Previous blogs have been about what is means to live a primal life. That life is defined by your fuel intake, fitness regime, and focused intent. We have also examined fuel, which is based off of food, water, the air we breathe, sunlight, rest and supplements. I have also touched on what is a Standard American Diet (SAD)1, what types of foods are included in the diet and what to avoid. Now let’s take a look at how we can apply that to daily lifestyle choices when we grocery shop. Future posts will look at creating a meal plan and how to go out for a dining experience.
Grocery shopping may not be the task that everyone enjoys. Personally, I like to grocery shop rather than do it online. I prefer picking my own groceries. I enjoy getting out of the house. And it give some some time to throw on a podcast2.
The key to a successful grocery shop is to meal plan, create a list, eat before going to the store to avoid impulse items, avoid browsing in the store, keep a focused mind on the task at hand. As mentioned, I listen to podcasts while shopping and I highly recommend this as it can make a task that is perhaps onerous to you, palpable.
What exactly is on the grocery list? Meats, eggs and seafood, properly prepared dairy, low glycemic vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, honey, coffee and tea, coconut, healthy fats, vinegars for dressings, and spices. I will discuss supplements at a later blog post. For the time being, high grade liquid fish oil and bone broth powder (unless you are making chicken stock) is essential. Also, please note, I will talk about fruit and vegetables in the culinary, rather than botanical, sense.
What types of meats are you shopping for? For beef, grass fed and finished, or grain finished. Free range chicken and eggs. Wild caught seafood (mainly). Tinned fish in water or olive oil, not seed oils.
Properly prepared butters such as ghee, clarified and unsalted. Kefir and yogurt with no preservatives, sugar, flavours or sugar.
Farmers market vegetables, avoiding starchy tubers like potatoes, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes. Depending on your digestion and ketosis levels, occasional sweet potato may be a treat. Organic vegetables for items like spinach and zucchini are a good idea, as you are consuming the vegetable with the skin. otherwise, wash properly when you get home. Onions, garlic, ginger (and its cousins) and fresh turmeric (if available) is a base for many meals I prepare. These are high in fibre, so be careful how much you consume.
Fruits in season can be a lovely treat, as long as you can control how much you eat of them. Berries are preferred, as they are low on the glycemic index and you can buy them frozen for easy use.
Raw, whole, in shell, nuts and sees are a great staple. Especially something like pistachio, which you have to work at to get. it slows down the eating process. be careful about nuts like macadamia and cashew as I find they can be easily consumed in handfuls. Try to limit your nut consumption to no more than a handful in day, as they are extremely high in fibre. Honey at the farmer’s market, if it is something you can have in the home safely, without over indulging, is necessary to make certain desserts or raw chocolate. Stevia can be substituted for honey, but it can have an offsetting taste fo some, be careful how much you use- less is more.
Cacao is a seed and after processing you obtain the powder and the butter in which you can recombined with sweetener and spices to make a wide assortment of nutrient dense, energy forming treats.
Coffee, whether black or bullet proof (combined with butter) can be beneficial for use if you do not find the caffeine too stimulating. If stevia and honey do not sit well with coffee for you, a small amount of sugar can be used to sweeten the coffee, but I encourage you to try coffee without. I find butter to have a natural sweetness to it.
Tea is magical. there are so many type sos tea, from traditional botanical tea, to herbal teas. Tea is a great way to inject something to help maintain a sense of sustenance while reducing the amount of calories. It will also help hydrate you.
Coconut products can also be beneficial. Shredded coconut (without additives), can be a lovely addition to treats and used in savoury cooking, coconut milk has a natural sweetness and curries made from it are beautiful. Coconut water is full of electrolytes but be careful how much you drink as it is high isn sugar. Coconut oil has high cooking heat capabilities, as well can be used as beauty product. Personally, the taste of the oil as a food ingredient turns me off completely, and I cannot use it to brown roasts.
Other healthy fats can be found in olives, avocado, macadamia (mentioned above) and their oils. Regular olive oil has its uses for non sticking, along with coconut oil that was mentioned. there is no need to use extra virgin oil for non sticking. EVOO is used for salad dressing along with balsamic vinegar, lemon, apple cider vinegar, and eggs.
Spices are a wide range of items that include seeds, roots, herbs and salt. I will do a more lengthy post on spices. For the time being having the essentials of salt and pepper, cumin and coriander, and chili if you can handle it, will provide a lovely combination to create variety for your meals. remember, spices are made of fibre, so you can take that into account if you are looking at decreasing your fibre intake.
For details how to create your own meal plan, grocery list, and recipes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation. Also available: escorted trips to the grocery store. Email to find out more!