SAMPLE GROCERY LIST: (these are staples that most people always buy weekly. Here are my healthy substitutes to the typical grocery list)
- Milk - Cows milk is highly inflammatory, and unless raw and organic, contains antibiotics and growth hormones. Instead, try Almond Milk (our favorite), Coconut Milk or Rice Milk. All have Vitamin D added (just like cows), but are not inflammatory, and contain less sugar and fat.
- Eggs - We buy ours from local farms. Chickens are free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
- Yogurt - Use sparingly. Plain only. You can add fruit, granola or honey to sweeten. I prefer organic Greek.
- Cheese -Use sparingly. Raw (unpasteurized) and organic.
- Chicken - Chickens are free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
- Beef - Grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
- Fish - Wild only.
- F&V - See post on "L.O.V.E. Your Food"
- Nuts/seeds - raw, organic, almonds, walnuts and cashews are best. Avoid peanuts - highly inflammatory. Nothing salted. Hemp seeds - great on salads and in smoothies, high in omega-3. Wheat berries and flax seeds. Nuts and Seeds can be added whole to meals or ground in the blender.
- Grains - wheat, white rice, oats - keep it limited. Organic Rice (brown, black, wild - the more variety the better). Quinoa and Amaranth are NOT grains, and can be used more. They are a great side dish or with a salad.
- Cereals - Avoid cereals. Highly inflammatory and processed. Instead, make real, organic oatmeal (not the instant), quinoa or granola for breakfast. Add almond milk, honey and fruits for flavor.
- Flours - Most flours are made from grains, so look for gluten-free ones, like rice, quinoa, coconut and almond. These cook up just as well for muffins and cookies.
- Pancakes & Waffles - Look for gluten-free mix, or make homemade. Know what the ingredients are on pre-packaged bags.
- Beans/lentils - a variety, and dried is best. Canned only if your in a pinch. Great added to salads, sides or in soups.
- Soups - Home-made is best. You control the sodium and all the ingredients. Make a big batch, freeze in jars and pull out as needed.
- Pasta - Rice pasta is best. Some have added veggie powders to add color and variety.
- Sauces - Organic or home-made. Read the ingredients. Make a big batch and freeze in jars until your ready.
- Dressings/Dips - There are so many great recipes out there for homemade salad dressings. I rarely buy premade.
- Breads - The only kind we buy is the Ezekiel Bread. It is sprouted, organic seeds and nuts, and no preservatives. This brand also makes hamburger buns and tortilla shells.
- Sweeteners - Real, real, real sweeteners ONLY! Sucanut, agave, stevia, honey, coconut nectar - all good! Raw and organic - better!
- Oils - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (for cooking) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for salads).
- Almond Butter - Better then peanut butter.
- Jelly - Make sure there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), and preserves are best. You can also make homemade fruit butters for sandwiches or a side dish.
- Dried Fruits - raisins, apricots, ginger, coconut flakes, goji berries, golden berries - all great snacks and full of antioxidants.
- Juice - I do not buy juice (another blog, another day!). I either juice or blend F&V myself, or add fresh fruit to water, coconut water or kefir water for a little flavor.
- Ice Cream - Check out Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss Ice cream. Delicious, and all real ingredients. Or you can make your own (see recipes)
- Cookies/Crackers - Read the labels. Some of my favorite brands are Back to Nature and Annie's. I also have lots of homemade, raw recipes. These still are limited in our house. F&V come first.
- Granola - Great as a snack, breakfast or added to yogurt.
- Chocolate - Raw cacao powder or nibs are great for baking with or in smoothies. If your going to get a chocolate bar, make sure its organic and enjoy it!
You might be thinking that these are alot of new changes to your families grocery list. Try a few new changes at a time. Sometimes it takes a few tries for someone's taste buds to adapt to new flavors - kids and adults! However, knowing that you are making positive changes in you and your family's health makes it all worth while. Some of these foods, especially if they are raw or organic, can be more expensive then their conventional counterpart. Many times, this deters people from buying them. Know that raw and organic is highly superior. It is better for your body and better for the planet. You can either pay the farmer (or organic/raw producer) now, or the doctor later!
People are always counting calories, sugars and fats, but totally disregarding the actual ingredients in the food. Just because something has low sugar or no fat, does not necessarily mean it's good for you - it could be loaded with cancer-causing chemicals and preservatives. A calorie is a unit for measuring energy. Our body needs energy to do everyday things, like moving, working, playing, even digesting, metabolizing and thinking. When people on "low-calorie" diets do not get enough calories, their body starts to store fat to survive and they actually maintain or even gain weight. You need to take in quality energy to burn energy. Instead of counting calories, look at what the food IS! Avoid "empty calories" - Foods that have no nutrient value. The boxed-food companies want you to think that their food is fine to eat in large quantities because it might be no/low sugar, fat or calories, but it comes no where close to REAL FOOD! If it is a nutrient-dense food, even if it is high in calories, then your body will know exactly what to do with the fats, carbs, sugars and proteins. For example, foods like avocados and walnuts might high in calories, but they are perfect foods to eat all the time - they give you energy and are high in protein & omega-3 (things most Americans are deficient in!).
Avoid items that contain the ingredients: hydrogenated oils, soy, canola, cottonseed or corn oils (if they are not organic, then they are GMO), any colors or numbers (this means artificial colors from chemicals that cause cancer and ADHD), or any other ingredient that you do know 100% what it is.