WASHINGTON — It's a new year and a very popular resolution is to eat healthier and lose weight. But, many people fall off the wagon before the month of January is even over.
Knowing what to search for at the grocery store is a starting point to better nutrition. So we spoke to Registered Dietitian Addie Claire Jones who also serves as the Director of Nutrition for Vida Fitness. Jones shares some easy tips to help get in a good routine for a life of healthier living.
Jones points out that many people hear the advice of "shopping the perimeter of the store", meaning only visit the produce, meat, and bread sections. But sometimes this is not always feasible.
"There's definitely good options in every aisle. So look for those lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats in every aisle", says Jones. She adds knowing what to look for on the label that can make the biggest impact on your health, from checking the unsaturated fat levels to fiber and protein. Scheduling an appointment with a dietitian can help provide a roadmap of what your particular body needs.
For meal planning, instead of focusing on something different for every meal of every day, try focusing on recipe planning with healthy ingredients. Jones says, "take three recipes and use those to make a grocery list, and then make sure you have enough snacks foods for five days that's usually easier and just stick with that. Stick with the three meals at a time, the three recipes worth of ingredients and go from there.
"Most of the time you're gonna have leftovers and you'll be able to stretch that over the week, it's a lot less overwhelming than thinking about all fifteen meals at one time", adds Jones.
Also, don't be shy about getting frozen vegetables. Food waste is very important and produce is the top type of foods that are wasted. Jones says, "Buying frozen vegetables is a good way of getting things that we're picked and frozen right at their peak of freshness and their peak of nutrients as well....and also you're able to keep them at hand."
Be sure to keep at least two meals worth of healthy food in your freezer and two meals of healthy food in your pantry. That way you are never out of healthy options.
Below are options from several of the major DC area grocery chains that Jones recommends to help get started:
At Whole Foods Addie recommends: Produce, anything on sale; Banza pasta; 365 Organic Roasted Garlic Red Sauce; Popcorner’s Flourish Veggie Crisps; Tessemae’s Green Goddess dressing; Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic dressing; Delighted By Dessert Brownie Batter Hummus.
At Giant Addie recommends: Local apples, Giant takes pride in their large local produce selection. (The less time a food spends in transit to the store, the more nutrients it retains by the time it gets to you, which is one reason why it’s great to shop local when you can!); Wild caught frozen fish – halibut, mahi mahi, haddock, flounder; PEARLS Olives To Go olive cups; Nature’s Promise organic soups.
At Harris Teeter Addie recommends: Natural Choice Turkey and Cheddar Flatbread; Cedarlane Protein Bowls; Healthy Choice Power Bowls.
At Trader Joe’s Addie recommends: Bananas (One of the cheaper prices in the area at $0.19 per banana); Pre-made salads: A large selection for easy grab and go meals; Heat and Serve Lentils; The only seasonings you will ever need: 1) Everything but the Bagel Seasoning; 2) 21 Salute Seasoning; 30 Chili Lime Seasoning.
Written by Thomas James, Great Day Washington Producer