Good Nutrition starts with smart choices in the grocery store. Cooking up healthy meals is a challenge if you don’t have the right ingredients in the kitchen.
Markets are designed to get you to buy, but with time and a little guidance, healthy choices are easy to find. Be supermarket savvy but shop for Whole-ness and Whole-someness and in doing so, you shop for health and healing.
1. Plan Ahead
The process starts even before you head to the grocery store. Plan your meals for the week, the weekend prior, or Sunday night. Make it a family affair, the children’s input is very important. So create an organized list to shop from and remember to bring a pen or highlighter with you.
Nourish yourself well before you shop
Don’t shop hungry and don’t bring a hungry child with you to help. An empty belly results in impulse shopping and making purchases that may not be the healthiest. It is a good idea to bring your own water, so you buy flavored waters or juices with sugar.
2. Splurge in the Produce Isle
You cart should be filled with plenty of fresh colorful produce. Spend most of your time here. Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies; Cruciferous veggies are KING. All the colors reflect the different vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients content of each vegetable and fruit. In my opinion, anything you have to do or buy to get the family to eat more fruits and veggies, is worth the extra expense.
Gladly, today’s market offers an increasing number of vegetables little known a decade ago. In addition, virtually every local market offers naturally occurring edible wild plants of amazing diversity and nutritional potency. They add interest to meals and help deepen our relationship with nature.
3. Incredible Grains and versatile beans
Grains and beans are the least contaminated, processed foods (organic of course). They are fabulously nutritious, deliciously versatile and so very cheap, they could balance any budget. Our nation has suffered because of the loss of this critical food and the increased consumption of animal foods.
Shop for dried, not canned. The bulk section in Whole Foods and Wild by Nature reasonable and organized, with much variety to choose from.
When choosing whole grain cereals, aim for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving
And the less sugar the better
NOTE: one level teaspoon of sugar= 4 grams, so let this be your guide. Avoid
Granola’s even low-fat, they tend to have more fat & sugar than other cereals.
Choose Whole Wheat Breads and pastas, brown rice grain mixes, Quinoa, Kasha, Millet, and Oats to help the family get used to Whole grains. You can start with Whole Wheat blends and slowly transition to 100% pastas and breads.
4. Quality Animal Products with great taste
It is an important time to justify buying Free-Ranged Beef and Chicken. Rent the movie “FOOD INC.” and it will clearly show why. You must be VIGILANT in reading labels now.
Fairway and Whole Foods have certified organic, no antibiotics or added hormones and animals are on vegetarian diets.
Choose lean cuts of meats as: sirloin and tenderloin, and grind your own meat for hamburger (easy to do in a food processor) or an attachment on a Kitchen-Aid mixer.
Remember: when you buy chop meat in the local supermarket, it can have as many as 100 different animals in it. Wow!
If you’re on a budget, just serve fewer portions of these at home. Making burritos or stir-fry’s are a smart way to get 4 ounces of meat or chicken per person. Also in a breakfast frittata, you could fold in turkey sausage for a delicious blend with your eggs and veggies.
5. Clean Fish
The American heart Association recommends 2 serving of fish a week for healthy heart care. Wild or king Salmon is a good example, for it has Omega-3 fatty Acids (EFA”S),
Which most American’s are void in. I find shopping for fresh fish is an important task. You first have to educate your self on which commercially fishes are contaminated with Methlymercury. Here are some urgent sites to log onto: HYPERLINK “http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice” www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice; HYPERLINK “http://www.nordicnaturals.com” www.nordicnaturals.com
The Nordic company gives out great educational information on mercury levels in fish
I find my local seafood store to always have fresh fish. When you shop fish in grocery stores, freshness is questionable. Whole Foods and Wild by Nature have high quality, but feel free to ask a lot of questions.
6. Dairy and Frozen foods
This is a section is where you need to justify buying organics. Everyone is aware now of the grossly amount of Antibiotics and hormones that are in the animals . The flesh meat from these animals are now IRRADIATED before it get’s to the shelves in supermarkets.
Irradiation is a method of food preservation in which foods are treated with ionizing radiation from Cobalt 60, Cesium 137, X-Rays or high energy electron beams from machine sources. All to make the food look better (red looking meat) and last longer in the see- through package.
TO make matters worse, the feed that animals are grazing on is contaminated Genetically Engineered grains or corn. (See the movie Food Inc., it makes it very clear to you)
Choose certified Organic dairy for the future health of your family. Whole foods and Wild By Nature and Fairway all have Grass-fed dairy products, which are a big step better.
FROZEN: There is some great flour-less breads here. All berries are important to but out of season, by some of the premier Organic companies, like Cascadian Farms ;to keep in your freezer. Great for smoothies and all breakfast dishes and muffins.
Trader Joe’s has wonderful Wild Blueberries from Maine, at a great price in their frozen department. I am a big fan of “Kasha frozen vegetable Pizza’s” for a fast meal on a Friday night. Just add fresh veggies on top and smash some quality Tuna Fish or Sardines on top for a protein packed pizza and not just a simple carb.
7. Dried Foods
Nuts & Seeds, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, high in minerals, this food group sustains entire nations. They are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and lecithin (brain food). They are also high in Calcium which contains almost ten times the amount of this mineral as in equal weight of cow’s milk. Key nuts & seeds are: almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and most important are FLAX SEEDS.
Canned or in a Jar (Occasionally)
Keep some beans on hand to toss in soups and salads. Choose low salt, or better, no-salt
Tuna packed in water, Nut butters (like Almond) in Olive oil.
Avoid Genetically Engineered Foods
Right now local supermarkets are carrying these items and you might not know which ones they are. The are dangerous fake foods that hold a host of serious health issues for your family. I could fill 50 pages up with this info now, educate yourself on this now!!!!
About ten years ago, an outcry in Europe against these foods began which finally reached the US. Kindly visit my website and read my article;” Future of Food, Living or Dying” at:
HYPERLINK “http://www.thehealthchef.com” www.thehealthchef.com.; Unfortunally our Government is not protecting us here.
8. Simple rules around the grocery store
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where fresh foods are likely to be.
Avoid center aisles where junk foods lurk.
Choose REAL foods such as; 100% fruit juices. Choose 100% whole grain items with as little processing and as few additions as possible. If you want sugar and salt, add them yourself. Example: watch the Chips you buy.
Stay clear of foods with cartoons in the labels that target children. Real simple; if you don’t want your kids to eat junk, don’t have them in the house. (they will get their fair share at birthday parties for friends
Avoid foods that contain more than 5 ingredients, especially ingredients you can’t pronounce. Be Vigilant about reading labels, know the hidden words for MSG
Make your own baked goods for the family. Some baked goods bought out, have dangerous oils and a chemical called “Potassium Bromide”, which makes the product look fuller and bigger. Especially muffins bought out are filled with bad fat and salt.
Learn the tips, the media uses to make you buy, like “Enhanced and Smart Food”, read the ingredients and them Goggle them. Become an “Ingredient Scout”, knowing and learning what is healthy and not healthy in all products.
Navigate the isles to make healthier choices
Engage the energy it takes to do all this and have fun, think of it as your exercise for the day. Shop with a friend and make it a delightful experience.
10.Have a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of the availability of fresh foods that bring balance and nourishment to our families and support the health of the earth as well.
9. All roads lead to The Sacredness of the Family Meal
Enjoy the above process of gathering the food, and cooking up a delicious meal that is nourishing and nurturing. Recent research at Columbia University found that children who regularly had dinner with their families are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and more likely to do better at school. Studies also showed that: the best adjusted children are those who eat with an adult at least five times a week.
Experts say; couples as well as singles reap benefits when mealtimes are a relaxing experience. It is better for the soul and spirit to dine quietly and slowly but it is also better for digestion.
10. And Finally- Cultivate
An appreciation for nourishing your body with loving care.
It is a rewarding process of making conscious decisions in the marketplace, carving out some time to enjoy the art of cooking and devolving your own style and grace in the kitchen.
“Life in all its fullness, is Mother nature Obeyed”-Weston A. Price
HYPERLINK “http://www.thehealthchef.com” www.thehealthchef.com