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- Clean out your kitchen: cabinets, pantry and all! Get rid of all food that do not fall within the challenge guidelines or shopping tips!
- Plan your 21 Day Challenge. Use the Healthy Planet menu planner template, and these shopping tips to help plan out your first week. Try to plan and prepare your meals for the first half of the week on Sunday and meals for the second half of the week on Wednesday or Thursday.
- Make a list, but be willing to be flexible if a vegetable or fruit is on sale for the week
- Don?t shop while you?re hungry! Several studies have shown if you shop while hungry and without a list, you will be more likely to purchase junk food and packaged food instead of healthy options.
- Re-stock your kitchen and pantry with clean food that will help you regain your vitality and health.
- Avoid store-bought food that contain more than five ingredients or ingredients that you don?t recognize.
- Choose “real” food. If you wouldn?t use it to cook with and it didn?t come from a farm or butcher in it?s current condition, then it?s probably too processed.
- Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients.
- Avoid mystery additives, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. If you want more salt or sugar, add it yourself.
- Don?t fear the frozen. Need veggies that aren?t in season? Head down the freezer aisle. These are particularly useful during the winter, and early spring months, when some vegetables aren?t in season. Plus, they have a longer shelf life than the fresh variety, so you won?t waste them if dinner plans change one night.
- Buy in bulk ? and share. Buying in bulk can significantly reduce your food expenses, particularly for pantry goods like oils, rice, beans, and nuts.
- Know when it?s ok to skimp on organic. Use the Environmental Working Group?s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to figure out when it?s OK not to go organic.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh food like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Skip the center aisles where junk food lurks, with the exception of dried herbs and spices, and staples like oil, honey, maple syrup, and vinegar.
- Stay clear of food with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. If you don’t want your kids eating junk food, don’t have that food in the house.
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