on shopping, what we buy, and reading those pesky labels.
this is probably one of the more common questions we get from people, usually based on two concerns, time constraints and money. so since i hate being wasteful of anything including time and money, i’ve put together a little list. DISCLAIMER: items in stores are changing constantly so keep a list of where you like to buy things to save time.
here’s where we shop and why:
1. Jimbo’s (similar to Whole Foods) – jimbo’s is more expensive than some of the other stores, but since most of their items fall under what we can eat, it saves tons of time shopping there not having to read labels.
meat: you can find lots of organic meats but they are not super cheap. it’s good to know where they sell it though in case you need it. plus they have a meat grinder so if you want ground chicken they’ll do it for you right there. i also buy my all natural nitrate/nitrite free bacon, hot dogs and salami products there.
bread: i have actually started making my own bread with a breadmaker to save money (plus it’s delicious) but jimbo’s is one of the only places i’ve been able to find all natural bread with no soy that jared liked, hahaha! it’s just really refreshing when something only has a small amount of ingredients.
fruits/vegetables: most of their fresh food is affordable but the best thing about jimbo’s is that ALL of their produce is organic so you don’t have to worry about finding the things you need organic and compromising on others. this is especially important for us because we juice. i don’t want to have to go to multiple stores looking for all my juicing ingredients, i just grab everything i need in 2 minutes.
drinks: jared loves zevia, an all natural soda that uses stevia instead of sugar so it’s all natural and calorie free. i prefer the cane sugar sodas (when i crave one ever so rarely) and they have those too.
2. trader joe’s – my new favorite place to shop and according to their website (not sure how true it is) all of their name brand items are GMO free, which is awesome!
meat: they sell organic chickens. they also have frozen free range beef for the best price i’ve found so far.
candy: i’ve found a bunch of all natural candy here which is great because it’s nice to not have to give up everything you like when you go all natural. i’ll do a whole post on sweets 🙂
produce: not everything is organic at tj’s but they do have some things in bags like kale and spinach which makes it much easier for juicing.
appetizers: tj’s has the best all natural appetizers for parties when you don’t have time to make them yourself, they also have puff pastry and philo dough if you do want to make your own.
3. sprouts – i used to shop here all the time, but when i started reading labels i realized that many things there were off my list. but they do have plenty of all natural snacks and sodas. i also just found all natural sprinkles which is great for cupcakes and cake since i don’t use food coloring.
4. costco and vons – every time i go to costco or vons, i see something new that is all natural. they don’t have a ton of things, but it’s great to see that they are listening to people and what they want.
5. farmer’s markets – great for all natural food, but not a time saver because they won’t always have what you’re looking for. but i love going when i want to wander and run into people i know!
if you are looking for a specific item, leave me a comment and maybe i can point you in the right direction 🙂
reading labels: this is the most important thing if you are going to change your eating habits, mainly because of all the advertising gimmicks. something that has a healthy looking label might be horrible for you. there is high fructose corn syrup in so many things you would not believe, and i’ve found sucralose (splenda) in a ton of products that aren’t even labeled as diet. so don’t just look at the name, ‘natural’ doesn’t mean ‘all natural’, always always read the list of ingredients!!
here are some examples. this jam you would most certainly think is healthy, ‘pure boysenberry preserves’
but check out what’s really in it…
this one at least is honest about their use of splenda
but it’s not just sugar free, it has preservatives and food coloring…why do we need food coloring in jam???
even something i thought for sure would be healthy, i picked this up to maybe buy it and read the side first…when the fruit is the 3rd ingredient, you have to wonder…
and this example is why you should always read the labels…these are actually all natural cheetos, but the packaging is so bad you would probably pass over it assuming they were bad. so don’t be misled by branding, it is worth your time to read labels!