Walking in to a grocery supercenter like ‘Walmart’ can be overwhelming! The choices seem endless. But are all of those choices staring at you as you walk in the doors or wander through the aisles actually good for you? I’m not recommending Walmart as your go-to store, by any means, but it is going to help make my point!
No matter what store you go to for your weekly grocery shopping (or mulitple times daily, as they sometimes do here in Costa Rica – just buying enough for the meal they are preparing at the moment!), you are going to be faced with choices.
My best recommendation for you to have the best health with your grocery shopping would be to make it a habit to go to your local farmer’s market and avoid supermarkets as much as possible. But if that isn’t feasible for you, there are a few quick tips to make your shopping adventures healthier!
If you think about it, you will be able to picture what I’m talking about fairly easily. When you walk into most grocery stores, there is a specific plan to how the aisles are set. In the middle you have each aisle specializing in everything from cereals to crackers, boxed quick prep foods to the frozen foods aisle. That center of the store can be massive, depending on where you shop.
Want to cut down your shopping time and budget in the long run? Here’s the trick: The main areas that you want to visit and concentrate on in any grocery store will be found around the outside edges. The butcher shop for your beef (grass fed, hormone free is best), and chicken (free range, organic – not from nasty chicken farms), the fish counter (hopefully fresh and local), fruit and veggies (as locally grown as you can stay), bakery (fresh breads, not the ones that can sit on top of your refrigerator for months and never go bad!), and dairy. Local raw dairy (cheese, milk, etc.) is of course much preferable than processed and pasteurized products if you can find it. Processing dairy actually changes the molecular structure of the foods and removes nutritional gems. Although the raw/organic varieties are more prevalent at the local places more-so than at a super center, it’s always worth looking for one of the better options wherever you are, Can you picture it in your mind? ….. the outer edges of the store, vs. the center jungle, right?!
Granted, the healthier options of each of those outer edge preferred sections will be found at organic markets, farmer’s markets or with your local grower, however, for most people it’s all you can do to get to the grocery store each week, so do the best that you can with what you have available to you with your location and your time!
I have actually gotten to the point that I only go to a big grocery store when I run out of household types of things, Even then, I’m choosing more organic, non-toxic options as I can. I’m also to the point that I’m trying to learn to make things – like toothpaste! – at home with healthy, healing ingredients … but that’s for another time!
The next time you go grocery shopping, remember the trick and see if you can start to train yourself to stay in the outer edges as much as possible – your health will be glad that you did!