I took this picture with my cell phone while I was shopping at my local Kroger grocery store. It’s just a regular grocery store aisle – not the junk food aisle, but rather it’s across from the cereals.
Honestly, what a bunch of junk.
My husband and I were talking about this yesterday. Was the food at grocery stores always so junky? I haven’t added it up, but it seems to me that a good portion of the food sold in grocery stores isn’t real food or even good for us, but instead the real food is definitely in the minority when compared to the processed junk food.
Case in point:
- Cake mixes
- Brownie mixes
- Most chips
- Full-fat ice creams
- Canned food full of sodium
- Boxed meals
- Fruit chews for kids
- Pop-Tarts and other “breakfast treats”
I understand the need for convenience, after all, we are all busy. But I get frustrated when I walk up and down the aisles and really look at what’s on the shelf. I, like most of you, always heard the recommendation to shop the “outside aisles” of the grocery store and avoid the endcaps. I never used to shop on the perimeter of the store because I loved all the “convenience” aka junky foods. I bought Oreo cereal for goodness sakes!
I don’t know why it struck me so intently this trip. I stopped after I took this picture and looked in my basket. My basket was full of enough food to feed the nine of us for a week without putting any junk into it. (I’m NOT perfect – we do eat junk on occasion, but even the little bit of junk we eat is unnecessary.)
When I think about how simple it is to make a salad, grill a piece of chicken and serve some fresh or frozen green beans that do not have any added sodium for dinner, I wonder how we as a society got so far away from simple, healthy foods. Was it when it huge factories and automation made it easy to mass produce food or was it due to our increasingly busy lifestyles? In any case, it doesn’t take a lot more time to make an easy meal than it does to bake a TV dinner in the oven or prepare a Hamburger Helper type meal.
It does take longer to shop in the grocery store when so much of the food is junk. Why? Because you have to look past the junk and nonfood and find the foods you really need.
Here are a few strategies I use:
1. Trained myself to put “blinders” on so I stopped focusing on the foods I craved. (Think Breyer’s ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, chips, and the entire candy aisle.) Part of that training was learning to skip some aisles completely.
2. Make a good list and stick with it.
3. Stick to the foods that are on the perimeter. Grocery stores usually place the produce, meat, and dairy along the outer areas of their stores.
4. Review your cart before you check out and put back any food that doesn’t move you forward in your weight loss efforts.
Am I the only one who notices this? How do you combat this? Diane