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Primal shopping guide

April 24, 2020

8 great tips for healthy shopping

In the world of diet and nutrition there is a plethora of choices one can make. For most of us, making the best choices as we’re bombarded by advertisements and governmental guidelines mixed with variables of cost, convenience, availability and level of health knowledge makes for a very scary situation. 

Knowing 80% of what we eat will typically determine our body composition, the trick is to know which foods these are and make them priority in our lifestyle. Just because it’s edible doesn’t mean it is good for us. Good fuel equals good performance. Diets rich in grains, processed seed oils, sugar and additives cause disruption in our natural energy/chemical balance and a body system that leads to a feeling of discomfort and fatigue which is a precursor to illness and disease. 

A great start is to focus on a food list that consists of foods our primal ancestors would have eaten (as fresh as possible, nutrient dense, real) along with healthy modern day  choices. While a good old Flintstone Brontosaurs burger is not on the menu, a grass-fed beef burger in a lettuce wrap with homemade guacamole is! It can taste great and be good for you too! Primal eating is nothing more than differentiating healthy, real food from the processed, Franken crap. It’s a different mindset and a shift from what you’ve probably been told (like I have) all these years of what we should and shouldn’t consume. 

Here’s a quick shopping guide to help start your way on the path to good dietary selections: 

1. Perimeter shopping – The hunt and gather journey is best kept to the outside perimeter of the supermarket (minus the bakery). Fresh meats, seafood, eggs, dairy, vegetables and fruits are typically in these areas.

2. Vegetables – Organic/locally grown. Choose a wide variety to keep the flavor, presentation and nutrients diverse. Peppers (various), leafy greens, broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, beets are great choices.

3. Meat/Poultry/Fowl/Eggs/Fish/Seafood – Local butcher/rancher is a great way to find high quality fresh meats/poultry/fowl. The deli counter is not the best choice. Go for free range and grass fed if possible, to get more nutrition for you money. Fish and seafood are best fresh and wild (not farmed) but tough for many inland folks. Beef, chicken, duck, turkey, lamb, pork, buffalo, wild game, shrimp, lobster, salmon, oysters, eggs and organ meats are excellent finds.  

4.  Fruit – Whole (not juice), Organic/locally grown/in season. Target berries (black, rasp, straw, blue) and the pitted fruits as they offer great antioxidants and nutrient density. Apples, cherries, oranges, bananas, grapefruit, grapes, nectarine, peaches and pineapple are common fruits preferably consumed in lower amounts if fat loss is your goal.

5. Dairy – Organic/fermented. Select hard cheeses over “plastic cheese” (slices and spreads). Kefir and high fat non-flavored Greek yogurt are great if you are a dairy product consumer. Milk is not a good primal choice.

6. Fats – Animal sourced/nuts. Butter, animal fats (bacon fat YUM) along with oils of coconut, avocado and olive (extra virgin) make for the best fat choices. Olives, macadamias, almonds, pistachios, walnuts make for a nice (small) snack.

7. Beverages – Natural as possible. Water, tea, coffee. Avoid adding sugar and milk to coffee/tea. Stevia as a sweetener is ok in moderation. Diet drinks are best avoided since most are artificially sweetened (Aspartame and sucralose). 

8. Moderations – Indulge lightly in dark chocolate (>70%), alcohol (wines and spirits), treats and snacks (you know the ones).

Now there are probably some foods in the pantry and fridge/freeze that need to be thrown out and replaced with this good stuff to prevent you from making the wrong choices. Only you can decide what to keep and what to chuck. Personally, if junk food is in the house, I will find it and I will devour it, so I can’t even have it around. But that’s just me.

At the same time, don’t worry if you have a donut on Monday morning at work or a beer or two with Saturday supper. Do the best you can! Those stresses will cause more issues than just having that little forbidden morsel. The longer you eat healthy foods and pay attention to how you feel afterwards, you will naturally say no thanks to more and more junk food. Your body LOVES good food!!  Be real and eat real food like your health depends on it. Your body will thank you.

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