After working all day, spending an hour at the grocery store, and messing up making dinner, I’ve realized that I really do wish it were Sunday. Or better yet , how about Friday?!?!?!?
In some ways I love grocery shopping, but in more ways than one, I hate grocery shopping.
I love the neatly stacked, boldly colored produce, and the way the floral department smells so fresh and inviting as you pass by. I love the glimmering bottles of wine just waiting to be opened and sipped and enjoyed. I love the colors and the quiet and the order.
But I loath the process. I mean come on! Load the cart with what you need. Unload the cart onto the counter. Load the bags into the cart. Unload the bags into your car. Unload the bags again out of your car and into your house. Unload the contents of the bags onto the kitchen counter. Load the groceries into all nooks and crannies of your cabinets and fridge. I and I do mean every nook and cranny! I wasn’t kidding when I said we need to move!
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in one of those countries where the market was just around the corner, and you could walk down once or twice a week to buy freshly baked bread and just picked produce? I think these countries are on to something!
The aisles and aisles of choices in the grocery store also lead me to think about a company I’ve come across a few times within the past few months: NuVal. Nuval is a company that analyzes the nutritional value of common foods you eat, and scores it on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being the most nutritious choice (hence the name NuVal!)
Here’s how it works in a nutshell:
“NuVal Scores summarize comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100. Each NuVal Score takes into account more than just the nutrition fact panel. It considers 30-plus nutrients and nutrition factors – the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and the not-so-good (sugar, sodium, cholesterol). And then it boils it down into a simple, easy-to-use number; a number you can trust to make better decisions about nutrition in just a few seconds.” (Source)
This afternoon I decided to browse their website. While browsing I found an extremely intriguing game called Nutrition by Numbers.
For this game, you put products in order from highest score to lowest score. I was extremely surprised by some of the results! Although, I knew that an apple held a higher nutritional value than apple sauce, I had no idea how incredibly low the apple sauce would score. I mean, isn’t it just puréed apples?
|Instead of Mott’s Plus Plain Applesauce||Try a Red Delicious Apple|
How did you do???
The first couple of times I tried the game I scored in the low 20s… and I consider myself “nutrition” savvy! I may not always eat that way (um, I just finished two homemade chocolate chip cookies!), but I sure do know that a baked potato is better for me than the super sized plate of golden crisp french fries that I can barely resist. However, some of the products’ packaging made me think they were healthier than they actually were. Baked Lays are better for you than a freshly baked loaf of Italian bread?!?!?! Wowzers!
This site has definitely made me reconsider the way our food is packaged and marketed. With aisles of food items labeled with word such as “whole grains,” “heart-healthy,” “0-grams of Trans Fat,” “All Natural,” “Fat Free,” and “Low Calorie, it’s hard to tell what is actually the healthiest choice.
This is one reason I try to stick to a “clean” diet. Eating clean simply means eating as many unprocessed foods as possible. If you can read and pronounce the contents on the label, you can probably bet that it is a “clean” choice. Food that is close to the source, such as fresh produce, is also a sure bet.
In her book Clean Food, Terry Walters recommends making small changes to your diet to include food that is closer to the source.
For example, I made a small change by choosing old-fashioned rolled oats over quick cooking, pre-flavored microwave packets. I then flavor the oats with fruit, organic peanut butter, and cinnamon; all of which are closer to the source. I’m not eating steel-cut oats yet, but maybe over time I will gradually move in that direction.
Someone once told me that sticking to the outer edges of the grocery store is one way to guarantee that you are choosing healthier products. Think about what products are on the outer edges: produce, butcher, fresh bakery, etc. Think about the inner aisles: crackers, processed cakes and cookies, pre-cooked and salted beans and soups, etc.
Here is my challenge for you! Make one small change to your diet this week that moves you “closer to the source.” If you do, please share in the comments!!! I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions!!!!