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How to shop like a “healthy foodie”

Angel asks:

Q: Regarding dieting, healthy eating, and shopping…I’m curious if you find special challenges on this endeavor since your a chef or if it your knowledge of food helps. I’m not a chef, but I do love food and my knowledge of nutrition has been very slowly expanding since I had my son. I find myself often wishing I knew more about the taste dynamic of different herbs, spices and foods that would help me to come up with more tasty versions of healthy dishes.

A: Excellent question. I would guess that I actually have less temptation than most, as I have a very detailed shopping list to follow each week, to plan menus for our subscribers. I try to shop late at night, and eat dinner just before going to the store, so I’m not shopping hungry.

Be adventurous…there are tons of great fresh produce, meats, etc along the outside of the grocery store that you can experiment with. Try new fresh herbs, and unusual fruits. If you see something that looks interesting, write its name down, and Google some recipes until you find one that sounds good, then add that item to your next shopping list!

I’ll tell you, a handful of chopped fresh Thai basil will rock just about anything! Sample some cilantro (you’ll love it, or you’ll hate it), and find a good recipe for roasting your own garlic. Any of these will turn something as pedestrian as a Cup O’ Noodles into a satisfying repast, and turn a good recipe into a next-level one!

Personally, I think that, in terms of a general style of cooking, it’s hard to beat a great “traditional” (not Americanized) Italian cookbook for finding healthy, exiting new things to try (disclaimer: yes, I am Italian, and totally biased.) Greek cooking is pretty amazing, as well.

Brass tacks…if it’s something you love to do…DO IT…just find a way to do it right. I think the biggest deal-killer to most folk’s healthy eating, is that they believe that they have to deny themselves to eat healthy. We are, all of us, narcissists and hedonists by nature, and a deprivation mentality is a one-way ticket to a binge session. I speak from personal experience, lol.

Make learning, exploring, and experimenting with healthy eating something you love to do…and then indulge yourself! Try something new at the grocery store…take a field trip to your local farmer’s markets…throw a “healthy (country of choice) dinner” for your friend’s or family.

Make it fun…make it something you want to do…and you’ll do it!

Just one guy’s opinion.

– Perry

PS – Drop by our hautemealz.com blog for some great healthy (and free) recipes that are a little “haute-er” than you might find elsewhere,  lol.  – P

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