I find myself going to the grocery store less and less.
It can be a dangerous place for me especially if I’m hungry or don’t have a clear list.
But even with a clear list, full belly and the best of intentions it’s really hard to know what’s healthy and what’s pretending to be.
Even in the produce aisle where food is whole and fresh, it’s very misleading.
Why is the grocery store so dangerous?
Compared to 50 years ago most produce in the grocery store is 50% less nutritious today.
That means you need to eat twice as much of them as our parents and grandparents did.
Some crops are 70 – 80% less nutritious than they were when we were born.
Is it any wonder that we, as a population, become sicker and fatter?
Additionally, we have less energy and worse health despite the discoveries in science to help cure cancer, vaccinate against disease, and medicate illness.
What is going on?
Food is less nutritious.
The wheat that makes our bread, and the corn & soy that feeds the animals that makes our eggs, meat, and dairy are significantly less nutritious since the advent & use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
In a nutshell, much of the food in this country is being grown on depleted, dead soil and only being fed 3 (N,P,K) of the many elements we need to sustain health.
Now I could go ON and ON about why today’s food is less nutritious and if you want to know more specifically please respond to this email.
Simply put at the end of the day we’re left feeling hungry though we’ve had sufficient calories.
All in all, we’re needing to eat MORE food to get the same nourishment as our parents & grandparents did.
How can you stay safe in the grocery store and become more NOURISHED?
3 proven ways to stay safe in (and out) of the grocery store.
#1. Plan Ahead
This is no hack.
Good health is like raising responsible kids or being fit or being educated.
You’ve got to put in the time if you want good results.
Start with a list. Stick to it.
Now buy the best ingredients you can source. (Which could mean NOT buying them at the grocery store!)
Look for organic produce, pastured eggs, grass-fed dairy & meat. Local is best.
Many studies have shown that organic food is more nutrient dense than conventionally grown. This has much to do with the soil it’s grown in and the chemicals used (or not) to ‘cheat’ Mother Nature.
Sure there are studies that say there’s no difference. Who are those studies sponsored by?
How do you know what’s the ‘best’?
Well, generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
Animals you eat should have fresh air and sunshine and the freedom to move.
Plants you eat should be grown in soil that is well fed & teeming with life.
Well-fed soil = well-fed plants = well-fed animals = well-fed humans.
In the grocery store it is difficult to discern the growing practices of farm the food came from. Do your research.
So to wrap up #1 Plan Ahead: make a plan to source much of your food from local, organic if possible, sources where you can see their practices.
#2. Diversify Your Diet.
Add a variety of foods to your weekly meal plan.
Expand your repetoire!
Add seeds, nuts, avocados, herbs and an array of flours & grains from smaller, organic sources.
Peruse the organic aisle. You’ve heard this one, stick to the outside walls of the grocery store.
Stay away from big brand names and processed foods.
Bake your own treats and add things like flax & sunflower seed, maca powder, and hemp hearts.
I substitute some of the AP flour in most recipes with Oat, Buckwheat, Coconut and Amaranth flour to boost nutrition.
And, ask my kids, I put kale in almost everything (haha I LOVE Kale)
#3 Keep Healthy Additions on hand in the Pantry & Freezer
When the good stuff is on sale, stock up!
I keep a bag of kale, chard, spinach, and parsley in the freezer as well as cubes of chopped garlic & pestos for easy, health-boosting additions to soups, stews, chili, casseroles, and smoothies.
My kids expect to see something green in their chili and chicken noodle soup!
Add a farmer’s market, farm stand or weekly veggie box (CSA) to your weekly shopping route, where you can double the amount of nutrition in the same quantity of food and have extra to freeze for later use.
Bonus for increased nutrition:
#4. Enjoy spending more time in the kitchen and at the dinner table
Yep. I said it. Now you can choose how to feel about it.
Thoughts become things. When you enjoy time spent in the kitchen, others will join you.
It can be a social affair. And the results are good for body, mind and spirit.
#5. Increase your Phytochemicals
Roughly 50,000 different phytochemicals have been identified that contribute to the color, taste, and flavor of every fruit, vegetable or grain you eat, as well as coffee, tea, & wine you drink.
They give flavor to meat, dairy & eggs.
You may have heard of lycopene (tomatoes) or anthocyanins (berries).
The levels of these you get in your diet reflect not only what you eat but how it was grown.
How food was grown is a deciding factor as to the amount and quality of its phytochemical content.
So if you follow my tips above you will automatically increase your phytochemial intake and it’s possible that increasing your phytochemical intake is the real secret to feeling and being truly nourished.