90% of Americans shop in supermarkets, and since 1980, child obesity has tripled. Usually it’s the stuff in the middle of the store, the processed junk we’ve been marketed to all of our lives. Of course we crave that because we’ve been subconsciously brainwashed into thinking that’s what we need. Wrong. Chances are you were raised on this diet and it’s been wreaking havoc on your body ever since.
I’m not sure about you but in my family, when we started incorporating natural foods, fruits, vegetables, we became more aware, our head, heart and mind opened. We had more energy, higher cognition, better performance, we were happier. Our bodies thanked us over and over again. I want this for you too, that’s why I’m giving you my top tips on how to shop for optimal nutrition. Here they are:
Shop on Periphery of Store
In a typical grocery store, all the fresh stuff is usually on the periphery on the store. I always urge my clients to "eat the rainbow." Look for colorful enzyme-rich fruits & veggies, lean proteins, low carbohydrate foods, good starches (think brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa), healthy fats (raw nuts, avocado, olive oil).
Avoid processed junk
In nutrition school, we were taught not to buy foods with a nutrition label. An apple or a peach doesn’t have a label, because these are whole foods that are good for our bodies. My general rule of thumb is to be wary of any product that contains large amounts of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, trans fat (hydrogenated vegetable oils), added chemicals that you cant read, commercial dairy, and anything GMO. The good news is that after intense consumer lobbying, most food packages will be required to carry a symbol or label indicating whether the food contains genetically modified ingredients (passed by President Obama July 2016). Start to become aware of these ingredients, and add less of them to your cart.
Go with a List and Don’t Go Shopping Hungry
This will help you stay focused, structure meals, get a good balance of nutrition, and stay organized for the next week. Plus you wont be throwing unnecessary items in your cart – hint, the processed stuff!
Shop with a Smaller Cart
A smaller cart will help you to be hyper focused and re-think purchasing decisions. In addition, you won’t be overbuying perishable items. (Tip - the longer produce is stored in your fridge, the more nutrient loss occurs).
I cant say enough great things about buying local. Look for seasonal farmer's markets in your town and the "local section" of your primary grocery store. You’re getting the freshest possible produce, it’s less expensive, you are reducing your carbon footprint, and you are eating foods that are energetically indigenous to your are, which is what your body intuitively craves. This is a winning combination.