My twin nieces love the grocery store. It’s bright and colorful and busy however they are still at the age (almost 6 years old) where it is still best that they be confined to a shopping cart to prevent them grabbing, touching and occasionally breaking things I have no desire to pay for. They are both energetic and hate being confined but I keep them happy by pushing the shopping cart faster than most people do and by being able to get in and out of the store pretty quickly.
Now since I’ve been on my wellness journey I have been a real advocate for label reading but label reading takes time. Time I don’t really have when the twins are shopping with me. But I have found a way that I can still know what I’m getting and keep up the pace. I shop the race track. No. Not that one; the one in most grocery stores. I try hard to confine my shopping to the perimeters of the stores. That’s where the majority of the healthiest stuff is. It’s also where there are fewer labels because most things there don’t need a label.
That’s where the fresh produce is. You know where the colorful, crisp, insanely nutritious veggies and fruits are.
Fruit like oranges, bananas, cherries and berries need no introduction and they don’t need a label. They are 100%… oranges, bananas, cherries and berries. Vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and beets provide a rainbow of colors and an almost inexhaustible supply of nutrients. And they do it with just one ingredient each.
Dark green leafy veggies for salads or for a light sauté are pretty easy to recognize but even if you come across one you haven’t tried before it’s only got one ingredient so there’s still no need to spend 20 minutes deciphering the label. SCORE!
Fish and seafood? Yep that’s there too. This is where you’ll find some of the best sources for Omega 3 fatty acids available from an animal source. Grab some wild caught salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, anchovies or light tuna.
It’s also where the fresh meats, eggs and dairy (if you go in for that sort of thing) can be found. While I have really cut back on my dairy and barely consume it, I confess I am still dealing with my addiction to cheese. *Heavy Sigh* If you just love your dairy this is definitely the place to slow down long enough to read a label. Look for organic. Organic means the animals were raised on organic feed (i.e. pastures cultivated without the use of fertilizers or pesticides), have access to grasses and the outdoors and that antibiotics and hormones use are restricted.
When choosing from the meat case, remember, a fresh chicken is…well chicken. The only label you need is to one that tells you it’s organic and how much it weighs. If the store has “doctored it up” with seasonings ahead of time you’ll need to read the label. So just pass on all that and choose a chicken you can season yourself. ijs
I do believe it’s best to get your chicken whole and cut it up yourself. It’s more cost effective than paying someone else to cut it up and pre-package it and you can look at it and tell whether the chicken as a whole was healthy. You won’t have to wonder whether they cut the legs off all the sick, defective chickens and just sold you the “good” parts. As with all animal products look for grass fed and/or organic whenever possible. Oh! Avoid the processed lunch meats, ground, pressed, packaged are an invitation for fillers and chemicals to be added. And they generally are.
Lastly in the spirit of full disclosure I do have to move toward the middle once in a while. That’s where I find my dried herbs, spices, and dried goods liken quinoa, brown rice, beans, lentils, nuts seeds, stevia and teas.
In case you are wondering about my paper goods and cleaning products. Most of these come from the bulk store. I’m learning to make my own cleaning products now using essential oils and glass spray bottles. I want to lessen my family’s toxin exposure so someday soon I won’t have to venture into those aisles anymore and I’ll know exactly what’s in my cleaning and personal care items. I won’t have to slow down to read those labels either.
So that’s it! Gentle folk….Start your engines!