Shop the Perimeter


Last week, I wrote about staying sharp. As a follow-up I’ll be posting one self-sharpening challenge each month.  This one comes to you in the form of a quiz.

1. What do Twinkies, Chunky Monkey and Margarita Mix have in common?

A. They may be tasty, but probably shouldn’t be daily indulgences.

B. They are kinda pricey, but don’t last long once they make it home (if they make it home at all).

C. They are generally found in the interior aisles of the grocery store.

D. All of the above.

2. What do sliced apples, toasted almonds, and tossed salad have in common?

A.  They taste great, and probably should be eaten every day.      

B.  They are generally affordable and don’t take a lot of time to prepare.

C.  They are usually found along the perimeter of most grocery stores.

D.   All of the above.

3. Which of the following statements is true?

A.  Healthy eating is an important component of staying sharp.

B.   It’s easier to eat well when your kitchen is stocked with the right foods.

C.   Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is worth a try.

D.   All of the above.

4. What convenient, cheap and healthy food choice is NOT found along the edges of the grocery store?

A.   Canned beans.

B.   Brown rice.

C.   Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.

D.   All of the above.   

If you chose answer D each time, then you get an A.

May God bless you as you take good care of the body he has given you!

(If you’d like more details and a shopping list, just scroll down a little further.)


Shopping the Perimeter

ProduceStart in this department, and load your cart with more fruits and vegetables than you think you can eat. The more you have around, the more you’ll eat. If you do overbuy, you can always make soup or smoothies with the leftovers.

·        Buy ready-to-eat carrot sticks and salad greens for the days when you need a shortcut or two.

·        Try to load your plate with produce (raw, steamed, baked, broiled, stewed…) at every meal.

·        Pre-shelled nuts. They’re high in fat, so stick with just an ounce or two a day.

Dairy: Stick to lower fat cheeses, or at least buy your cheese finely shredded and use it sparingly. You’ll find that you can sprinkle a little here and there and get that cheesy taste without adding a lot of fat to your food.

·        Gradually adjust your taste buds to low fat milk or, better still, a milk alternative like soy or almond.

·        Buy unsweetened low fat yogurt in a quart sized container and experiment with sweetening it yourself. Fruit jam and fresh fruit both work well. Try a wonderful dessert of plain yogurt drizzled with a little honey and topped with walnuts. Make cheap Greek yogurt by draining regular yogurt in a sieve or over a lint free cloth until thick.

·        Buy real butter. It is a simple, natural food. Just use it sparingly.  

·        Stock “aerosol” whipped cream. (Healthy? No, but a couple of tablespoons can dress up a simple dish.)

·        Buy eggs. No matter what you’ve read, they are a wholesome, natural food in moderation. Buy extras so that you can use the whites and toss the yolks on occasion.

Lean meat and fishGo lean, and eat meatless several times a week. Beans are cheap, versatile and packed with nutrition.

·        Buy fresh fish each time you shop and broil it for dinner that night. It’s expensive, but most of us don’t eat enough fish.

·        Keep bags of individually frozen skinless chicken breasts and fish fillets for last-minute meals.

·        Buy beef only very lean cuts of beef and not much of it. Buy ground meat that is no more than 4% fat.

Good bread:  Whole wheat breads offer much more nutrition than the white variety. Even at that, try cutting back on the carbs. If you can’t bring yourself to make the switch right away, then at least begin with bread that is part whole wheat. Keep whole grain tortillas handy for wraps. Fill them with beans or lean meat, a little cheese, and as many raw or roasted vegetables as possible.

While processed foods take up most of the space in the center aisles, there are great shortcuts to good nutrition hidden there as well: 

·        Whole grain cereals, hot or cold varieties.

·        Low salt/low fat canned soups, especially the ones with beans in them.   

·        Canned beans— Eat ‘em plain, on a salad, in a soup or smashed up as a dip.

·        Refried Beans (Turns out they’re not so “fried” after all.)

·        Rice. (Learn to love the brown variety.) 

·        Water packed tuna. (Substitute yogurt for the mayo in tuna salad.)

·        Canned Pumpkin (Make a pie without the crust—delicious and healthy!)

·        Canned fruit packed in fruit juice.

·        Unsweetened Applesauce.

·        Bags of frozen berries

·        Frozen vegetables

·        Veggie Burgers

·        Zip top bags. (Prepare healthy snack items “to go”.)

·        Bottled water. (Take them on the road, and stay out of the drive-thru.)


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