In previous blog entries we have discussed the strategy of shopping the grocery store. We discussed shopping the periphery only purchasing those items with the most relevance to supporting a healthy lifestyle and straying away from the processed products. I am sure that most of you have adopted this method, relieving the pressures on the wallet as well as absoving yourself of the fluff in today's commercial economy.
(Plus with the LuRong Paleo Challenge coming up, it is going to be the new standard for your habit!!)
But today we are going to take it a bit deeper.
First let's begin with the fresh fruits and vegetables isle. If you are one that shops in a Safeway or Raley's you will notice that without paying attention to what is on sale, you would not know what growing season it is as all the produce is available year round! You can thank our countries overall wealth for that but it can also be a bit of a fault. The reason is that our bodies run the best on the freshest food, duh right?? By eating fruits and vegetables that are in season and super fresh there is probably a good chance that it was produced within a very short distance of where we live. Fresh= health benefits in that the concentrated goodness is primed and ready to go. Our hot house tomatoes and peruvian grapes are nice in the winter but offer us little else besides a convenience. Farmers markets are a good place to go to see what you should be buying at that time of year.
Next we have the meats, a vital piece of nutrition when making MAD GAINZ!! Once again our USDA has done well over the years to give you clear information on the front of every package to give at least some indication of quality, and fat content. Looking deeper at the products is important though. Most bulk meats are feed lot finished meats. Costco (bless their hearts for offering such good deals) is a prime example of meat that has been processed with a grain finish in a feed lot before butchering. The marbling is amazing but generally the nutritional benefits are not as good as meat finished on grass or other methods.
And Chicken... don't even go there. One thing you should be conscious of when buying chicken is size of the product and price per pound. Once again bulk thighs for $.78/lb is awesome but nutritionally we get much less from the meat than that which has been free range raised and not 'pumped' with hormones and antibiotics. Also, and this is an interesting point Cristin brought up to me, when you buy a rotisserie chicken from a big grocery store they are more than likely produced with a modified food starch for preservation and emulsification purposes. Sprouts Farmers Market is the only Rotisserie chicken we have found that does not use this product and can actually be totally gluten free!! So read the labels.
Fats like your oils and nuts are a mixed bunch. What you find out front in the nuts section is a glamourized version of the nut and rarely ever just the real thing. I guess people have gotten so used to adding worthless shit to flavor the precious things that it usually just secondary tot he sugar or salt product that its packaged with! Nuts and seeds are best in the bulk section of the co-op or Sprouts as they tend to be fresher than the packaged ones, and fresher is always better in most cases. Oils for cooking and cold eating are a premium and that can detract some folks. But you get what you pay for and since you are bypassing a bunch of other useless items in the store you can splurge and get the big bottle of walnut or coconut oil!
Reading labels on all products in bags is easy. Shiny levels are getting better and better so that even the most uneducated consumer can grab and go with some knowledge of good or bad product. Frozen products are back on the rise as some producers have upped the organic game when it comes to vegetables or meats. Be aware of the labels even through it may read organic though, it may contain 'extras' to enhance flavor or lifespan.
So unless you are a die hard farmers market shopper, (and it is TOTALLY possible to live entirely on a weekly stop at the Farmers Market), I encourage you to not only walk the walk in the store but also do a bit of detective work once you narrow down your choices. And don't even think about the checkout stand items... even the magazines contain preservatives and sugar which can kill you. Other than the gum... just stare at the conveyor belt and count how many times the checkers say, "how are you today?". By your food and get back to the fitness.
200m One arm Farmers Carry (switch arms at 100m) AHAP
3 Rounds For Time
15X Stone To Shoulder
15X Chest To Bar Pull Up
15X Overhead Squat 115/75