NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We know eating clean and healthy foods is good for our bodies, but sometimes it can make a simple trip to the grocery store overwhelming. That’s where Caryn Sullivan comes in. The two-time breast cancer survivor and wellness blogger is an advocate for eating simple, wholesome foods.
“The food you eat, it’s like Hippocrates said it’s like medicine, and so there are these studies claiming that the cleaner we eat, the better it will be for disease prevention,” Sullivan explained.
She has a few helpful tips to make going to the grocery store a little easier. Tip one: start with a list…
“I would say the first step is thinking before you go into the grocery store of thinking what is it you want in terms of your meals and your snacks and what can you add in terms of fruits and vegetables so that you’re getting more nutrients in your diet.”
Tip two: Shop the produce section first, and think about easy ways to add fruits and veggies into your typical meals.
“You can also sneak in some vegetables as part of a mashed potato dish or as a part of a smoothie and that way you’re not thinking so much about what you’re losing. You’re thinking about what can i add to my life so i like the taste of fruits and vegetables,” Sullivan said.
When it comes to produce, there are some fruits and vegetables you should always buy organic, like apples, strawberries and celery.
“On the other hand if you’re on more of a budget, it’s okay to have pineapple, asparagus, cauliflower, avocados,” Sullivan explained.
Here’s another tip to keep in mind when you’re shopping: Check the PLUS number, located on produce stickers. If it starts with a 9, it’s organic. If it starts with an 8, it’s been genetically modified. And if it has only four digits, it means it’s been grown traditionally and likely with chemical pesticides.
“When in doubt eat organic,” said Sullivan.
When it comes to eating clean, Sullivan also recommends seeking seek out high tech help like The Environmental Working Group’s Food Scores app. It will scan and grade foods based on their ingredients and nutrition.
“So here I grabbed a Kashi snack,” Sullivan demonstrated. “It’s a brand that I know, and in this case I got graded a B”
Sullivan also said, “When you’re shopping, it’s not just about what you eat. Its also about the the packaging of the foods.”
For example, when it comes to soup, look for those in BPA-free cans.
“Another option is finding soups in boxes. I see a lot more of these on the shelf.”
Glass containers are another clean alternative. Finally, when it comes to meat and dairy, Sullivan says go organic.
“Or if you don’t have organic, try and get products with no added hormones in it,” she said.
And remember, if you’re just starting out on a clean eating journey, a little goes a long way.
“I really suggest taking small steps,” Sullivan explained. “If somebody takes one or two of these tips then that’s great. They’re working towards better well being.”
For more information about Caryn Sullivan, visit her blog PrettyWelllness.com.