Shopping for healthy food doesn’t have to become a daunting task. In this article, I will share with you simple clean eating tips for your family, as it’s not as difficult as it sounds. For most of us, it’s an adventure, as we learn of new and different food choices there are in our local market. Patience, planning, and consistency will score you better deals and success in your efforts. The one key thing to remember is, you may not find your entire grocery list from one single store.
When I shop for food, I usually find my complete shopping list from up to 3 different grocery stores. You will find that you might have to do the same. This is because all grocery stores have different inventory of foods and so they are not consistent from store-to-store. You might find one type of produce in one store, and you won’t see that type of produce in another store. So then, you will have to go to your next best store choice to find what you need.
When I first started my healthy eating journey, I didn’t know what I’d find in my favorite stores. I purchased my first bag of organic apples and I remember feeling so proud of myself. I thought for sure I’d win the “mother of the year award”, lol! Then I went to Whole Foods store and spent $50 to $75 more on groceries!
I was trying to continue buying my usual 4 boxes of cereals, but the “healthier” brands cost more. I thought healthy eating meant only shopping at the health food stores. Once I went to my neighborhood grocer, I actually found some of the same brands of food at a lower price.
As you can see, this healthy way of shopping starts small. Start purchasing one food group at-a-time until you feel comfortable with this shopping routine. Then, over time, you can replace one unhealthy food choice with a healthy version. For example, I used to purchase white flour, but I switched to purchasing whole grain flour.
Instead of non-organic apples, I chose organic apples. This is the pattern I followed. For every one product you currently purchase, you just swap it out for a healthy version. Instead of buying boxed potato buds, I purchased the whole potatoes and prepared my own mashed potatoes.
This was not a tough process for me because I really wanted to eliminate the health challenges we were struggling with due to making the wrong food choices. The health challenges among my family members were High Cholesterol, severe Eczema, overweight, High blood Pressure, Abnormal Pap Smears, and Subclinical Hypothyroidism. Most of these were diet-related and could be reversed with a healthier, clean-eating diet, and it worked!
It is possible to experience some weight loss when eating clean. The reason is that you swap out your unhealthy snacks that are loaded with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and chemical food coloring. These unhealthy ingredients also known as food additives cause all kinds of health problems like food allergies, food sensitivities, food addictions, food cravings, and weight gain.
There is research that shows how a food additive called propionate can cause insulin resistance. This food additive is used in many foods like cereals, dairy and egg-based desserts, some sausages, sports drinks, etc. These food additives are known to present a risk factor to causing obesity in many.
An article published by Science Daily explains how an added ingredient known as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is linked to obesity. This food enhancer is added to many foods like Chinese food, Processed food, canned soups, and many others. This ingredient is known to be an addictive additive, causing more hunger and food craving. This, in turn, causes unwanted weight gain in many.
When I was struggling with helping my son lose weight, I found that MSG was in most of the foods in my home. Once I started buying more whole, clean foods, my family’s food cravings went away. We were also making healthier food choices to keep us satiated without the need for dessert after every meal!
To eliminate this ingredient from your life and end one of your struggles with unnecessary food cravings and weight gain, go through all your canned foods. If you find MSG in the ingredients list, toss it. This is what I did. Seriously do an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator with a pen and note pad in hand.
Write down all foods you will replace with healthier choices so you can strategically go throughout the grocery store without wasting time trying to remember which foods to replace. I did this and it saved me so much time in the stores. Instead of buying canned soups, I now purchase bulk pasta, organic chicken flavoring, dried herbs and spices, and fresh carrots and celery to create my own soups.
It’s really simple if you’re patient, as you’ll soon learn that homemade taste better-it’s fresher and your family will appreciate the love you put into your home-cooked meals. Your body will start adjusting to your healthy way of eating and soon you’ll notice the food cravings will disappear along with the unwanted weight. I’ve seen this happen with many people I share this information with.
You don’t have to shop at specialty stores for natural and organic foods today. With the major competition in the food industry, many grocery chains sell natural and organic brands of food. Just choose 2-3 of your favorite stores and make a list of your favorite foods you find in each of those stores, and shop their sales each week, using their weekly Circular.
Always shop from your local Farmers Market in your neighborhood. A lot of the produce sold at farmers markets are organic unless the seller tells you they used chemical sprays on their crops. You can ask questions as you’re shopping as a way to learn where your food comes from and the methods used to grow them. This is as close to Clean Eating as it gets!
We love shopping at farmers markets, as we find it fun to get to know the sellers and learn more about their farming methods. You learn to appreciate your food more from this experience. That’s always been our experience. You can always grow your own by starting a garden. This can be done in your backyard, in a small space like on your patio in large pots, or even on your back porch in pots. The possibilities are endless! I’ve even seen someone grow herbs in their cookware!
My biggest concern when I changed my way of shopping is the price of the food I needed. I didn’t want to spend too much on food, but I did want cleaner food, so I had to learn how to eat healthy on a budget. To counter this, I stopped buying processed snack foods and started buying more fruits and vegetables, which actually balanced out my grocery bill. I found that as I swapped out my unhealthy foods for the healthier choices, my grocery bill almost balanced out.
My shopping cart used to be about 80% processed foods and 20 % whole foods. I spent unnecessary amounts on processed, boxed foods that were sometimes pricey per item! Trading in unhealthy foods and snacks for fresh produce wasn’t so expensive after all! Instead of buying fruit juices, we now buy fresh fruit and the cost is a balance because we bought more processed food than fresh. This is how we did it.
Many grocery chains run sales on a rotating schedule throughout the month. You must pay close attention when your favorite products go on sale again to know how much to stock up on, so you’ll have enough of that product for the next sale. Use store and manufacturer’s coupons if you have the patience for them and you’ll be well on your way to seeing savings in your grocery bill.
Plan your meals around the foods on sale for that week. You’ll find many deals on organic foods. This is how we save tremendously! Stock up when your favorite products go on sale. Learn the sales cycles of your favorite store. Some stores promote sales every 4 to 6 weeks. Once you learn their sales cycle, you can shop on those specific days to save a lot of money.
What are some of your ways to save money on natural and organic foods?
A healthy diet is one key component that can affect the state of our mind. We must nourish our mind by eating nutrient-dense foods daily. If you need to improve your current diet from a nutrient deficient one to a nutrient dense one, I have a free Diet Makeover course that teaches you step-by-step how to do this. This is what I did to change the health of my family and I know it will help you too. Click below to get started.
Healthy Living isn't difficult. It requires an ongoing lifestyle change with patience and an open mind. I teach this mindset all the time. After 11 years of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a pain-free one, I think it's important to share my knowledge and research with those who are ready to make that shift in their health and wellness.