Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! My fur babies got plenty of love and I made sure to get myself a pint of Halo Top ice cream (just 360 calories per pint!). Just when you think you have made it past the Christmas holidays with sweets and treats galore, BAM! Valentine's Day shoots you with a chocolate arrow! Lets come down to reality after that high and talk about life. The decisions we make every day about our diet and lifestyle can be overwhelming when it comes to wanting to get healthier. Slow and consistent changes are what add up and make the most difference towards your goals. There will always be candy and chocolate in the store but why is it so much more tempting when it is front and center during the holidays? Out of sight, out of mind! Picture it, you have done so well at the grocery store; made a shopping list, picked up your fruits and vegetables, and avoided the candy isle, but then you go to check-out and you see the grab-n-go foods and we all know how it goes from here! When you are exposed to what you fear or tempts you, you either give in or make the decision to stay strong! So, is giving in always bad? NO, but your goals rely on the decisions you make so make the best one! So, what can you do to help with exposure? What's on the Dietitian's Plate?
Tips for surviving the grocery store monster:
1. Always eat a balanced snack or meal prior to entering the store. Choose a snack with at least 7g (1 oz) of protein and 15-20g of carbohydrates. Examples: 1 small apple and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter; light mozzarella cheese stick and a small piece of fruit; Low-fat or Greek yogurt with at least 7g of protein per serving
2. Aim to mainly shop the perimeter of the store. Here you will find the freshest foods such as fresh meat and fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. If you grab something you know is a temptation or will steer you from your goals, embrace it! Let it ride in your cart for a while and like a good friend you don't want to charge for gas, put it back in its home.
*Remember, it is always okay to treat yourself! Here is one of my favorite chocolate and sweet treat alternatives to keep you going strong!
An alternative to chocolate covered strawberries
Ingredients: Carton of strawberries, Light or fat-free whipped topping (Cool Whip), Unsweetened baking cocoa
Steps: Wash and core 5-6 medium strawberries. You can core strawberries with a paring knife(carefully!) or use a straw; push the straw through the bottom until the leaves pop off. Use a small spoon to scoop just enough whipped topping to fill the inside of a strawberry and stuff the berry. Lay all 5-6 berries out on a plate and sprinkle with cocoa power.
Paris Doty, RD, LD is a native of Missouri with a passion for rural public health. She is a Southeast Missouri State University graduate and completed her internship through University of Oklahoma. Above all, she is a lover of all things nutrition!