In a recent post I shared my definition of eating clean to help you understand exactly what I’m talking about when I say that I’m eating clean.
After I posted that explanation I received an excellent question in the comment section of that post from one of my Twitter friends Wise Diva. She asked, “What’s your primary/favorite source for fresh, unprocessed food purchases?” She also commented that I “made it sound so doable”.
First off, I do want to share that I did not always eat this way. Before I started the 6-Week Body Makeover lifestyle plan in January 2004, my main source of sustenance was boxed, pre-made foods. I ate a lot of high sodium, sugar filled frozen dinners and lunchmeats, blocks of cheese, tons of sweets, pastas, and hit the fast food drive through at least 4 times a week.
It was the 6-Week Body Makeover that taught me how to cook and eat to lose weight and feel great, but remember that I’ve been eating like this for 4 years. Sure, I’ve had my forays back into unhealthy habits and weight gain and I’ve gotten back into my sugar addiction more than once, but I know how to eat and exercise in a healthy manner to lose weight and get fit.
My point is that it was a transition in the beginning, changing my lifestyle to one of whole, real foods, however once you decide to make a lifestyle change and live a life of eating clean, after awhile it really does get easy.
Now back to the question of where I shop when I’m eating clean – as you’ll see by my list of my top 8 spots, I don’t shop anywhere super special. In fact, I haven’t even listed health food stores, because I simply don’t shop there very often. Sometimes I do, especially if I’m looking for something in particular like a supplement (like biotin or I3C), but on the whole I shop at the stores I’ve listed below.
I’ve included what I usually buy however this list is not inclusive. This post would go on forever if I listed every single food item that I buy, and it also changes with the season. For instance, I love summer squash and zucchini, especially when I grill it, but I don’t have it on the list below (I’d buy that at a grocery store or Meijer).
- Sliced mushrooms
- Apples (*been disappointed in the red delicious lately)
- Fresh frozen fish (no other ingred. except the fish)
- Fresh frozen veggies
- Fresh chicken breasts, no skin, nothing added (no added chicken broth that contains sodium, which you’ll find in frozen chicken breasts, no added hormones and such)
- Regular Quaker oatmeal
- Wild rice
- Whole organic carrots (for recipes)
- NSA canned foods (no salt added and only ingredient is the food item itself – for some reason, Meijer is wonderful about stocking NSA items)
- NSA diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
- NSA Mrs. Dash seasonings
- Herbs and spices
Local Grocery Store
- Rice milk (not a staple of the 6WBMO – only used occasionally and very sparingly, must monitor weight loss progress)
- Tea (yeah, still love my tea, you know that if you follow me on Twitter 😉 )
- Carrots (bite size)
- Sweet potatoes
- Anything else I didn’t find somewhere else already
- Steel Cut Oats (their price is better than Meijer’s)
- Organic and different – you can find a lot of things at Trader Joe’s and I don’t shop there often, but it’s always a fun time.
- Low sodium canned tuna in water (only 25-35mg of sodium per can)
Cost Plus World Market
- Spice Hunter NSA Spice Blends
- Other specialty NSA spice blends, such as Thai and Middle Eastern
Asian, Indian, or Middle Eastern Grocer
- Asian – rice paper to make spring rolls
- Indian or Middle Eastern – spices, Sumac, a main ingredient of my favorite, Chicken Ghallaba
- Del Monte NSA green beans – I personally don’t like the energy in my local Big K-Mart but they regularly have sales on Del Monte NSA canned green beans. Don’t know why they do, but I love those beans (only ingred. is green beans, and yes, fresh is better than canned), so I buy them there. 😉
- NSA or low sodium chicken broth
So that’s my list. I don’t buy a lot of organic foods (I wash what I buy before eating), so if you do then you might not like Costco as much as I do (but how can you not love Costco? 😉 ). Also, there are 2 things that I am going to be including in my whole foods lifestyle this summer, and those are:
- Shopping at my local Farmer’s Market
- Growing my own produce
I mentioned this months ago, that I was looking forward to planting some green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and possibly garlic this summer and I’ll be doing this in May. Also, I have a Farmer’s Market that is only a 10-minute walk from where I live, or I could even ride my bike. I need to take better advantage of this.
I hope that by sharing where I shop for my clean eating foods that this helps demystify the process of eating clean. You see I’m really not doing anything out of the ordinary. Well, I guess it is out of the ordinary in today’s world, since the food supply is mainly processed, sugared, fatted, and salted foods, but all I’m doing is eating real food – whole foods that keep my metabolism burning, help me lose weight, give me loads of energy, and make me feel awesome.
What about you? Where do you regularly shop for clean, whole foods?My Top 8 Places to Shop When I’m Eating Clean