggies are around the outside of the store. Instead of going up and down every aisle, stick to the perimeter of the store for the healthiest options.
4. Shop at Aldi
Many people who shop at Aldi swear by it, while you may not get “Folgers” coffee, “Oreos” or “Sunny D” you can find a wide variety of foods at a much lower cost than you would at Wal-Mart or Kroger. Most of what Aldi sells is not name brand, but that is part of the reason their prices are so good! They also carry a TON of organic foods as well if that is something that is important to you.
Remember, if you do plan to sop at Aldi that in order to get a grocery cart you need a quarter (don’t worry, you get it back when you return the cart), and you’ll need to bring your own grocery bags unless you want to pay for Aldi’s paper or plastic bags. While this seems like a pain at first, it is another reason Aldi can charge such low prices!
5. Meal Prep
This is a great way to get everyone in the family involved! After you go to the store, spend some time prepping your meals for the week (or 2). Get all your ingredients together so all you have to do at night is open a container, and go. You can pre-portion out things like burger patties so all you have to do it cook them, and you’re good to go. Kids can also make sandwiches for their week of lunch at school or camp. In the mornings, all they would do is grab a sandwich, grab a quick side and throw it in the lunchbox.
Taking a few hours to do this on the weekend will save you time and effort later in the week. That peace of mind can make a huge difference in day to day life.
6. Hit the Local Markets
It’s the time of year when Farmer’s Markets are starting to pop up. Most are only open 1-2 days a week and you have to get their early to make sure you get the good pick of the crops, but the fresh foods make a big difference in nutrients and taste. Not to mention you’re supporting a local farmer when you buy.
•Phoenix Hill NuLu Farmer’s Market: Thursdays 3:00p-6:00p 1007 E. Jefferson St.
•Gray Street Farmer’s Market: Thursdays 10:30a-1:30p E. Gray St.
•Beechmont Open Air Market: Saturdays 8:00a-12:00p Corner of Southern Pkwy & Wellington Ave.
•South Points Farmer’s Market: Sundays 10:00a-2:00p 4148 Taylor Blvd.
•New Roots Fresh Stop Market: Various Locations and Times, click here to find the market nearest you.
No matter why you are trying to eat healthier, getting there is the most important part. Planning ahead and getting the family involved means you’re setting your kiddos up for long term health and success. Happy eating!
If you know of any other farmer’s markets around town or have other tips to help others eat healthy share them in the comments!