How To Grocery Shop

How To Grocery Shop

How To Grocery Shop

I think the biggest obstacle to eating a nutritious, whole food diet…is the grocery store.  Grocery stores are full of what I like to call, “food like products” masquerading as real food.  Aisle after aisle of these concoctions of refined grains and sugars, mixed with artificial flavors and red number 5 and yellow number 4 or whatever.  Not to mention the excitotoxins like monosodium glutamate, or MSG.  And MSG hides under MANY names.  It is so difficult to navigate ingredient labels…and I’ll be honest…I hardly even look at nutrition facts labels at all anymore.  The ingredient label is what is really important!  If you are eating real food…the calories really become a mute point.  Sally Fallon Morell, founder of the Weston A. Price Institute wrote a rather in-depth article on the trouble with the food processing industry today if you want to do some further reading.

So what do you look for, and what do I buy?  The first place to start is to buy food that doesn’t contain “ingredients” in the first place!  That’s the obvious answer!  I would say that over half of what I buy at the store now doesn’t even contain ingredients…because they are ingredients!  This includes things like:

  • Fruits and Veggies 
  • Meats
  • Nuts and nut butters free of extra additives
  • Local Raw Milk
  • Raw Honey
  • Unprocessed flours such as Almond Flour, Flax Meal, Coconut Flour etc…
  • Unrefined Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Organic Cultured Grass-Fed Butter
  • Organic Fair-Trade Coffees and Teas
  • Canned goods such as Green Beans, Tomatoes, Pumpkin Puree
  • Quinoa and Whole grain rice
  • Spices and Extracts that are pure and organic when possible
  • Celtic Salt
  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Baking Soda
  • Organic, fair trade Cocoa and Cacao powder and unsweetened baking chocolate
  • Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin 

There are a few things that we use in moderation that are slightly more processed.  This would include things such as:

  • Puffed rice cereal
  • Nutiva Palm Shortening
  • Gluten Free Oatmeal
  • Apple Sauce
  • Cheese and Cream Cheese (always organic, grass-fed)
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Cultured sour cream

Honestly that is about it.  I make a few exceptions of course…there is an awesome new brand of boxed foods that are Paleo friendly that we buy, Simple Mills crackers and baking mixes are delicious and just a handy shortcut!  I also found Siete Foods tortillas and they are amazing!  My son loves them and they are way better than any I have been able to make from scratch!  When we started eating this way over a year ago…I had to make everything from scratch.  Every cracker, cookie…just everything.  So hey, it’s really nice to have a few things pre-made that I can just buy!  

When I do make exceptions and buy something with ingredients, my rules go something like this:

  • No soy.  (Including soy lecithin, which is found in lots of chocolate products.  Look for products that use real cocoa butter instead!  I have found Theo’s peanut butter cups are great for when candy is a necessity!  Also Enjoy Life chocolate chips work best for us.)
  • Avoid corn.  Occasionally I will eat a tortilla chip…don’t get me wrong!  But I try not to eat corn and my little boy can’t eat it at all.  Soy and corn both upset his stomach and sometimes it will just literally come right back up!  So we don’t go there.  
  • Gluten free is a must.  We can do gluten free breads or flours for pancakes and that sort of thing in moderation.  As long as they don’t contain the above mentioned ingredients!  Happy Campers bread has been a new find that I just love and it is not only gluten free, but also rice, corn and soy free as well!  
  • Tolerant brand bean based pasta, or quinoa pasta made by Andean Dream.  We also have a local pasta maker, Manini’s, and their gluten free pasta’s are tolerated well by all of us!
  • No refined sugar.  I even make my own ice cream with honey so that I can stick pretty steadfast to this rule.  Every once in awhile we break this rule for a chocolate chip cookie or something like that.  But I do try not to.  If I can’t have honey or maple syrup, I will settle for coconut palm sugar or agave…but again, only in limited amounts! Sugar becomes so addicting that this is a slippery slope!  When it comes to sugar…proceed with caution!
  • Nothing artificial, no artificial colors, no polysorbate anything (I’m looking at you Clausen pickles!), no MSG (which means no pre-made sauce or gravies), beware of condiments and dressings too.

So that’s what I go by basically!  You may be wondering what in the world we actually eat…but it’s really not been too hard to keep us all fed!  We still eat spaghetti, we eat a lot of roasted chicken and other various chicken recipes.  I make a lot of soup.  We have cheeseburgers, albeit they are typically bun-less!  We eat tacos and macaroni and cheese and pancakes and lots of good stuff that everyone likes and kids will eat.  I actually think I eat more food and definitely more calories than most people.  Most people don’t eat butter quite at the rate that we do!  The hardest part was just ripping off the bandaid and going for it.  Then I had to throw out or donate most of the stuff in my pantry!  Things have changed…but it’s all been worth it.  It’s not as difficult as it seems and your kids are far more adaptable than you might think!  My kids snack on nuts and think they are crackers…so trust me…if you start early enough…anything is possible!  

Best of luck if you are trying to figure out where to start.  I just thought this little guide might be useful!  

Happy grocery shopping!


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Hi! I am a happy military wife and mother of 2 little ones. I love to research health. My mission is to help YOU find your own healthy life philosophy. My cornerstone is the fundamental belief that the body wants to heal...we just have to supply the right tools and let our wonderful amazing bodies do the rest!

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