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Published on October 24, 2018

Bag some healthy groceries

Shopping for healthy foods doesn’t have to be difficult.

grocery shoppingGood foods can be found whether you shop at a supermarket or a small neighborhood store, says Joyce Stevens, Dietary Manager at Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia. She offers these quick tips:

Go with a grocery list. Plan to shop based on the nutritious meals you plan to make. “Then it’s easier to stay within your budget and your healthy eating plan,” Joyce says.

Don’t overlook frozen fruits and veggies. Frozen produce can be just as healthful as fresh produce. Look for plain, frozen produce without sauces, salt or other ingredients.

Choose whole-grain breads, brown rice and pastas. They’re often higher in healthful fiber. Check the ingredients list for the words whole grain. “And keep your bread choices under 100 calories per slice,” Joyce suggests.

Buy leaner meats. Choose skinless chicken or turkey breasts and ground turkey or chicken more often than red meat. Fish, including canned tuna or salmon packed with water, is a good choice too.

Skip the boxed meals—such as frozen dinners. “They’re usually very high in salt and fat,” Joyce says.

Eat your eggs! “They’re high in protein and fairly cheap,” Joyce says.

A basket full of healthy fall foods

basket of groceriesSummer doesn’t have a lock on good fresh produce. Fall and winter offer some nutritious gems too.

“You don’t have to take the garden’s goodness off your menu when the seasons change,” says Joyce Stevens, Dietary Manager at Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia. “In fact, this is a good time for several wonderful vegetables.”

Here are four to consider, along with some cooking tips:

Butternut squash. It’s a hardy vegetable typically abundant this time of year. To cook, peel the skin, cut the flesh into cubes and roast until you can pierce the cubes with a fork.

Beets. No peeling required: The skin will easily slide off after cooking. You can also serve beets raw, shredded and tossed into a salad. Beets are especially rich in nitrates and may help control blood pressure.

Sweet potatoes. These are chock-full of fiber and vitamin A. Bake a sweet potato, then cut it into cubes. Sprinkle the cubes with cumin and coriander. Then toast them in the oven until they’re golden.

Kale. This leafy green is loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as the nutrient manganese. Sauté kale’s leaves and add them to soup. Or try kale raw in a salad. Just remove the tough stems and slice the leaves into slivers. Toss in some sliced apples for a little sweetness.

We’ll help you eat right

Mercy LIFE – West Philadelphia Adult Day Center members get access to expert nutrition advice, along with things like:

Produce at a reduced cost. A vendor brings seasonal produce to the Adult Day Center that program members can purchase.

Garden-fresh foods. There’s a small garden where members cultivate food and fun.

Nutritious on-site meals. “No one goes hungry here,” Joyce says.

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