Monday, July 15, 2013

My momma told me, "You better shop around!"

The title of this blog seemed appropriate, because I want to talk about my grocery store shopping habits.  

I think one of the best ways to be successful in changing your food habits is to change the way you shop.  Jason and I do things a lot differently that we used to, before we started making more health-conscious decisions about the food we put into our bodies.

The biggest change we've made is, we've practically cut out the middle of the store.  I say practically, because we do venture into the middle for certain canned food items, nuts, baking items and whole grains... but otherwise we stick to the outside of the store.


I'll tell you why.  A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that she had cut out the middle of the grocery store.  She told me she only shopped around the outside, meaning the produce, meat and dairy sections.  Her reason?  That's where all the healthy and natural ingredients are housed.  Nearly everything in the middle of the store is processed, and contains preservatives and other unpronounceable ingredients.

I found the graphic above on Pintrest.  I think it gives some great arguments for avoiding the middle of the store and what certain foods do to your body.

But, there are some things about this list that I don't like about this list.  I like my gluten-- I know it's not great for me, but I like it anyway damn it!   And bread does have it's healthy aspects to-- so, I'm going to continue to eat it.  Also, I like meat and if eaten in the correct serving sizes I also believe it has health benefits.  I don't think it's healthy to cut things out of your diet unless you're specifically allergic... but that's just one girl's opinion.

As for the limited number of canned foods Jason and I buy-- we are starting to steer away from as much of them as possible.  I have yet to find where I can find black olives in a glass jar, so for now we'll continue to buy those.  Same with Garbanzo beans... but the other beans I've started buying dry and making in the crockpot... it's pretty easy (click here to find out just how easy)

For peanut butter, we buy Adams-- or we "make our own" in the health food section... it's really fun to press the button :).  We pick our own berries in the summer, and I make them into jams and we freeze the rest.  Jason's step-dad and mom send us canned green beans from the farm every year and as far as condiments, spaghetti/other sauces go-- my aunt is teaching me how to can in August.

I know it sounds like a lot of work-- and it is.  But for me it was really a question of  how much work I was willing to put into the food I consume.  When I eat the "easy" stuff-- it makes my stomach hurt.  When I make it myself, I feel better-- AND it tastes better!

The whole thing is really a balancing act.  It's unrealsitic of me to spend all of my time making everything from scratch-- and it's unhealthy to buy everything pre-made.  So, I pick and choose what's important to me in terms of what I will spend the extra time making and what I won't.  

Next year, I'm hoping to knock down our produce costs with a fruit and veggie and herb garden, if we can get our act together :)

Do you have a grocery store routine?  Is there anything on the visual above that you don't necessarily agree with?  What about homemaking your staples-- are there things you just won't buy pre-made?  I'd love to hear from you!  Leave your comments below!

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