One of the most challenging parts of your food recovery program is the grocery. Aisle after aisle of foods in beautiful packages invite you. The store is set up so you can meander from here to there and find new things to buy. And at the end of each aisle, a special product is displayed, in a pretty arrangement. And we are led to believe it is on sale; often it isn’t.
Because of COVID19, though, we are allowed to order from most groceries for curbside pickup. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this; and we may discuss them at another time. For today, I want to imagine we are going shopping in the stores, and offer you a few hints and strategies for handling this difficult situation.
RULE# 1: Never! Never! Ever! Ever! go to the grocery store hungry or upset! If you need something immediately, this is the time to call a family member or friend to help, or to order curbside pickup! If you are not hungry, but still feel stressed, bookend the trip. That means you call a friend or supporter; arrange that you will call her before you go into the store and after you leave the store. S/he will be waiting for your call to say that you are home safe.
Go to the grocery when it is not crowded – early morning, or late night, especially on weekends. If you are trying to read labels or check your list, it is much harder to do that, and stay calm, when there are lots of people jostling you.
If you have a membership at a big box store, (BJ’s or CostCo, etc.) it can be helpful to make one trip a month there, and buy all the nonperishables like toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, dish detergent, etc. This will minimize your weekly trips for the fresh and perishable foods you need regularly.
Plan what you want to eat this week, and make a list of the ingredients you need. Some people like to make every meal when it is to be eaten, some like leftovers, some want to make two or three big meals on the weekend and eat them all week. Plan to get the items that work for you.
Shop the outer aisles of the store first. This is where the fresh produce, veggies, fruits, lean meats and fish are usually found.
In the center aisles are some foods you need and some foods you need to avoid. If you must go into those aisles, be clear on what you need there and move along, away from the processed and prepared foods. If you are looking for a new food or one you are unfamiliar with, and have to read a group of labels, do that, but limit your time of reading labels so you won’t get stressed, lost, or confused. Read the table of contents and the nutrition facts labels to weed out the foods you cannot tolerate. Don’t let yourself admire the picture on the label or imagine how good it will taste; get what you need and move on!
Pick canned proteins packed in water, not in oil, and with lower fat and sodium. Canned fruits need to be in water or their natural juices or without sweeteners added.
I was really shocked the day I picked up a box of “Pure Stevia”, turned it over and the first ingredient was dextrose! Remember manufacturers want to create a label that will entice you to buy their product. The truth is in the ingredient list and the nutrition facts label.
Always, always, always read the nutrition facts label. What is written on the front of the package is the manufacturer’s attempt to show his product in the best light possible. What is written on the back is required to be the truth. Ingredients are listed in decreasing order by weight. If sugar or white flour or tapioca starch are in the first five ingredients, put it back. If the label ingredients are so long, and you don’t know what half the ingredients are, it isn’t good enough to be put into your body. As Dr. Kessler has said, that is an “edible food-like object.”
Buy frozen fruits and veggies without added sauces, seasonings, or salt. Remember that canned beans or vegetables may have a lot of sodium. Rinse them before you use them. Normal sodium needs are 2000 to 2300 mg per day. Is the sodium in this product small enough to fit in with your other foods?
It is easy to find frozen vegetables without sauce, seasonings, or salt, and they are easier to put into your food plan. Always choose foods as close to G-d and Mother Nature as you can find them.
When you get home from the store, turn on some lively music while you portion out the snacks. Putting each day’s snacks into Ziplock baggies makes maintaining your food plan much easier. And they are cheaper than buying individual packages of snack foods. Because they are ready – to – go, you can handle life’s emergencies with a bit more ease.
Now sit down with your favorite calorie free beverage, relax and enjoy your music. You made it!
Blessings to you,
P.S. Please comment; was this article helpful to you? What else would be helpful for me to share?
P.P.S And, on February 24, we are starting a whole new set of programs called the Sane Food Solution! If you have struggled for years with diet after diet and wound up with regaining all that weight, and then some; if you are feeling tired and shameful – feeling like you have no willpower and you don’t know what is wrong; then this is the program for you!
Please call Jennifer at my office and give yourself the chance for true food freedom! 610-275-3699
And have a wonderful week!