Shopping Guidelines

Follow the dietary guidelines and download the grocery shopping guide.

  1. Have a list.
  2. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry. Have a good meal before you go shopping.
  3. Do your shopping in the outer aisles — the produce, the meats, fish, eggs. The inner aisles are usually full of all the processed foods, the ones full of sugar,trans fats and other preservatives so the shelf life will be longer.
  4. Remember, as a general rule, if there are ingredients that you can’t recognize, pronounce, or spell, you probably should not be putting it into your body.
  5. Be wary of “all natural”. Although I am recommending an all natural way of eating, “all natural” on a label is meaningless as these foods are often high in sugars.
  6. If you do buy a food in a box, try to choose one with five ingredients or less, none you can’t pronounce, and no cartoon characters.
  7. Select fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colors.
  8. Buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever you can and preferably locally grown. If that is not possible, at least avoid those that are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides. www.foodnews.org features the 12 fruits and veggies with the most and least pesticides so you’ll know which ones to buy
    organic, and which conventionally-grown ones are okay when organic isn’t available.
  9. Buy fresh foods whenever possible—the fresher the food, the more nutritious. Fresh foods are better than frozen foods, but frozen foods are better than canned foods.
  10. When buying meats, look for grass fed meats and free range poultry. Organic meats and poultry without hormones and antibiotics would be next best and if you can’t find them, for meats get lean cuts and for poultry, remove the skin because toxins are stored in the fat.
  11. Limit buying fish with high mercury content (see list pg…) and remember ocean-caught fish is generally better than farm-raised fish, which are usually laden with PCB’s (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). PCB’s have been linked to reproductive problems, cancer, immune and endocrine system disorders, among other issues.
  12. And, most importantly, READ THE LABEL. Although most of the foods you are hopefully going to be choosing and eating actually don’t have labels because they are from nature — fruits, vegetables, grass fed meats, fish, nuts, seeds and legumes — obviously you are going to have to also eat some food that will
    have labels. So it is important to continue to read them, religiously looking out for the poisonous ingredients we just threw out:
  • Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats and oils
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sodium nitrite and nitrate
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Sulfites (sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfite)
  • Potassium bromate
  • Preservatives (such as BHA, BHT, TBHQ)
  • Artificial colors(such as FD&C Red No. 3, Yellow No. 5 and 6, Blue No.1 and 2)
  • Artificial fats (such as olestra)
A few more thoughts about your first shopping trips:

  1. In addition to this list, you may want to choose a few recipes from the back of the book that sound good to you and you think you might want to try in the next week. Make sure that you have added all the ingredients for these recipes to the above list. My favorite feature that Janice and I have developed is the idea of a home salad bar where you think of your refrigerator as your very own salad bar. You stock it accordingly with separate containers of different
    ingredients – organic greens and chopped up organic vegetables, grilled and diced organic chicken or meat, a delicious salad dressing. This way you can easily mix and match whatever you want and quickly put together a delicious nutrient dense meal. This is a huge time and energy saver.
  2. Give yourself time at the market. Whether we know it or not, we are completely programmed to move through our particular stores in a particular way.
  3. While you are healing from Spent, I will be asking you to find new foods and reading the labels of old foods to ensure that they are not harmful. Therefore, initially food shopping may take a little more time and attention than it did in the past.
  4. Remember that not all food at the market is really food. Supermarkets provide a wonderful service but remember they are there to make money. In her book “What to Eat,” Marion Nestle, a highly regarded nutrition professor, explains how the profits for supermarkets are in the junk food. These fancy, colorful, “miracle” chemicalized products are enticing, tasty, convenient, and often addictive. They distract us from what we should be eating…whole fresh foods from nature. We are influenced by attractive advertising, smart packaging and the clever placement of these products in the stores. A clean, fresh whole
    foods diet contains fewer antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, hydrogenated fats,
    additives, preservatives, chemical sweeteners and other chemicals and therefore decreases the toxic load on your body. This will make you more vital and less Spent. Once again, make sure the bulk of your foods don’t have labels!!!!!!!!