I’ve been a dietitian for more than 25 years and I’ve coached thousands toward better eating. What I’ve found is that nearly everyone wants to eat healthier, but many stop short of their intentions because of lack of a plan.
Last night, I did a grocery store tour at Albertsons for people with diabetes. One of my philosophies that I shared about eating was: If you don’t have a map, you don’t know where you’re going. It’s true for travel and for eating (or controlling diabetes)! (If you’re interested in attending a free Eating Healthy with Diabetes grocery tour in your area, here is more information)
What’s Your Eating Roadmap?
Really, it takes several “roadmaps” to guide healthy eating.
- Your eating goals. Are you trying to just eat healthier? Lose weight? Control diabetes or heart disease?
- Steps to get you there. Just wishing to eat healthier won’t make it happen. You’ve got to make some specific goals too… like eat a fruit or veggie at every meal. Limit fast food to x times a week. Go meatless 2 times a week. Notice those goals are specific and measurable. It makes it easier to follow and give yourself kudos if you succeed. With these specific steps, you can go to the next goal.
- A menu — even if it’s just a rough draft in your head. Here’s where the road map comes in. You’ve got to have a plan to put your overall and small goals in place. Trying to eat healthier? The first step could be simple — include fruits and veggies in your menu at each meal. Plan the meal around the veggies. Going meatless? Find a recipe or frozen meal that is vegetarian and put it on your menu.
- A grocery list. Here is where the rubber hits the road. If you don’t have a list (your map) it’s easy to get lost and head to the bakery aisle instead of the produce. Or to spend your fish budget on convenience items that you’re trying to stay away from. Luckily there’s an app for that, and if you pick the one that fits you and your family, planning and eating healthier are just a few clicks away!
Grocery Shopping Apps
The technology is there—why not use it?
- Grocery Pal. What usually stops people from eating well is not following steps 1 and 2 above. But another big barrier is the food budget. Eating healthier is often more expensive. Grocery Pal let’s you make a list but then see what’s on sale at different grocery store, so you can plan your eating around what’s on sale. You can also scan a product’s barcode to make sure you get the exact item on your list.
- Buy Me a Pie. This app, which makes shareable lists, can be used on your Apple watch, which is even better! You can add different categories such as Grocery store, Wholesale club, etc.
- Out of Milk. This highly rated app has a To-Do list too and your lists are also shareable, so you can send hubby or kids to the store with the list. A nice feature is the Pantry List to keep track of your essentials, because don’t you hate it when you get home from the store and decide to make zucchini bread and realize you are out of flour??!!
This is an app my family and I’ve used. It’s also shareable and syncable among family members. It’s easy to use and once you add foods to the list you can just check them when you need them which saves time.
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