By now it should be clear that a grocery list for a clean diet is very different from your typical grocery list.
If you have been cooking for a while, you may be in the habit of filling your pantry, cupboards, fridge and freezer with processed convenience foods that make your life easier.
Since processed foods are completely off the menu, grocery shopping for your clean food diet will become a very different experience.
To help you out and make grocery shopping for your clean food diet easier, here are a few tips:
Find a Good Source for Fresh Produce
Fresh produce is the foundation of clean eating. We suggest the following choices:
- Grow your own produce
- Shop locally
Growing your own fruits and vegetables is the better choice. Nothing beats “grocery shopping” in your own back yard; but, this is not a realistic option for the majority of city dwellers.
If you do have room, you may want to plant a small garden in your yard. Or, plant an herb garden or perpetual salad bowl on your counter.
The next best thing to growing your own is to find locally grown produce.
- Most areas have a local farmer’s market – find the one in your area.
- Get to know the local farmers.
- Check out the neighborhood – there may be someone who is willing to barter or trade for fruits and vegetables.
- Look for a SPROUTS Farmer’s Market in your area – they often carry local and organic produce – reasonably priced.
If you can find free or inexpensive produce locally, consider buying seasonal produce in bulk; then, canning or freezing what you cannot use right away for later in the year.
Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
Shopping for your clean food diet requires that you avoid the center aisles of the grocery store. That is where they stock the processed foods – not the foods you want to buy and eat.
Clean Foods are found on the perimeter of the store – produce, meat, dairy and frozen foods (for fruits and vegetables that are not in season). Be sure to buy “flash frozen” fresh produce with nothing added – especially salt and sugar.
It would be wise to avoid temptation by staying out of the center aisles. Go there last to pick up necessary staples that will probably be stocked in that area and head for check-out.
Also – DO NOT EVEN LOOK at the “impulse-buy” items – candy, chips, etc., which they purposefully stock at the end of the aisles and at the check-out line.
Plan your meals ahead of time and always shop with a list. A list keeps you focused and ensures that you don’t forget anything.
This is particularly important when you are trying new recipes. It also hinders impulse buying and keeps you from cheating since the rule is, “you cannot buy what is not on the list” – unless it’s toilet paper, and then by all means buy some even if it is not on the list.
Eat Before You Shop
This may sound crazy, but it is helpful. It works better than you may think. Make it a cardinal rule to never shop when you are hungry.
When you have just eaten a yummy veggie wrap or bowl of fresh fruit, it is much easier to say no to a quick candy bar or box of doughnuts.
Always shop after a meal or at least, after a substantial snack. It will do wonders for your willpower, your waistline, and your health.
As you purchase your clean foods, enjoy the thrill of knowing that you are making some wonderful choices from which your entire family will benefit.