In recent times, shopping for whole foods, whether online or at any local grocery store, is proving to be interesting and not mundane as it was in the past. You step into a food store and that phenomenal feeling as you wander through the fancy fresh food haven and foodies paradise excites you. You arenâ€™t just shopping, but you are also exhibiting your commitment to better health, which invariably portrays you as a contemporary and health-savvy person.
But if you arenâ€™t careful enough, the glamor and excitement might get the better of you and eventually lead to making poor and perhaps costly decisions. Indeed whole foods are expensive, especially granted that there is the organic and chemical-free foodstuff. So, if you are planning to shop at whole foods store online or across the street, these are what to pay attention for – what to buy and what to skip.
What to buy
Salmon – Fish is proving to be a popular staple amongst savvy foodies, not just because it is one favorite source of proteins, but also because it is loaded with many Omega-3 fatty acids. Wild-caught salmon, sourced from certified sustainable fisheries and freshly sold are the best. Remember, food is delicious, but expensive – buy fresh only!
Greens – leafy, green lettuce are nutritious and are far much better as a source of necessary vitamins and minerals than many conventional sources. Moreover, the category of vegetables is quite huge and perhaps perfect for those who would love flexibility and affordability. There are kales, collard, spinach and the others, but if all of them were organically grown, buy them.
â€œArtichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, cabbages, eggplant, corn, cucumber, pumpkins, leeks, okra, tulips, summer squash, and peasâ€
Whole Grains – sourcing them from bulk bins is beneficial economically and makes the whole ordeal easier. Some of them to buy include amaranth, barley, brown rice, quinoa, rye, wild rice, oatmeal, wheat, and Buckwheat. At this point, however, it is again imperative to buy from a reputable store where all the produce is freshly packed and come from certified sources only.
Dried Fruits and Nuts – Dried fruits are generally revered because they can be stored for longer and still be confident that their taste is not lost. So, as you go around, picking them for your home, consider, not just the freshness, but the variety and price of the nuts and dried fruits. Buy some Almondsâ€¨, pistachiosâ€¨ and walnuts, dried cranberries and raisinsâ€¨ because they have no added sugars.
Canned foods – easy meal starters are absolute necessities in many peopleâ€™s pantry. And these Jarred items, coming in many varieties, offer vast options to choose from. Some of these foods to buy include canned beans, canned pumpkins, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and unsweetened fruits. As you buy them, itâ€™s important to focus on foods contained in glass jars.
Spices and Condiments – as far as the search for safe and body-friendly foods matters, spices and herbs will not escape your shopping cart. This includes the various herbs, organic sweetened ketchup, mustard and low-fat yogurt.
Fruits – of course, you wonâ€™t dare check out without fresh fruit. But just to make everything clear, buy those that are fresh or frozen, but unsweetened.
Lean meat – eggs, chicken breast, fish, turkey, bison, etc.
Beans and legumes – all commonly available seed varieties and lentils.
Healthy drinks for you and the family : Pressed Juices, Innocent smoothies, T.NUT Drink, Still water.
What not to buy in a whole foods store:
Realistically speaking, whole foods store stocks fresh foods, fruits and vegetables, herbs and even flowers. But as for you, it is always important to make your selection carefully since all these foods donâ€™t come cheaply. Basically, donâ€™t buy many foods that have similar nutrients. It would be better to buy one or two foods from each category. And, above all, remember to buy fresh and from a reputable store.
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Why Organic Food Is Going Mainstream
One of the latest phenomena blossoming in the food industry is the changing consumer preference and the odds seemingly favoring those who love safe and chemical-free foods. The ballooning consumer demand is impressive granted that the bright star in the grocery business is a win-win for both the consumers and the growers. But, of particular importance is the reason people are going for these organic foods instead of the traditional ones.
Organic foods are nutritious with no chemical substances
Fueling the organic habit is the need for a better food alternative that puts nutrition and better health first. From plants to organic meats, all of them are perfect for those who would love to stay healthy and far from the many lifestyle based ills. Plants like beans, lentils, grains, nuts and seeds offer wide-ranging perks that keep us healthier while organic meat, fish, and other animal-based organic foods are also sustainable.
Food production is largely an industrialized process that also employs a heavy use of chemicals for aroma and as preservatives. But with consumer awareness becoming an order of the day nowadays and animal welfare calls becoming more vocal via the mainstream media, use of chemicals in food production is dwindling. In fact, antibiotic-free meats, milk, and eggs as a result of better animal husbandry practices are not a new thing anymore.
Better for the environment
Much like animal welfare, environmental awareness issues surrounding food production isn’t a new idea today, although organic food growers are trying to make their efforts enough for their environment. The move is bolstered by the fact that sustainable methods of growing these foods and keeping animals also impact the environment positively. And, given that there’s no use of chemicals, it is indeed true.
Who buys organic foods?
Getting these foods is becoming even easier, and prices are becoming more reasonable, and much of it is due to the large stores and foods grocers having them, including Wal-Mart and Wild Oats organic foods. And since the number of consumers in on a gradually rising trend, it isn’t hard to tell for sure who leads the line.
Millennial parents are the most tech-savvy and indeed health-savvy given that they occupy a massive 50% and even more of those who buy the organic foods. Generation X parents and baby boomers are other organic food enthusiasts, although it is the increasing number of organic food stores that serve as a perfect testament to the growing movement.
And what is fueling the habit?
Besides each of the above reasons, other reasons to try organic foods include:
- The rise of the many groups that connect over the web with intentions of emancipating the masses.
- Mainstreaming of veganism, without a doubt, gives rise to the organic food movement too.
- Fast food stores are starting to include organic food menus.
Do you buy organic foods ? Why do you do so ? Lets get talking.
Beginner tips for transitioning into a vegan diet
There are many types of diets out there, however, plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Their rise in popularity has been caused by a surge of awareness regarding what people are putting into their bodies and how their choices impact the environment and other living things. While a plant-based diet is not the best approach for everyone, nor should it be, it does have significant benefits for those that take it seriously.
So what exactly is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is a diet that is a made up of plant-based foods such as vegetables, leafy greens, seeds, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Plant-based diets call for the elimination of processed foods, deep fried foods, and meals containing large sugar content because they tend to be low in nutritional value.
Some plant-based diets do allow the use of cultured dairy products such as organic eggs and wild fish while others do not. Because a plant-based diet contains all the necessary macronutrients in their raw form, this type of diet is considered much healthier by many. The benefits of the plant-based diet include increased energy levels, a healthier heart, as well as saving money on food.
Transitioning into a plant-based diet
Transitioning into a plant-based diet can be hard, particularly if you do not know what to do or what to expect. The process can be daunting and it can leave you overwhelmed at times owing to the whirlwind of information and questions that you may have. If you do not know where to start, here are tips that can make the process of transitioning easier for you:
Carry out your research
Most people tend to forget to carry out their research whenever starting anything new, which is quite unfortunate. The research will allow you to make your own decision as to what rules fit your lifestyle or your goals. For instance, some plant-based experts claim that you should not eat honey while others do. Educating yourself can help you assess the risks and benefits of eating some meals so that you can pick foods that are right for you.
Start off with a pace that works for your needs
Some people make the decision to transition right away, which means that they will never consume a morsel of meat again, while others choose to do it slowly. It is important to be realistic about your long-term goals to avoid disappointments later on in the transition. It might take a long time, but transitioning gradually will not only allow you to learn as the process continues, but it will also prevent you from having to deal with too many cravings. Unless your need for change has been signaled by a health crisis, it is better to start off slowly.
Plan and prepare your meals
If you are busy, you might not have time for prepping your meals during the week. The lack of time can cause you to slip back into old habits so meal prep is key. The best time to prepare your meals is Sunday or during those moments when you are free. When meal prepping, you should go through your list of meals for breakfast, lunch, and supper to pick which meals you will eat during the week. It might take some time before you can get a working rhythm and pattern, but when you do, it can save you time and the headache of having to decide which meal to eat on the spot.
Change can feel very lonely especially when it causes you to stand out from the crowd. Having the support of others that are going through the process can go a long way in enriching your experience and can make your transition into your new healthier lifestyle less stressful. Try and enlist the support of your family and friends if you can. If you can’t, then there are community forums online and support networks that can help you out and keep you motivated.
Have you yet transitioned into a vegan diet ? How difficult was it ? Tell me.
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