I started to think about my local grocery store, Giant. Where in the store is the healthy food? What part of the store should I avoid? It occurred to me, for the most part, that the healthiest foods are around the perimeter of the store. Fruits and veggies in the produce depart on one side wall, meat and milk on the back wall, eggs, other dairy products (proteins) and whole grain breads along the other side wall. Eating healthy would be easy if only I made good choices while shopping only the perimeter of the store. So, I decided to challenge myself! I would go grocery shopping for the family and try to buy at least 75% off our food from the perimeter of the store. Wish me luck!
Pushing my cart through the doors of the store, with my daughter Andrea in the seat, I was ready! First, we start at the produce department. I pick up carrots and cucumbers to snack on. We then head toward green beans and broccoli for dinner sides. We finish up in produce by getting some apples. Next, I pick up a rotisserie chicken and half a pound of turkey at the deli. Now it’s time to enter the forbidden zone, the center aisles. My husband favorite dinner is Spaghetti with meat sauce, so we head down the pasta aisle for a box of whole wheat pasta and some spaghetti sauce. I also make a stop in the cereal aisle for a box of oatmeal.
Now it’s time to hit the meat section. I start out by picking up some lean ground beef for Mike’s spaghetti. I also choose some chicken breast and pork chops. Andrea and I keep moving across the back of the store to the milk section, where we get some skim milk. We turn the corner to the other side wall of the store and pick up some Chobani Greek Yogurt (my favorite!!!) and some fat free regular yogurt. We continue toward the front of the store to the bread section and grad some Weight Watchers Whole Grain bread to go with the deli turkey for lunch. Now it’s time to round out the shopping list and head into the forbidden zone one last time. This time, on the agenda is apple juice for the kids and almonds for my snack.
I look over my list one last time. I have enough here for three healthy dinners for my family, plus breakfast and lunch for me while Mike is at work and Nathan is at school. The big question is: did I meet my goal? Did I get 75% of my grocery purchase from the perimeter of the store? Here is a list of what I got:
From the Store Perimeter
From the Forbidden Center Aisles
Whole wheat pasta noodles
Fresh Green Beans
Lean Ground Beef
Chobani Greek Yogurt
Fat free yogurt
Weight Watchers Whole Grain Bread
So, how did I do? I got a total of 19 items, five that did not come from the perimeter. That means only 74% of my purchase came from the perimeter. I did not meet my challenge, but I think I did a pretty great job!
Now, I challenge you!!! Try to get a majority of your food from the perimeter of your grocery store. How did you do? Tell me what you found easiest and most difficult about shopping this way? Do you have any tips or advise for others about healthy grocery shopping? I would love to hear from you!