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  • Writer's pictureLexie Haren

Mindful shopping, mindful living

Updated: Feb 16, 2023


I think one of the simplest things we can do for our health is replace the things we are

currently buying in the store for very similar, healthier options. I'm not here telling you to totally change your whole diet in one sweep . . . I don't think that's healthy or sustainable. I believe the best approach is to stick with the foods you love and just pick the healthier, more pure forms of those foods.

Lexie always with her farmers market basket in search of local, organic goods!

Now there are a few key words you will

want to know before embarking on your next grocery store adventure. These are the key words I keep in the back of my mind while shopping to ensure I am purchasing food with the lowest amount of additives and toxins and the highest amount of nutrients. I'm all about efficiency in many areas of my life and if I can get more bang for my buck in my food, then I'll be a happy camper.


So what's the big issue with the food that the average American purchases? Well, glad you asked! That's what I'm here to debunk for you.


First lets talk fruits and veggies.


Y'all ever heard of glyphosate? Well another, more common word used is RoundUp. You know . . . the weed killer you see in the aisles at Lowes. Well fun lil history lesson here. Glyphosate was first registered for use in 1974 in the US. It is one of the most widely used herbicides in the agricultural world. In the early 2000s glyphosate was deemed "potentially carcinogenic" and varying research showed that possible harmful side effects after glyphosate exposure included damage to DNA cells (3), "cancer, reproductive issues, neurological diseases, endocrine disruption, and birth defects"(1). Sounds absolutely terrifying to me. The US is going through "1.8 million tons" of this stuff a year and traces have been found in "90% of food products tested" (2) (BIG YIKES!). So how do we steer clear of this poison that has overwhelmed nearly all of our food? The best ways are to opt for non-GMO, organic or locally grown produce. It'll be hard to avoid overall, but if we are aware of the situation and can minimize our exposure, then that's a win!


Here's a real interesting page listing the counties and states that have implemented glyphosate bans in their agriculture.


Ok, so opt for only organic, non-GMO veggies and fruits.


Next, let's talk meat. I find meat to be a very difficult terrain to cover. A lot of meat in the store may be labeled "natural", "hormone-free", or "not raised with antibiotics", however, can still pose health risks when consuming. When we think of what these animals are eating on a daily basis, most fall under the category of corn, soy and/or grain-fed. They are fed all of the above mentioned, GMO, glyphosate-sprayed and over-farmed crops that have been linked to terrible side effects in those who consume them regularly. Its hard for me to believe that the cows and pigs and chickens that are eating these crops aren't effected either.


I love this brand of meat. I have found their products in many grocery stores around the western states. You can also purchase online.

So what do we want to look for when purchasing meats? I always try to find local and organic first. If that's not an option, I look for keywords in store bought meats such as "grass-fed and finished", "from a regenerative farm", "pasture raised". These types of meats are supposed to have free-reign of the land, eating natural grass and crops that are chock full of naturally occurring minerals and nutrients. I'd much rather eat that cut of meat than a glyphosate and corn/soy fed animal. If the animal is eating more natural and nutrient-rich food, then we are consuming more nutrients by eating that animal.


Same goes for milk and dairy. I look for raw milk or the A2/A2 form of milk that is from organic, grass-fed cows. Raw dairy and A2/A2 milk have been shown to be more easily digestible than the pasteurized and A1 milk that many Americans indulge in.


A bit of a personal story here . . . back at the beginning of college, I vividly remember drinking a glass of milk, going for a long run and puking my guts out. After that day, I couldn't tolerate any dairy, cheese or butter. My stomach would cramp and twist and I would soon deem myself as "lactose intolerant". Years and years later, I started down this journey of health learning about different forms of dairy and, ultimately, how messed up most of the conventional dairy in our grocery stores are. After learning about the awful ingredients and additives in milk alternatives such as oat, almond and soy milk, I was determined to figure out how to add quality forms of dairy back into my diet. I learned that raw dairy still had active enzymes in it that allowed it to be more easily broken down in the body. I started adding a couple tablespoons to my coffee daily and slowly increased my tolerance. I can now happily enjoy a glass of raw milk hot cocoa, butter, cheese and even organic ice cream. It's amazing how the context of where our milk comes from can make all the difference in how our bodies digest and process it.

You can find this butter at Costco!
If you don't have access to a local dairy farmer & raw milk, this is a great brand!

These eggs are in most grocery stores. A great alternative to the corn/soy fed alternatives.

Enough about me, but I hope you found this post informative and helpful! Below is a simple reference table of "healthier" swaps that can be made with the groceries you already are buying on a regular basis.

Instead of this . . .

Opt for this . . .

Fresh Fruit

Fresh Organic or Local Fruit

Fresh Veggies

Fresh Organic or Local Veggies

Beef/Bison

Grass-Fed Beef/Bison

Cage-Free or Regular Eggs

Organic, Pasture-Raised Eggs

Bacon

Nitrate Free, Pastured Pork Bacon

Chicken/Turkey

Pasture-Raised Chicken/Turkey

Fish

Wild-Caught Fish

Rice

Organic Rice

Flour

Unprocessed, Non-enriched, Non-bleached Flour

Milk

Raw or A2/A2 or Organic Grass-fed Milk

Butter

Grass-fed Butter

Bread

Make your own lol. Or look for a local bakery that makes sourdough without using processed & enriched flours.

Ice Cream

Look for minimal ingredients: whole organic milk/cream, eggs, sugar.

Seed/Vegetable Oils

Olive Oil, Butter, Ghee, Tallow

Wine

Organic Wine

Bottled Water

Boxed, Coconut Water

Yogurt

Grass-Fed, Organic Yogurt

I also want to link an amazing resource here for you to find farms near you that use regenerative farming practices and offer grass-fed/finished beef. Here is the link for the search tool!


Sources:

**Some links in this post may be affiliate links where I receive a small kickback for your referral.**

**None of this information should be used to diagnose, treat or solve any medical issues. Consult your doctor for medical advice.**




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