Packaged food is easy. Just pick it up off the shelf and that’s it. Unfortunately, those packages are often full of more than just food. You know, those ingredients down at the end of the list that have more letters than the alphabet, colors and numbers that only make sense in a laboratory. But before you lose all hope of finding something worthwhile in a box or a bag, know that there are brands out there that want you to be healthy AND make your life easy.
With a few helpful tips, you’ll be able to surf the grocery store aisles like a pro, picking up healthy options along the way that are convenient and nutritious for you and your whole family.
Look for labels
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Labels are there for a reason – to give you a quick, at-a-glance insight into what’s inside. And I don’t mean the labels that say incredible generic things like “healthy” or “good source of protein.” Look for labels like “Certified Organic,” “Certified Paleo,” and “Certified Gluten-Free.” This means that the foods have passed the test from reliable, reputable organizations that award these badges of honor.
Read the ingredients
This is good a rule of thumb for all foods, and especially the frozen or pre-packaged foods that come with a laundry list of ingredients. We’ll make it simple: if it contains anything you don’t recognize, don’t get it. For example, check this one out:
Organic, real ingredients. Boom. Easy as that!
Know which brands you can trust
The brands that create these packaged foods have a history, a mission, and a purpose. Find a brand whose mission you can get behind, whose history promotes long-term health and wellness, and whose purpose is to help you be your healthiest self.
Ask if it passes the DIY test
For foods that are already made and ready for you to eat, ask yourself the simple question of: would I be able to make this meal myself using ingredients I can buy at a store? If the answer is yes, that means that the meal is real and most likely to satisfy. If it would require a few scientists and machinery that requires a special license to use, probs not.
Check the serving size
Does the package feed one? Will it really just feed one, even if it’s meant to feed 3 or 4? We’ve all been guilty of that- ignoring the serving size and downing an entire container of cookie butter. I mean…. what? Totally not me. Anyway, make sure that the serving size isn’t outrageously small, and that you’re getting an appropriate number of calories per serving.
Look at it in context
They say that if you want to get to know someone, look at who they surround themselves with. Well, look at what’s surrounding your food on that shelf. If it’s surrounded by questionable items with suspicious ingredients, that food might be questionable as well. Stay in the organic or all-natural selection.
Understand the nutrition facts
Whether or not you count macros, understanding the breakdown of carbs, fats, and protein in your packaged foods is key to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. If the food has too many carbs, which is often the case with pre-packaged meals, it can cause you to experience a sharp spike in glucose, leaving you unsatisfied later. Find foods with enough protein to feed your muscles and keep you full.
Keep your wits about you
It’s easy to get sucked in by a pretty package and some fancy looking food. But STAY STRONG. Those things are specifically designed to draw you in and make you buy stuff. Stay aware of the real reason you’re looking for a good packaged meal – to feed you and fuel you with healthy, nutrition ingredients and refined flavor.
Plan when to eat what you’re buying
Will this meal fit into your normal routine? Or will it cause a disruption in the healthy flow you’ve got going on because it doesn’t exactly align with your goals? Those packaged foods are often considered a treat or an indulgence, unless you’re selecting the right ones. Plan how it will fit into your healthy lifestyle, like making a spaghetti squash dish with Ragu Alla Bolognese.
Ask yourself if it’ll make you feel good
Really, this is what it comes down to. Will this packaged food make you feel good, not only about your health, but about your choices? You can always feel good about choosing Beetnik Foods. Frozen selections include grass-fed beef and organic chicken, with certified organic, paleo and gluten-free ingredients. You can always count on them to deliver healthy options that are quick, easily accessible, and nutritious.
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