Are You Addicted to Healthy Food Shopping?

I have to admit, one of my favorite things to do is go to the health food store and shop for healthy food. Yes, it sounds very geeky, and I guess it probably is.

I also enjoy going to the farmer’s market, although I don’t get there as often as I’d like. Some of the foods I buy regularly that are sold at the farmer’s market are also sold at the health food store where I shop, and because the times the farmer’s market are occurring are times I don’t typically shop, my visits are fewer and further between. That’s not to say I don’t love the farmer’s market too, because I most certainly do.

The other factor is that in our city, food at the farmer’s market tends to be more expensive. In these tough economic times, and because my husband and I have recently switched gears and started a new solar business, we are watching every dime we spend.

So I started thinking about addictions that people have and wondered just how many different kinds there were, and how varied those addictions could be. I realized that there are endless things people can become addicted to…and that if you replace something unhealthy for something healthy, it’s got to be a definite improvement.

It’s easy to say to yourself that you are replacing something unhealthy for something healthy – but it’s another thing entirely to actually put it into action. And, it’s another thing entirely to actually do something healthy. In a society where we are so health obsessed but so unhealthy, the term “healthy” is used ubiquitously…but its true meaning has been degraded.

For instance, if you say you are going to replace eating meat for eating “low fat foods” to “lower your cholesterol”, that replacement will be detrimental to your health because it will deprive your body of important nutrients necessary for all types of bodily functions such as maintaining normal weight and cardiovascular health. But of course, most people believe the opposite to be true. Remember, it’s important to learn what is healthy and what is not.

Habits are difficult to break, but if you can take a negative or unhealthy lifestyle habit that isn’t working for you, perhaps it’s just a simple matter of trading one thing for something else  – to fill that void where the negative thing once existed, and in its place install something that affects you in a positive way.

Because variety is the spice of life, you can fill up your “void” with all the wonderful variety of delicious, healthy foods and choices. Don’t think that because you are giving up something you once loved that is bad for you that there isn’t something equally as wonderful waiting in the wings that is good for you.

Addicted to junk?

For instance, if you are addicted to eating cookies from the dessert aisle at the grocery store, what could you do to replace this unhealthy choice? First, make sure you are eating a healthy diet. Cravings for carbohydrates often mean a yeast overgrowth which is actually caused by eating too much refined sugar and processed carbohydrates in the first place.  So, you are not getting full (and also not getting enough nutrients, period). Because of the yeast, you are developing cravings for carbohydrates – particularly the processed variety, which feed the yeast.

There are several things you can do, depending on your desire to make changes in your eating habits and health. You can start on a yeast removal program, which involves removing most carbohydrates from your diet for a period of time and taking dietary supplements to kill the yeast. This can be difficult to do, but well worth the effort.

If you are not ready for a yeast removal protocol at this time, you can think about the things you can replace the unhealthy dessert with such as home-made desserts. When you make things at home, you have control over what you put in and how much you use. Home made desserts provide the opportunity to use less sugar and alternatives to sugar that are healthier such as: real maple syrup, organic unrefined sugar, sucanat, rapadura, or Lakanto (Body Ecology diet).

Other ingredients you can start to use which would replace the unhealthy items in store-bought desserts and confections would be sprouted grain flours, real fats like extra virgin coconut oil and palm oil, and butter.

And this should go without saying, but if you are making your own treats at home, use other real ingredients like organic fruit, eggs from pastured hens, sea salt, real cream, real vanilla, and unrefined organic raw nuts or cacao powder.

The bright side of healthy food addiction

Sure, many healthy foods tend to be more expensive. But buying cheap food has hidden costs. The smart consumer knows that paying more for healthy food now means less health problems later. Eating industrial food has its price – and that price is what you will have to pay later for health damage incurred because of eating it. One of the advantages to being a healthy shopping “addict” is the fact that it gives you an opportunity (hopefully) to be more aware of what foods and products are truly healthy. It probably means you are more likely to do the necessary research to find what you need that is not only the healthiest choice, but also at the best price available. In other words, your interest in healthy food and living leads you to become a sleuth – not only to find the best deals but to uncover the truth about what’s healthy to eat and what’s not!

Having an awareness of healthy food will give you the opportunity to find better foods for yourself and your family – which means many good things – such as enjoying foods you love, exploring new cooking techniques, methods, and recipes, and sharing the food with those around you. One of the best benefits of loving healthy food, is of course, the many health benefits you will gain from eating the food in the first place.

So if you are a person who becomes giddy with excitement at the prospect of spending some time shopping at your favorite health food store, farmer’s market, or online scouting for the best in healthy food at a good price, embrace it! If you love the idea of finding good deals on organic, local, and sustainable foods, let that desire become the foundation of a healthy diet.

It also means you will more than likely develop relationships with others who share your interest and zest for finding healthy food and feeding nutritious meals to your family.  This development can only help to increase your knowledge, network, and opportunities to find more healthy items to add to your menu and schedule for a healthier life.

And don’t forget, as far as addictions go, possessing one for the love of shopping for healthy food can work in your favor – unlike many other addictions you could have!

Need some ideas for where to get healthy foods on the Internet and in the stores?

Here’s a list:

U.S. Wellness Meats - Meats, dairy products, poultry, game meats, soaps, candles and many other great, natural products

Eat Wild – directory of pastured products such as meat, dairy, poultry, honey, produce and much more

Eat Well – directory of sustainable, local, organic food growers and sellers

Azure Standard – quality bulk and natural foods

Pure Indian Foods – grass-fed ghee

Sol Grains – germinated brown rice

Local Harvest – sprouted flour and many other natural food products

American Spice - sprouted flours and other foods

Shilo Farms – sprouted and organic flour, rice, honey, rice beans, cereal, couscous, goat cheese, seeds, soups, and more

For more sprouted grain products, visit the list at the bottom of What are Sprouted and Soaked Grains?

Cultures for Health – starter cultures for making kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, lacto-fermented vegetables, and other fermented foods, buttermilk starter, sourdough starter, cheese making

Organic Pastures – sells certified grass-fed, organic milk to California residents only, also sells raw almonds

Organic Valley and Organic Prairie - certified organic pasture-raised meats, eggs from pastured hens, dairy products, and more

Trader’s Point Creamery – 100% organic grass-fed milk and milk products – their yogurt is to die for!

Nancy’s Yogurt - organic dairy products from grass-fed cows

Stonyfield Farm – organic, grass-fed dairy products

Brown Cow Farm- organic grass-fed dairy products

Kerrygold – Irish butter, grass-fed!

Zukay – live, cultured foods bursting with probiotics such as sauerkraut, salsas, and lacto-fermented vegetables

This article is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please visit this site and read all the other great real food articles listed there.

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jen said,

    Great post! I’m definitely addicted to shopping and searching out deals on truly nourishing foods! Not only that, but I research a lot too. I take heart, like you said, that there are worse things I could be doing with my time.

    I find that when I slip just a little (which does happen occasionally) in eating habits, it’s HARD to get back on track because I do crave the junk more. It’s a vicious, addictive cycle.

    Finally, we LOVE Traders Point yogurt, and many of their other products. It’s local for us, and available through my organic delivery co-op. I order 1-2 quarts of the strawberry yogurt every week. What I need to do is start making my own from our raw milk… it would be much more cost effective!

  2. 2

    AS said,

    Hi Jen! Oh boy do I love Trader’s Point yogurt, I wish it was sold here in Boise. If we had a Whole Foods, we could get it…but I’m not crazy about Whole Foods in general…so it’s a trade-off. And you’re right, the price is pretty expensive for their yogurt. I try to make my own when we can, but we usually don’t have enough raw milk left over as my son and husband drink it all each week before our delivery day comes again. When we travel to Las Vegas once or twice a year where my in-laws live, we go to Whole Foods for various things and ALWAYS Trader’s Point yogurt is in my shopping cart! It’s probably the best yogurt I think I’ve ever had…in my life!

    It’s great to connect with others who share this wonderful interest of good food, and love to research. I find that I spend way too much time doing those things on a regular basis. I guess that’s why I do this blog too. Although not as much right now, due to home schooling. But I still keep it up as much as I possibly can. Thanks for reading! :)

  3. 3

    Christy said,

    I am totally addicted to shopping healthy —it is like a game. Where can I find what I need? locally? I agree that you have to replace a bad habit with a good one – and in my mind shopping healthy is a great one!

  4. 5

    Sommer said,

    This is amazing! I, too, am addicted to food shopping and shopping healthy. THe thing that kills me is that healthy food is so expensive in comparison to junk. But, I’ve learned that a little goes a long way. Recently I went “market hopping” if I could have, I would have done it all day!


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