Supermarkets are designed to entice you to buy with your eyes. Smartly packaged not-so-good-for-you “goodies” flank the entrance way, jut out from the end caps and display racks, and cry out to you one last time as you wait on the checkout line. The grocery store is certainly no place for the weak-willed! Today I have some practical tips to keep you focused on what you came for so you can return home with food that will bless, not curse, your family.

You are never more vulnerable in a food market then when you are hungry. If you can, plan to eat a full meal before you go food shopping. If you know you will be stopping off there after work or such, think ahead and pack a healthy snack so your tummy isn’t rumbling while you shop. This way you won’t have to fight your internal cravings along with all those external ploys.

Next you must come armed with a plan—a complete food list. Include all the ingredients for the meals you’ll make that week, add the basics, and make sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and other health snack items to have on hand. And then Do Not Deviate from your well-thought out plan!

When buying prepackaged food; carefully read the label. That practice often convinces me to put the item down and substitute it with another item that looks, and reads, more like something I’d find in nature! (Nutritional red flag: when you can’t pronounce many of the ingredients.)

Finally, choose organic products where it matters most. If your wallet can handle the high cost of going completely organic, you are likely better off. Personally, I try not to buy items to which hormones have been added (milk, eggs, meat). I pick and choose when it comes to fruits and veggies and grains, cereals, and breads. Keep in mind that it is less important to buy organic if you are removing the peel, as with bananas, or if you do not consume a great volume of a particular product.

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