top 10 tips to master plant based grocery shopping
So you've decided to eat more plants. YAY!! We can't wait for you to feel the benefits! It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start, especially how to grocery shop for what you need. But have no fear, we're here to help with our top tips to simplify plant based food shopping!
Plan your meals ahead of time. If you know what you'll be eating and what ingredients you'll need on hand, you'll be less likely to overspend. Or worse, have unused, mushy produce in the fridge that ends up being composted or thrown away at the end of the week. If you're struggling to plan your menu, join our Wellness Membership. We provide you with all the tools you need: recipes, shopping list, meal prep tips & even a weekly affirmation to increase the plants, peace and positivity in your day to day!
Head to the produce section first. Eat fruits and veggies in abundance. They can be the base of your meals or delicious add-ons to rice bowls, salads & smoothies. The more whole foods you fill your cart with, the less room you'll have for packaged and processed food. We call this the "crowding out" method. And bonus...whole foods are actually less expensive than that name brand box of cereal or bag of chips that's conveniently at your eye level.
Stock up on whole grains. Grains are great to have on hand for bowls, salads, soups or wraps. Go for the high fiber, whole grains to keep you full, energized and satisfied. If you are short on time, make a large batch over the weekend, purchase pre-made or the 1-min cups. Watch the labels for added sodium.
Limit packaged foods. Even natural and organic packaged foods tend to have more sodium, added sugars and oils. Read the labels for hidden eggs and dairy too. And as we noted above, if you've got more produce and whole grains filling up your cart, eventually, you'll find you've broken up with your old, processed favorites.
Frozen fruits, veggies and canned beans are A.O.K. Actually, produce is frozen at its peak freshness, meaning it's most nutrient dense state, so frozen fruits and veggies are an awesome way to go! Especially when they are not in season. Plus if they're pre-cut, it saves on time. Speaking of time, if you don't have it to spare soaking your beans, look for low-sodium, organic, canned options if you can.
Bulk section does NOT = healthy! Bulk bins are great for raw seeds, grains and nuts. It can save you money, for sure, but shop from a store with high product sell-through (you don't want to eat oats or nuts that have been sitting for a while). You also want to read the ingredients for added sugars and sodium.
Check out the International food aisles for fun spices or sauces to take veggies from dull to exotic! We love experimenting with curry pastes, spice blends, tahini, tamari and miso in our recipes. The options are endless when it comes to flavor!
Choose your proteins. Contrary to popular belief, a plant based diet is packed with protein. Not only do you get tons protein of from green leafy veggies, you can find it in tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, quinoa, seitan and tempeh! Experiment to find your favorite sources. We provide delicious, seasonal recipes that include a variety of proteins in our Wellness Membership every week.
Bring your own reusable bags. It's better for the environment and gives you an opportunity to showcase your unique style.
Don't shop when hungry. Studies show that we overeat and make unhealthy choices when we are hungry. So before heading off to your local market, drink at least 16 oz of water and fuel up on a high fiber + protein snack to keep you full and satisfied while filling up your cart. An apple with a drizzle of almond butter is a great option.
Have any other tips or strategies that work for you? We'd love to hear them!
Don't forget to check out our Wellness Membership!