Grocery stores here in the US are HUGE, and in my opinion, quite toxic. I mean, first of all, there’s like 20 options for each food item you want to buy? I’ve easily spent up to 10 minutes JUST picking out my cereal before, and even more, time trying to find an item I couldn’t easily see on the shelves. Who has time for that?? Grocery stores are very particular and a bit manipulative. Brands pay for prime shelf space, so you don’t see what you want to see, you see what they WANT you to see. Branding schemes make products seem “healthy” and “low calorie,” but in reality, it may be the opposite of what you want to be putting into your body. I just want to share some notes on the grocery stores in the US because they can be quite hard to navigate. On a brighter note, there are more and more options every day for whole foods, ~actually~ healthy snacks, and brands that fit all diet concerns (i.e., celiac).
The tip I want to share first and foremost is to shop on the outskirts of the store FIRST. The outskirts are where the fruits and veggies will be, the meat and seafood will be, as well as bargain bins if your store has them! Stock up here first, often I realize I don’t even need anything from the aisles when I do this. You’ll leave with little to NO processed food items, setting yourself up PERFECTLY for a week of very clean and whole eating. Additionally, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but don’t go to the store when you are starving. Have a small snack, drink a tall glass of lemon with water, and then go. You’ll save yourself time and money from the cravings you will inevitably get once you arrive at the store.
I do want to note to take advantage of the freezer aisle when that is available to you. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked and frozen at their peak ripeness, meaning that sometimes they are riper than the fresh produce you may be purchasing. They can also be cheaper, and an easy way to add flavor and fiber to smoothies, throw into an easy breakfast or dinner, etc. For example, I love stocking up on frozen cauliflower and berries. I steam, then re-freeze my cauliflower, and then throw them into smoothies to make them more filling and have an extra boost of vitamins and sneaky veggies.
PLEASE please be aware of marketing schemes and sneaky language. If you are one of my clients, I’m sure you will hear more of this from me, but companies know what you are looking for. One of the best examples I can think of is brands advertising as containing no sugar – yet.. they are using sugar alcohols instead. Another good example I live to give is companies advertising low-calorie snacks (ex: 100 calorie snack packs). Usually, these are things like cookies, cheesy crackers, and pretzels that will only keep you full for so long, and likely contain many preservatives, surprise sugar, and other inflammatory causing additives. Always check labels for the ingredient list. While I don’t often purchase processed foods and snacks, especially, I like to buy those in which I know what each ingredient is on the label, OR purchase snacks in the form of fruits and nut butter, homemade snacks, or nuts and seeds.
While these are just a few of my suggestions, I am happy to provide “Grocery Store Tours” for you if you are interested. In this time, we will visit a grocery store of your choice (that is in proximity of us both, of course), and I’ll show you the best places of the store in which I like to shop, products I like to purchase, reading labels, and show you how I generally shop if that is helpful for you. In this time, you are free to ask any questions that may come up, and I can assist you in finding products that will support the lifestyle that you envision for yourself.