Shopping…where do we start when we enter the supermarket. There is so much to choose from now that it is overwhelming. Try firstly to remember to write a shopping list of essential items you definitely need otherwise we tend to overspend and get unneccesary items. One other thing to bare in mind is to eat before we shop or we tend to overspend big time just thinking about how hungry we are the whole time. Keeping your health and well being in mind is also important when venturing out for the big weekly or twice a week shop. Generally the fruit and veggie is the first section we see and also one of the most important.

Fruit and vegetables are high in many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants which help with maintaining or improving the digestive system. Pick a variety of colours for the fruits, my favourite are bananas (my pre workout fruit and also amazing in my daily summer smoothie). Vegetables should be eaten every day as well as fruit. Try to have vegetables as part of at least two meals a day. Lunch and dinner are perfect but other snack ideas during the day are carrot or celery sticks with hummus or another healthy of low fat dip like cottage cheese.

The next section we see is the deli/meat area. Those that are vegetarian or vegan might like to skip this part out but supermarkets also stock plenty of alternative food options that are not from animals such as: tofu, chickpeas and lentils. So back to the meat. Try to have a variety including seafood which is high in Omegas (good for joints), red meat, chicken, lamb. Healthier options are lean options or better cuts of meat. We can also make this healthier by certain cooking methods (but that’s for another time).

We have now gone through most of the fresh foods that we find. We can also freeze meat, vegetables and fruit to prolong their life as such but ensure you haven’t left meat in the freezer for long periods of time e.g 6 months. Rotating the freezer food is good and also having a clean out every now and again.

We are just touching on basics so for bread, have a look at the ingredients. A good option if you have the time is making your own bread as then you know exactly what is in it. There are generally three different types: white, whole meal, whole grain. I always go for the whole grain option.

Milk..again we now have several options for the lactose intolerant people in the world but if you are being weight conscious, try a lower fat milk.
There are so many other items at the supermarket that I haven’t even touched on from carbohydrates like pasta, rice and couscous to cereals and flour. The best advice I can give you is to have a look at the ingredients before you buy. A lot of foods have added preservatives, sugars etc. a whole grain or a brown option when looking at rices are better than white rice and they make you fuller for longer, meaning hopefully less food consumed if you do have a habit or tendency to over eat.

I meant to make this short but there is still a lot more to talk about but we will leave it for now. I just have one more thing to say. As an alternative fruit, vegetable and meat shop to supermarkets, try the fresh food markets that are situated all over the place. You will find a variety of fresh foods at a typically reduced price compared to supermarkets. This also supports local businesses and growers. Have a think about it…

– Silvia

KX Pilates Trainer