Routine can be a hit or miss when it comes to someone’s diet. It might be the one factor that keeps your diet in check to stick to what you know, but sticking to the same old same old might be take a huge toll on your health. One thing that I’ve noticed in my personal diet is that I constantly end up eating the same foods. This hasn’t been brought up to my attention as a fault in my eating until my nutrition professor talked about how lack of variety is depletion of nutrients. Although it seems like a simple concept, it really clicked that our bodies need so much nutrients from a wide range of foods and we can only consume so much variety in one day, that’s why it is so important to switch up what we eat on a day to day basis. You may be sticking to health foods and that’s not the problem, the problem is sticking to the same healthy foods.
How to give your grocery list a makeover:
- Ask yourself: are your “staple” items really staples?:
- We deem certain food items as “staples” and it makes sense to have some basic food items that you feel are crucial for different recipes. It took me a while to admit that my weekly tub of hummus is not necessarily a staple item.
- Shop according to a new recipe:
- Look up a recipe that you have never tried before and enter the store with that recipe in mind. Often I find myself gravitating to the same foods simply because I don’t know what I would do with other food items, but if you come with a plan of attack you can quickly learn how to cook and use new foods.
- Go through the motions and then don’t do them:
- Observe yourself go through the grocery store just as you normally would. For me this means I would walk into the produce section, grab a tub of spinach, avocados and some sweet potatoes. But since I want to switch it up I would stop before actually putting this items in my cart and decide how I want to change it up, so instead this may mean asparagus, tomatoes, and spaghetti squash.
- Aim for at least ⅓ of your list to routine items: Similar to number one, addressing staple items, check the ration of items you recognize and ones you don’t. Make sure that while you might have some routine items, the majority of your cart is brand new.
- Shop according to My Plate: Sometimes we get so used to the foods we like that we don’t even prioritize balance the food groups. Make your list into sections of food groups and list the items that go under that food group. For instance: Carbohydrates: Brown rice, Sweet Potatoes, Whole wheat bread etc.
You might be a healthy eater, but being the same healthy eater might not be healthy at all. So switch it up, try something new and expand your grocery list horizon.
It’s a good day to have a good one.