Healthier Grocery Shopping

We make over 200 food related decisions every single day.  Imagine the decisions we make on the days we enter the supermarkets.  The grocery store used to be one of my favorite places to spend time; perusing, eye-balling, and thinking about recipes.  The IMG_3727responsibility of making the right choices is very important because 80% of our health is determined by our food. It has become so overwhelming – no wonder grocery Pick-up and Delivery has become so popular.  On my 20 year journey, I have discovered a few secrets that keep shopping healthy and just a little easier.

Perimeter Focused Path

  • fresh produce
    • locally grown, organic – if you don’t have a Farmer’s Market
    • Focus on produce with the least amounts of pesticide residue
      • asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kiwi, mangoes, onion, pineapple, sweet corn, tangerines, watermelon
  • butcher
    • if you are a carnivore, this is the best place to get your protein
  • deli
    • nitrite free and low sodium from the deli-man/woman
      • Applegate Farms
    • stay away from the prepackaged- additives are added for longevity
  • bakery
    • whole grain
    • at least 3 grams of fiber
    • No partially hydrogenated oils
  • Dairy and Poultry and Nut Milks
    • Oat milk is the most sustainable alternative
    • Almond Milk – high in protein, magnesium and vitamin E and less sugar than soy
    • Blocks of cheese over shredded – shredded cheese adds ‘sawdust’ to keep from clumping
      • shred the block ahead of time, freeze on a cookie sheet for an hour before placing in a Ziploc bag- No Sawdust needed
    • yogurt
      • Brown Cow, Stonyfield, Organic Valley Farms

Aisles to travel down

  • Canned/Jarred goods
    • Annie’s Organic soups (less salt added, organic/natural ingredients)
    • crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes – No salt added, organic
    • Cascadian
  • Asian/Mexican
    • dry beans
    • Salsa
    • Low Sodium Tamari
    • Dry pastas
    •  rice
  • Dry pastas
    • chickpea pastas, black bean pastas, lentil pastas, whole grain
  • Frozen
    • Cascadian vegetables without sauces, butters
    • Certified Organic fruits without added sugar
    • Edamame
  •  Minimally Processed Snack brands
    • Late July
    • NuGo Organics
    • Annies
Remember: The consumer determines the output.  If we want more of the following products in stores, we must start purchasing these items over the cheaper versions.  Cheaper is not better; not better for animals, environment, or our health.  Pay attention to the labels and know what they mean. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based foods could encourage biological processes that , over time, give rise to higher risks for wide variety of cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, but this is a personal choice everyone should make for themselves.

Documentary. Filmmaker and omnivore John Papola, together with his vegetarian wife Lisa, offer up a timely and refreshingly unbiased look at how farm animals are raised for our consumption.

Label Smart

  • Grass-Fed or Pasture-Raised
    • grazing pasture (natural diet of grass)
    • sustainable
  • Certified Organic
    • fed non GMO or synthetic grain/grass
    • can’t be treated with hormones or antibiotics
    • access to outdoors/pastures
  • Certified Humane Raised and Handled
    • pasture raised
    • natural grazing behavior
    • no antibiotics or growth hormones
  • Nitrite Free
    • Nitrates have been labeled a carcinogen associated with cancer
  • Free Farmed
    • access to clean water, food and outdoors
    • no antibiotics used for growth promotion

Labels Not to Fall For

  • Free Range
    • ‘some access to the outdoors each day’
  • Antibiotic Free
    • only if it is also labeled ‘Certified Organic’
  • No Additives
    • ‘no additives were applied to the eggs themselves’
  • No chemicals Added
    • ‘no chemicals added to the eggs themselves’
  • No Hormones Administered
    • the law doesn’t prevent chicken farmers from feeding their flock large doses of growth-promoting antibiotics that act like hormones

We are confused more than ever about how to eat healthily- I hope that this list can help with that confusion and make your next trip to the supermarket just a little easier and your dinner healthier.

I am not paid by or sponsored by The brand names mentioned above

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