Three-Step Shopping Plan: Step 1, Nutritional Planning

Last week, someone who’s in the middle of reading our book Eat to Save Your Life remarked that he thought his family eats pretty well, but the book has revealed they’ve been buying things that everyone thought were nutritious, but weren’t. As he reads our book, his family is making some changes in their grocery shopping habits.

Yay! That’s what we love to hear: Our book is exploding myths and prompting positive change.

Now that he’s learning more and making some changes, our reader remarked that he’d like to take us grocery shopping with him. No, not so we can pay the bill (although he might find that nice, too), but so he can chat with us about the various purchases he makes. He’d like to double-check that he’s not still falling victim to confusing information, media hype, or misleading advertising.

Oops! Did someone say shopping? Well, Gloria’s out the door on that one. Squirrel!

When Gloria returns, she’ll be quick to say that shopping together with our reader is going to be a little awkward.  You see, he’s in California and we’re in Canada. Obviously, distance prevents us from meeting at the local grocer’s anytime soon, but maybe our Three-Step Grocery Shopping Plan will help.

Let’s look at Step 1 this week, and save Steps 2 and 3 for subsequent blogs. Ready? Here goes.

Step 1: Before you go shopping

Before you go shopping, go through your fridge, cupboards, and pantry, and:

    • Discard any vegetable oils that have not been refrigerated. Fats and oils, except coconut oil, and Olive Oil in glass container stored at room temperature oxidize (go rancid) really rather quickly. Rancid oils will introduce excessive amounts of harmful free radicals into your body.
    • Read the labels on the canned and packaged foods you already have—even the certified organic ones. In many cases, you’ll discover shocking levels of salt (salt content should never be over 15% DV–daily value), sugar, and mystery ingredients.
    • Research the mystery ingredients on these labels. What the heck is guar gum? Why is there carrageenan in my certified organic almond milk? (See last week’s blog for a hint.) Who knew that MSG (and other things) may be listed as “natural flavoring”? Yup, sad but true.
    • Go easy on yourself with the research. Don’t make it a PhD project that has to be finished over the weekend. Learning about one or two ingredients every week or every other week is great. If you do more than that, the whole thing may become daunting.
    • Write down a list of The Dirty Dozen discussed in Chapter 2 of our book. Tuck the list into your wallet and take it with you when you shop. The Environmental Working Group has identified The Dirty Dozen as those commercially-grown fruits and vegetables that are the most heavily contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. You’ll want to know what they are when you hit the grocery store.

Okay, now that we’ve done a little planning, you’re ready to make some changes in your shopping habits. Next week, we’ll look at the next of Eat to Save Your Life’s three steps.

Here’s to happy nutritional planning,

Jerre and Gloria


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