A Holistic Grocery Guide

Fueling your body daily with the freshest ingredients possible is key when it comes to feeling your best.

This post comes to us from nutritionist Kristin Dahl

The grocery store can be a bit overwhelming and difficult to navigate at times (especially if you go hungry!), but knowing how to shop and with what to stock your pantry will make your next trip to the market a breeze!

Here are a few tips you can take with you:

SHOP LOCAL

I find that the farmers market is the best place to shop for seasonal and local foods. With its magnificent and abundant variety of fresh produce, I leave feeling deeply nourished — not only from its sensorial beauty but also from engaging in a community-oriented experience. I love to speak with vendors and local farmers about the journey those foods took to get to where they are today, bringing a reminder of the love, energy and plant intelligence that went into the creation of our food. The closer to home your food originates, the less of an ecological footprint it leaves on the earth.

EAT SEASONALLY

Eating seasonally connects us with Mother Nature, aligning us with the natural rhythms of the earth. It also plays an important role in boosting our immunity and vitality because the nutrition in these foods is at its peak. When we flow with the seasons, we adjust to the Earth in the same way the animals do, in harmony with all the surrounding elements. The cycle of the seasons is designed to fully support and nourish our health in the most miraculous of ways. In the summertime, nature provides us with cooling and hydrating foods. In the fall and winter, there’s an abundance of heavier starches to help us stay warm. In the spring, we are provided with endless greens to help us alkalize in preparation for summer.

SHOP THE OUTER AREAS OF THE MARKET

The freshest foods in the grocery store are always located around the outer edges of the market. Start there, fill your cart with loads of produce and fresh ingredients, and then head for the bulk section to stock up on nuts, seeds, grains, legumes and loose leaf teas. Local coop’s also carry bulk herbs and spices. It’s the best way to source pricey items and save money.

CHOOSE ORGANIC

Eating organic is important for many reasons: it introduces fewer toxins to your body, is better for the environment, and organic produce is chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Always choose organic on highly sprayed items like leafy greens, berries, apples, pears, stone fruit, and celery. And check out EWG’s list for the “clean fifteen” It’s equally as important to consume animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) that are organic, grass-fed and pasture raised. Animal products that are not organic are generally full of growth hormones and antibiotics that interfere with our endocrine system.

SHOP FAIR TRADE

If you love chocolate, coffee and tea, it’s important to look for a fair trade logo on the packaging. When something is labeled fair trade, it means that the people who are tending to the product are being treated humanely WHILE being given a proper wage. Some of these agreements go as far as protecting the environment and animals in which crops are being grown.

AVOID FRANKENFOODS

If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, it’s probably not supportive of your health. These foods are generally highly processed, loaded with sugar and salt, and filled with lots of lab-made chemicals. If you don’t recognize it, chances are that your body won’t either, and the long-term effects on your cellular system could be severe. Also be wary of anything labeled low-fat, sugar-free, made with real fruit, etc. These buzzwords are used to disguise foreign ingredients and added chemicals.

WHEN IN DOUBT, LOAD UP ON FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

If ever you feel overwhelmed while shopping, just reference the advice your grandma probably gave you years ago — fill up your cart with fruits and veggies. Eating a variety of colors will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need for optimal health. Plus, eating more produce helps to create a more alkaline system. The more alkaline your body is, the more oxygen is pumping through your bloodstream offering more energy, immunity, and long-term vitality.

+ Keep an eye out for more from Kristin next week…

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