What’s in Your Shopping Cart?

Grabs cart at Whole Foods, strolls down the isles, glancing over at the breads, the cheese, the meats, fruits.. what do I grab?!  What am I SUPPOSED to buy?  That’s such a great question: what the crap am I supposed to buy (and ultimately, consume) at grocery stores?  What foods do and don’t belong in my cart?  We unpack this here…

To start, we are humans.  We are going to and, in fact, are supposed to not follow the rules all the time.  Let’s say you drive your cart passed a stand with freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, and you happen to have a hankering for cookies. Grab a few and share with friends.  It is fine to indulge in a vice every now and again, it’s research proven that if you allow yourself to eat “bad foods” and not feel guilty, you are more likely to jump back into your clean eating regimen quicker and with laser focus.

California Olive Ranch

I had a really bad routine of yo-yo dieting for as long as I can remember.  I was vegan, vegetarian, followed a P90X diet, did those protein shakes, the vegan protein shakes, ate raw veggies, and then back to eating whatever I wanted, and lots of bad fats and late night snacking.  Because I didn’t give myself time to adjust to a new way of eating, my body reacted horribly and developed high levels of H.Pylori in my stomach lining.  H. Pylori actually causes stomach ulcers, and cancer.  NO thanks.  I decided to stop trying new things and stick to what I know works best: eating for me.  This looks like playing scientist with specific foods and seeing how my body reacts – kind of like a food elimination.  I found that when I eat whole wheat, my body swells; but with regular flour, I’m fine.  I have slight aversions to Nightshades (TPEP: tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper) but can have in moderation.  I thrive on healthy fats (avocado, grass fed butter, EVOO, coconut, nuts, and yes, CHEESE) and tons of veggies (mostly cruciferous such as zucchini, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach) and know that if I want a slice of pizza, I’ll damn well enjoy it and then get back right on track the next meal, NOT the next day.

Whole Foods L to R: In-house cookies, family pack of chicken fingers, local mozzarella cheese, in-house sourdough bread, Health-Ade kombucha, half-and-half, grass fed butter, zucchini, onion, Roma tomatoes, chicken (drumsticks and breast), raspberries, basil.

All this to say, your cart does not need to be perfect.  You do not need to have all the sustainable foods, the eco-friendly pouches, and the bio-degradable newest form of broccoli to be healthy.  Eat how your body tells you to eat.  Put things in your cart that you know you’ll eat and enjoy, rather than the blandest form of grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a side of brown rice. Food is thy medicine, and I’ll be damned if I can’t enjoy my spoonful of sugar!

Trader Joe’s trip (L to R): brussel sprouts, onion, more Roma tomatoes, avocado, potatoes, eggplant, swiss/gruyere cheese, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes. (not pictured: seltzer water, ground beef, chicken thighs)

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