Let's take a moment to listen to our bodies, shall we? What has your body allowed you to experience today? What does it really need? How often are we thankful for what our bodies allow us to do? Not often enough, if you are like me.
Now that you are tuned in to your inner voice ( I named mine Andra), let me share what mine had been screaming at me for years before I learned to listen...
Andra was screaming : "I am too valuable to be filled with junk!!!!! Do you know the places I can take you? The mental clarity you could have?? Day after day you insist I sort through what looks like food to you, but is worthless to me. I run on sugar and crave for real substance. All I want is water, all I get is wine."
Man, college was rough on my body.
When I did finally make some diet changes, going to the grocery store was still tough. There are too many options, and old habits were hard to break.
In a lot of ways I still feel this way. I am a sucker for impulsive purchases and I think I will cook ALL THE THINGS! I had to strategize a way that if I did impulsively purchase something, it was better than a family-size bag of Cheetos.
I want to share these grocery store tweaks that really helped me spend my time and money wisely at the store. I hope they fill you (and your cart) with confidence.
Start On The Outside, Work Inward:
Challenge yourself to push your cart around the outer walls of the store FIRST, before heading into the more packaged sections. Your journey might be something like this: fresh veggies, fresh fruits, animal/plant proteins, dairy/nut-milks, bakery (even better if your grocery store has a bulk section for whole grains!), and frozen fruits/veggies. The goal is to fill our carts with whole-foods before heading toward the processed goods.
Go Loco For Local:
If the small carbon-footprint of buying local doesn’t have you convinced, did you know that your local produce can be packed with more nutrients than similar produces that have been imported? Local, in-season produce is allowed to stay on the the mother-vine longer, allowing the utmost absorption of nutrients from the soil. Meaning more nutrient bang for your buck. Everyone wins.
Choose Organic When Possible:
Pesticides were a $12.1 billion dollar industry in 2016. While properly washing produce can reduce pesticide residue on the surface, it will not eliminate the pesticide that is absorbed into the very tissue of your apple or spinach. Organic farming is the practice of growing a crop without the use of commercial pesticides. Choosing organic keeps the questionable chemicals off your family’s plate. Purchasing organic 100% of the time may not make sense to your budget or simply may not always be available. Thankfully, I use the EWG’s latest Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists to help me prioritize my purchases when I find myself in that pickle.
Avoid Being Tongue-Tied:
Use this test to keep unwanted chemicals out of your pantry. Read the ingredients list out-loud! List too long? Making you go cross-eyed? If it doesn't makes sense in your brain, chances are your body won’t make sense of it either. I suggest sticking to an ingredients list of 5 or less.
Beware The Bubbles:
Although diet sodas may be argued as the “better choice”, it’s a bit like comparing cocaine to crack. Both addicting, both destructive. If bubbly drinks are a MUST on your shopping list, branch out and try carbonated water such as LaCroix. Need more of a kick? Grab a few lemons and limes to add a delectable *Zing! Remember - love the REAL food that loves you back! Nothing beats straight up water. Except maybe wine, which brings me to my bonus tip…
Go Bold And Go Dark. Allow yourself the joys in life - don’t forget to pick up chocolate and wine! Dark chocolate, when containing 70% cocoa or more, has an anti-inflammatory response in the body thanks to the naturally occurring flavanols. As does red wine with its naturally occurring resveratrol, another great ant-inflammatory agent.
Eating well is delicious and starts in the grocery aisle, so get yourself going. Happy shopping!
REAL people need REAL food to make a REAL difference.
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