Surviving the Grocery Store

  • By Kayley Gamm
  • 28 Dec, 2016

 With the CHIP program, our participants are able to do some really fun things. One of the favorite activities of the participants is the grocery store tours. Throughout the program we were able to tour at both HyVee on 37th St and Costco.

 Taking a tour of the place you shop is a great way to get to know new products and gain confidence to branch out and try different foods. A lot of times when we go grocery shopping, myself included, we get into a habit and pick up the same things every time. Even when we are trying to make a conscious effort to be healthier, by the time we set foot in the grocery store, we have so many other things on our minds, the last thing we want to do is take our time and look for new things.

            When I go grocery shopping, there are a few things that I do to help me make the best choices:

  1. I always am prepared with a list and make sure I am not hungry when I shop. This eliminates the urge to impulse buy something that not may be the best choice.
  2. When I have a little more time, I move around the store in the opposite direction. Most stores are set up in a way that when you walk in, you immediately are in the produce section and then the bread section, then the meat section and so on and so forth. When I walk in the opposite direction, I am not only piling my fresh produce at the top of my cart, but it throws me off my routine, making me think more about what I am putting in my cart.
  3. I am sure everyone has heard this, but it is tried and true: shop the perimeter of the grocery store for the bulk of your items- heading into the aisles only for things like whole grains, beans and no-added-salt cans of tomatoes, soup, etc.

            Kelly Melhorn, the dietitian at Hy-Vee on 37th St, gave us a wonderful tour. If you shop at Hy-Vee, I would highly recommend taking a tour of your store with their dietitian. The tours are free and very informative. I try to take tours every so often, just to get an idea of what foods are out there. Kelly brought us through the produce section and taught us about the large selection of squash that is available. We also spent some time in the bakery and I was pleased to learn about the whole grain bread that they have to offer. Kelly will put a purple Dietitian’s Choice sticker on the 100% whole wheat bread, so that it is easy to spot.

We spent some time in the aisles where she pointed out some of the best choices for canned beans and vegetables, low sodium sauces and some healthier choices for those who are on the run. We finished up in the health section. In this section it is still important to read labels and think about what you pick up. Some of those items use words like gluten free and organic, but are not always the healthiest.

            At Costco our guide led us through the expansive produce section, pointing out that the majority of all their items are organic. The cool thing about Costco is that they are working on getting locally sourced and made foods to the store, so some of the produce that you see is actually grown in Minnesota.

            She also took us through the dry food aisles and the frozen vegetable section, pointing out some of the healthiest choices. Some of the favorites that popped out to me were the dry quinoa and brown rice blend, the peanut butter powder and the raw nuts.

            I would highly recommend taking a time to look at your grocery store, whether it is by a guided tour or alone. Getting to know what is usually in each aisle will be able to help you plan your meals and your grocery list better, and in general, make grocery shopping a more pleasurable experience.

News / Blogs

By Jengyu Lai 31 Aug, 2017

Healthcare costs in the U.S. are on the rise. It is estimated that 70-80% of healthcare costs are due to chronic disease, and the main reason for a trip to the doctor.


Exactly what is chronic disease and what can you do about it? Chronic diseases are conditions that cannot be prevented or cured by vaccinations or medications, nor do they go away on their own.


Common chronic diseases:

●    Elevated cholesterol

●    Type 2 diabetes

●    Hypertension

●    Obesity

●    Coronary heart disease

●    High blood pressure

●    Osteoporosis

●    Arthritis

●    Fatigue


However, living significantly longer and increasing quality of life is a reality, even for those with these chronic diseases. Modifications in lifestyle will lessen and potentially eliminate chronic conditions, and therefore increase quality of life and reduce medical expenses. You have the power to take charge of your health. This is lifestyle medicine.


Lifestyle modifications include:

●    Plant-based, whole food diet and nutrition

●    Physical activity

●    Stress reduction

●    Family/social support network


Through this evidence-based research, you can change the course of your health. With simple, fun, and flexible adaptations, the lifestyle medicine approach is a whole new way of living.


For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at

507-218-3095, visit our website at , or e-mail to .


We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

By Jengyu Lai 03 Jul, 2017

Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.


Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:


1.         Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.


2.         The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes

This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.


3.         The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film

PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.


4.         Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.


5.         Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.


Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan


What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !

By Jengyu Lai 28 Jun, 2017
Knee pain is hindering your daily enjoyment. It hurts to sit; it hurts to stand. And exercise is out of the question. You have tried injections and knee braces but nothing is working. What do you do? Now is the time to call Rochester Clinic.

You will receive a thorough assessment from one of our physicians. Our goal is to stop the pain, find the root cause, treat the cause, and maintain a pain free state. Rochester Clinic and your healthcare team will look at your diet, physical activity, medications, and health conditions including injury, disease, and weight. We take a conservative approach to healthcare before suggesting surgical interventions. We have an on-site clinical laboratory, Digital x-ray, and biomechanics laboratory for the best assessments and diagnostics.

Simple changes in lifestyle choices may alleviate much of your pain. You will learn exercises to strengthen weak muscles, increase flexibility, and safe options for weight management to reduce pressure on your joints. Interesting fact: The foods you eat can help or hinder joint inflammations.

The structure of your foot and knee may also be a cause for your pain. High arches, flat feet, pronation or supination of the foot will affect the pressure and development of the knee. Something as simple as the right footwear or custom orthotics would provide pain relief.

We have the tools to help you be on your way to living a healthy, active, and pain free day!

For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at  507-218-3095, visit our website at , or e-mail to

We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

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