The other day, I had the "sarcastic" privilege of going grocery shopping at midnight. I don't mind going for my own shopping needs; in fact I like being able to take my time. I say the word, "sarcastic" because the thing about it was the astonishing amount of junk food that some people piled their cart up with. Unfortunately, obesity is huge in this area (no pun intended). In their defense, I'm sure those particular shoppers had a method to their "madness" (decision-making skills).
I'm sure one of the reasons is convenience and I would also guess that the price was right. It's sad that in some respects, healthier food is more expensive; I once felt that it pays to stay "fat." That's a sad but true testimonial.
Many individuals and families are on food stamp subsidies due to no fault of their own. Usually, some stigma is attached on both sides of the coin. I once heard a cashier say upon a food stamp consumer leaving, "oh no, not another one." That's rude. To me, there seems to be stigma on the side of the user, too; such as pride or receiving a hand-out. This topic has a lot to do with food purchasing power, convenience and price.
I believe that basic grocery shopping skills equates much more involvement than average people would care to admit. I mean "involved" by implementing certain tools that are beneficial financially, conveniently, healthier and most importantly if it tastes yummy or not.
I went to a seminar (not too long ago) sponsored by Community Action with The Ohio State University Extension Office presiding. The program was about how to get more "bang for your buck" at the supermarket.
It was very interesting. The facilitator handed out "specialized" grocery lists which categorized paper goods, dairy, meats, etc. It seemed to me that I understood that making a list definitely helps from extra shopping that may be unnecessary at the time. I can't fathom, however, that I didn't realize some of these tips awhile ago. Maybe it's because I graduated from a high school where if you had a pulse - you get a diploma; and if you were breathing - you get National Honor Society! Just kidding, I only had a pulse so I didn't get National Honor Society. Ha-ha.
In another topic; if anyone ever has the opportunity to see a dietitian - do so! It is absolutely valuable. Probably the most important thing that I took away from my appointment is how to read and interpret labels. It is vital and crucial information to be able to process and implement into decisions for healthier food choices.
Speaking of food choices: when I was a kid, I once loved going to the supermarket with mom and/or dad. I remember saying, "Mom, may I please, please have that?" Often, it would drive my mom cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs; probably because I constantly begged and whined for certain goodies. I'm sure I was downright annoying.
On the other hand, my dad was a pushover and besides that point; he usually liked the same junk food I did. As I got older, dad and I were co-conspirators with one another. We would be enjoying watching a baseball game and had that certain craving for our favorite snack. It seemed justified to eat our candy bar/nacho chips/sharp cheddar cheese combination after I returned from a walk to fetch to the items (instead of driving).
Those are the days of the past. I have today and the future at hand. Now, back to my adventures in spending time in the supermarket; I am super proud of myself for purchasing the items that I did. I bought: strawberry-banana frozen yogurt (ice cream), cashews (I'm already a nut as it is - ha-ha), turkey-cheddar dogs, baked potato chips, yogurt, skim milk, granola cereal/whole grain cereal, etc...
I think I'm doing well with my weight-loss efforts. A friend of mine remarked how well I was doing and that she could see the difference of losing the weight. I replied quite frankly, "Why thank you, I do believe I have dropped a chin size!" Until next time ...
Casi Stewart can be reached at email@example.com. A Weighty Issue appears every other Monday on the Life page.