Have you ever peeked at the cart behind you in the checkout line, and IMMEDIATELY been embarrassed about your own grocery selections? That lady is pretty much only buying vegetables and you have 10 boxes of Easy Mac... (they were on sale, ok?). Well luckily, Minneapolis-based foodie, Alex from Andra Eats is walking us through how to have a healthy, enviable, grocery cart. Meaning, healthy food will ACTUALLY go home with you and not just the person in line behind you!
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Cart
I’m convinced. Our bodies and minds are too valuable to fill with junk.
That’s why I’ve made it my goal to break down the “elite-ism” that surrounds healthy eating and the pursuit of wellness. Much in tune with the Well Labs Mission, I think everyone deserves access to nutritious and delicious meals. It’s my hope that together we can inspire confidence in our communities when it comes to health-food culture.
Do you have healthy changes you plan to make but haven't yet put into action? Your cookie-filled pantry might be on that list. When cleaning up your pantry seems too daunting, integrating these tricks will help you make wiser decisions in the grocery aisle. No matter where you do your shopping, be it a natural foods store, a local grocer, online, or at the farmers market, keep these things in mind to clean up your cart, your body, and your mind!
Start On The Outside, Work Inward: Challenge yourself to push your cart around the outer walls of the store FIRST, before heading into the middle (and likely more processed) sections. Your journey might be something like this: fresh veggies, fresh fruits, animal/plant proteins, dairy/nut-milks, bakery (even better if your grocery store has a bulk section for whole grains!), and frozen fruits/veggies. The goal is to fill our carts with whole-foods before heading toward the processed goods.
Go Loco For Local: If the small carbon-footprint of buying local doesn’t have you convinced, did you know that your local produce can be packed with more nutrients than similar produces that have been imported? Local, in-season produce is allowed to stay on the the mother-vine longer, allowing the utmost absorption of nutrients from the soil. Meaning - more nutrient bang for your buck. It's worth buying local because everyone wins.
Choose Organic When Possible: Did you know pesticides were a $12.1 billion dollar industry in 2016? While properly washing produce can reduce pesticide residue on the surface, it won't eliminate the pesticides that are absorbed into the tissue of your apple or spinach. Organic farming is the practice of growing a crop without the use of commercial pesticides. Choosing organic keeps the questionable chemicals off your family’s plate. Purchasing organic 100% of the time may not make sense to your budget or simply may not always be available. Thankfully, I use the EWG’s latest Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists to help me prioritize my purchases when I find myself in that pickle. If you're thinking organic isn't "worth it" remember that pesticides cause cell damage, and are one of the contributors to leaky gut and food sensitivities. You don't want to go down that rabbit hole if you don't have to!
Avoid Being Tongue-Tied: Use this test to keep unwanted chemicals out of your pantry: Read the ingredients list out-loud! Feeling too long? Making you go cross-eyed? If it doesn't makes sense in your brain, chances are your body won’t make sense of it either. I suggest sticking to an ingredients list of 5 or less.
Beware The Bubbles: Although diet sodas may be argued as the “better choice”, it’s a bit like comparing cocaine to crack. Both addicting, and both destructive. If bubbly drinks are a MUST on your shopping list, branch out and try flavored carbonated water such as LaCroix. Need more of a kick? Grab a few lemons and limes to add a delectable *Zing! Remember - it's a good idea to love the REAL food that loves you back! Nothing beats straight up water. Except maybe wine, which brings me to my bonus tip…
BONUS TIP! - You're on a roll, you might as well ;)
Go Bold And Go Dark. Allow yourself the joys in life - don’t forget to pick up chocolate and wine! Dark chocolate (containing 70% cocoa or more) has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body thanks to the naturally occurring flavanols. As does red wine with its naturally occurring resveratrol!
Eating well is delicious and starts in the grocery aisle, so go get a cartfull that makes the other shoppers do a double take! REAL people need REAL food to make a REAL difference.
Get more of Alex at andraeats.com!