As I was perusing the produce section at Trader Joe's, I overheard a conversation: "Nice Mangos..."
Joe's did have some nice mangos that day, and with a chuckle, I added a few to my cart with exciting anticipation to make Mango Salsa (recipe attached).
Adopting a simplistic shopping technique has improved my healthy lifestyle. I took time and made simple changes which have truly made a difference in my life, and I hope these shopping tips can help you implement healthy habits for life.
Learn the Layout
Shop a few times early in the morning or late at night, when crowds are few to learn where things are.
Eat FRESH 50/50
Aim to fill 50 percent of your cart with FRESH produce, and fill 50 percent of your plate with vegetables at both lunch and dinner. Fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins are essential to every “diet” plan.
Read Signs and Labels
Spend time familiarizing yourself with the types of produce. (i.e. varieties of lettuce, both in the bagged and non-bagged section.)
Buy One Hogwarts Item
Ever wonder what produce is resembling something from Harry Potter? Introduce yourself to a parsnip, beet, swiss chard or leek. Purchase it, learn about it and try it. Make trying new things a fun game. Play off the Harry Potter idea and your kiddos just might try a new fruit or vegetable.
Use your smartphones for more than Angry Birds! Use them for shopping lists, researching an unfamiliar item or searching recipe ideas to utilize sale items and ensuring you have all the ingredients necessary.
Compare and Contrast
Take a minute to compare quality and price. Quality produce can be judged by color—aim for the brightest fruits and veggies! Broccoli should be bright green NOT deep forest green. Prices fluctuate. I have found many times when organic items are priced lower than non-organic. Choose based on your budget and desired quality. Take advantage of sale items and refer to your smart phone for a recipe idea.
Shopping really is an acquired skill. Improved shopping skills can help make a healthy lifestyle easier to maintain. So about those Mangos…
Tiny Bites by Annie
The fresh herbs are what make this salsa so flavorful. Fresh herbs add a dynamic flavor to any dish. Best if made ahead. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
1 mango (diced)
2 kiwi (diced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1/2 onion (sweet or red) (diced)
10 basil leaves (julienned=sliced as thin as possible)
10 mint Leaves (julienned=sliced as thin as possible)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Fresh ground black pepper
Directions: Cut, mix, enjoy!
Use: As a dip, to top off your salad with chicken, fish, or in a sandwich
Change it up! Other things to consider adding:
Red pepper Flakes
Healthy Chip Tip:
Brush a whole wheat pita with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Place in aluminum foil, in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Some may want to add sugar to this, but I say try with the salsa first. There is plenty of flavor already and the fruit adds a sweet kick!
-Annie Masilunas, firstname.lastname@example.org